Director of veterans’ nonprofit addresses commission

By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — Director of Operation Veteran and Caregiver Support Valerie Mullikin addressed the Piqua City Commission during its regular meeting Tuesday to share details about her organization’s upcoming events.

The support organization will host a series of veteran resource fairs. The first will be held at The Miami Valley Centre Mall in Piqua from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 17.

This event will include a wide variety of veteran and military organizations from around the area, Mullikin said. All participants will be socially distanced throughout the mall. Masks are required in accordance with the current mandate.

Established in August 2019, Operation Veteran and Caregiver Support, formerly known as Operation Venture, provides assistance to local veterans and their caregivers and families.

“Our organization was established to assist veterans and their caregivers, as well as their families, in the Miami Valley,” Mullikin said. “We have been stretched beyond the Miami Valley; we’ve worked as far west as California, Oregon, Texas, and as far east as Maine in the past year.”

The organization became a 501(c)(3) in February 2020, Mullikin said.

Though fundraising has proven difficult for the organization, Mullikin said Operation Veteran and Caregiver Support has an ongoing partnership with Covelli Enterprises’ Panera Bread restaurant.

“Some residents here in Piqua have received no-contact door drops of Panera breads and pastries over the past year,” Mullikin said. “We’ve also delivered to our shut-ins (things like) groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.”

Also during Tuesday’s meeting:

• The commission passed a resolution of appreciation for 20 years of public service of Deborah A. Stein as a city employee. Stein has retired as an executive assistant.

• Mayor Kris Lee read a declaration recognizing the month of March as Women’s History Month.

• Kathryn Hinds was appointed to the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) for one-year term expiring March 1, 2022.

• Chris Schmiesing was re-appointed as an alternate member to the MVRPC for a one-year term expiring March 1, 2022.

• Kyrstin French was re-appointed as an alternate member to the MVRPC Technical Advisory Committee.

• Amy Havenar was re-appointed as an alternate member to the MVRPC Technical Advisory Committee.

• Authorized continued wastewater biosolids disposal at Cherokee Run Landfill in Bellefontaine.

• Authorized a purchase order to Sherry Chrysler for the purchase of three Dodge Durango pursuit vehicles. According to Deputy Chief of Police Thomas Steiner, the police department typically keeps vehicles on the “front lines” for five years.

• An executive session was held to “prepare for and review negotiations on compensation or other terms and conditions of employment for city personnel.” No action was taken.

The next Piqua City Commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 5.