Progress continues on Wood Street Lofts

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission on Tuesday approved dedicating a bike path easement that will be near the new Wood Street Lofts that are under development, as well as noted a number of businesses in the community that have been changing their business models to aid in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In regard to the bike path easement near the Wood Street Apartments, Community and Economic Development Director Chris Schmiesing explained that, during the platting process for the Wood Street Lofts, an alley was vacated, but a bike path easement was never granted for the portion of the bike path that ran through the alley.

“This is going back and cleaning up an oversight,” Schmiesing said about the resolution. The easement will allow the city to maintain 292 square feet of the bike path in this area.

Schmiesing added there is already work being done at the site where the Wood Street Lofts will be, which is 428 Wood Street, saying, “The old barn and the old tavern is gone.” Wood Street Lofts, LLC recently received its building permit in March for the construction of a new, three-story, 52-unit apartment building with community spaces, so construction is expected to begin sometime in the next several weeks. The estimated value of the building is $6,500,000.

Mayor Kris Lee asked when the Wood Street Lofts project was expected to be completed, and Schmiesing said it would be about nine to 12 months. Schmiesing added it would be a “tremendous improvement to what was there.”

Later on, Schmiesing also noted a number of local businesses that have changed their business models during this time to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as manufacturing parts for personal protection equipment (PPE) needed in the medical field. He highlighted Evenflo, which is making parts for face shields; Isaiah Industries, which is creating metal parts for face masks; Queen Exhibits, which added a social distancing product line; Atlantis Sportswear, which is making cloth face masks; Infinity Fasteners, which is making N95 masks and other face masks; Industry Products Company, which is making PPE medical gowns; and more.

“I think it really reflects the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit,” Schmiesing said. He said that while a number of businesses have suffered layoffs during the pandemic and previous Stay at Home order, there are businesses calling people back and beginning production again.

During public comment, Bill Jaqua of Piqua asked if the pool was going to open, and if not, he added the city manager should be fired.

Lee explained the commission already decided not to open the pool this year, which also saved the city between $230,000-260,000 the city would have had to spend this year on repairs to the pool in order to open it. City Manager Gary Huff added a number of municipalities have decided not to open their pools this year, including Kettering, Miamisburg, Springfield, Dayton, Vandalia, and Sidney.

“We’re waiting to see what Troy and Tipp City are going to do,” Huff said.

Lee also added that he has “every bit of confidence” in the city manager. Commissioner Thomas Fogt also added it was the commission that decided to keep the pool closed this summer, thanking Huff for supporting their decision.

“The city manager had oversight, but however, the city commission is the one that decided, at the end of the day, that this would be the best thing for the city,” Fogt said.

Businesses highlighted for aiding in PPE production

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

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