PIQUA — A new face greeted the Piqua community during the first Piqua city commission meeting of the year. On Tuesday evening, the Rev. Kathryn “Kazy” Hinds started her role as mayor and fifth ward commissioner, seats previously held by Lucy Fess.
Hinds was joined by her husband and son when she took her oath of office as mayor. In addition to Hinds, commissioners John Martin and Bill Vogt took oaths of office. Commissioner Joe Wilson also took an oath of office for vice mayor after being nominated by commissioner Judy Terry for the position.
The commission quickly held a joint meeting with the Washington Township trustees. The commission and trustees appointed Hinds and reappointed Frank J. Patrizio to the board of trustees of Forest Hill Union Cemetery. Hinds will be filling the unexpired term of Lucy Fess, which will expire on Dec. 31, 2017. Patrizio’s term will expire on Dec. 31, 2018.
On the commission’s regular agenda, the commission agreed to continue the city’s membership in the Miami Valley Risk Management Association (MVRMA). The commission approved purchasing property and liability insurance from MVRMA at a premium of $312, 389, which has decreased from $342,528 in 2015 and from $362,959 in 2014. The city’s premium is based on their claim history.
“This resolution is for our continued membership with the Miami Valley Risk Managment Association,” City Attorney Stacy Wall said. “Piqua has been a member since 2002. There are 20 members … It is financially very strong and an economic benefit to the city.”
According to Wall, the city receives back its prorated share of the remaining funds for year after a loss year is closed.
The commission also approved the purchase of a new, one-ton truck with a dump bed and snowplow for the Water Department. Middletown Ford is the low bid through state bid pricing, and the cost will be $48,591.12.
According to Water Plant Superintendent Don Freisthler, the Water Department has been borrowing a similar vehicle from other departments to complete jobs. Freisthler said the department was at “the mercy of when we could get it.” He explained that having this vehicle will save them time, provide them with more flexibility for its use, and increase efficiency.
The vehicle can be utilized during a snow emergency, as well as for other purposes such as “towing the weed harvester, hauling debris from the hydraulic canal and levees, hauling graveling, and other various uses.”
The commission also authorized an agreement with Feskbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. Engineers to perform an engineering study for Phase II of the city’s Wasterwater Pump Stations Rehabilitation Program.
“This will continue what we started back in 2015 with the same engineering firm to continue on with phase II,” Dave Davis, wastewater plant superintendent, said. This will finish the evaluation that started in 2015. Then they will also complete the preliminary design work for the city’s sewage pump stations.
“This is only for seven pump stations,” Davis said.
Martin asked how many spare parts the department had available to them for these pump stations. After Davis stated that they had many, Martin asked if the pump stations that are getting worked on or replaced could be approximately the same sizes so as to allow the department to utilize those spare parts for each of the pump stations. Davis stated that was their intent.
The city budgeted $60,000 for this part of the project. The expected expenditure is approximately $56,000 with a 5 percent contingency.
The next phase of the project will be the detailed design work and construction during 2017 and 2018. According to the staff report, the city has applied for an Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grant and loan to pay for the construction, but the city will not know what they will be awarded until a later date.
Also approved during the commission’s meeting:
• A resolution accepting Hinds’ resignation as a member of the Park Board
• A resolution appointing Hinds to the Grow Piqua Now Board, filling Fess’s unexpired term that will expire on Dec. 31, 2017
• A resolution authorizing the city purchasing analyst to advertise for bids to make certain purchases during the 2016 year in the Piqua Daily Call
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall