PIQUA — Locktenders and Stone Ground Deli will not be reopening once the state’s “Stay at Home” order ends.
During the Piqua City Commission meeting Tuesday evening, a resident submitted a question for public comment in regard to whether or not the restaurants renting space at the Fort Piqua Plaza will reopen or close permanently. City Manager Gary Huff confirmed they had received notification from the owners, who also own Basil’s on Market in Troy, they do not plan to reopen.
While attendance was an issue, so was the order for restaurants to close until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are disappointed that Locktenders and Stone Ground Deli will not be reopening,” Huff said on Wednesday. “The owners expressed that the business volume since opening had not been what they hoped it would be and the closing of restaurants by the state of Ohio ultimately influenced their decision.”
Huff said the city is waiting to see who might be interested in filling those spaces in the future.
Also during the commission’s meeting Tuesday, the commission received an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Piqua Health and Sanitation Director Amy Welker, who said she and her department are working on monitoring the spread of the virus in the city and doing contact tracing for those cases.
As of Tuesday, Welker said Piqua had 11 positive cases of residents with COVID-19, and seven out of those 11 cases are healthcare workers. Of the other cases, one traveled outside of Ohio, one was related to the outbreak at Koester Pavilion, and two are elderly patients with an undetermined origin for the virus.
“We’re also providing a a lot of guidance on enforcement of the orders (from the state),” Welker said. She said they have worked with 40 local businesses, including providing that guidance or addressing complaints about businesses being open.
“To date, we have not had to issue any orders to our business community,” Welker said. “They are in compliance and willing to work on the things they need to to make their employees safe.”
Welker encouraged employees to reach out to their employers if they have concerns about why they are still working. Employers should have documentation about why their businesses are essential, she said.
Welker also commended the community for complying with the state’s orders.
“I know it is not easy,” Welker said. She said they are encouraging people to limit their outings and not congregate, saying limiting the spread of this virus depends on people social distancing.
Welker noted how people can have the virus and be asymptomatic and still spread the virus, bringing up a “heartbreaking conversation” she had with someone who believed they passed the virus onto a family member.
“Nobody wants to be in that position,” Welker said. “The person is devastated.”
The commissioners also offered words of encouragement.
“The mitigation is working, and we’re seeing that,” Hinds said. She commended the “helpers” in the community, including the city employees, healthcare workers, grocery store workers, teachers, mail delivery employees, and more.
“Its just been absolutely amazing seeing people come together,” commissioner Chris Grissom said.
“This is a time where we as citizens and citizens of Piqua need to come together — but not literally,” Mayor Kris Lee said. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will get through this.”
Also during their meeting, the commissioners approved the following:
• Authorized the sale of property located at 439. S. Main St. to Hemm Properties LLC for $12,600.
• Awarded a contract to A to Z Property Maintenance LLC for the sidewalk ADA Compliance Program at a cost not to exceed $80,000, which includes a 10 percent contingency.
• Awarded a contract to the Barrett Paving Materials, Inc. for the 2020 Street Resurfacing Program at a cost not to exceed $670,000, which includes a 10 percent contingency.
• Consented to amend an agreement for engineering design services with Strand Associates, Inc. for the Stormwater Master Plan Update. This was a $30,000 amendment to an existing contract. The amendment will address flooding issues on the alley on the south of Manier Avenue.
• Awarded a contract to Westerheide Construction Company for the Municipal Government Complex Building Security Upgrades Project at a cost not to exceed $145,000. Grissom voted against the contract, requesting more information on incidents between customers and city employees.
• Authorized the purchase of property located at 9480 N. State Route 66, payable to Tecla A. Powell and Roland J. Kellar, Jr., in the amount not to exceed $67,500. The city was previously beginning steps to pursue that property via eminent domain but was able to come to an agreement with the property owners.
All other additional items on the agenda were approved and can be found on the city’s website at piquaoh.org.