City to replace road planters

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

PIQUA — Piqua City Manager Paul Oberdorfer addressed the issue of planters being struck by vehicles on Main Street.

Oberdorfer said during Tuesday’s Piqua City Commission meeting that there is a temporary fix in the works, which will include the addition of delineators, which are highly visible and used to increase driver and pedestrian safety.

The cost of the delineator material will be $2,300, plus $650 of labor to install them.

Oberdorfer said this is a temporary fix until the city can fund a capital project for a permanent solution, which will be on the FY 2022 budget request. If that project were to move forward, the delineator materials would be taken down and are able to be reused, if needed.

Used planters, in the city’s stock, will replace those that have been damaged until the delineators can be installed.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, a resolution was approved for authorization to amend the city’s contract with DLZ Consulting Services to assist the city with the development of an ADA transition plan.

In 2018, City Engineer Amy Havenar came before the commission for the first two phases of the plan, which included achieving ADA compliance for everything within the public right-of-way and outside of the right-of-way, including public buildings.

According to Havenar, the city budgeted $50,000 for this third phase, however, some of the work was able to be completed in-house, so the actual expense will only be $27,500. Tuesday’s resolution will amend the allotted expenditure.

For all three phases, the total cost is $78,000.

The commission approved preliminary legislation to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the Great Miami River Trail Bridge Project. This is a federally-funded project.

“Currently, we are in stage three of design, so we are getting close to finalizing the design,” Havenar said.

Havenar said construction for the project is set for the spring of 2023. The final legislation will be presented to the commission prior to bidding the project out, Havenar said.

The commission approved a second preliminary legislation with ODOT Tuesday for asphalt concrete overlay on Interstate 75. This legislation refers to resurfacing to be completed on I-75, from the rest area south of Piqua to the 25A exit. Approval is needed from the city for ODOT to complete the project, however, no city funds will be used.

Larry Hamilton, retired Piqua High School teacher and owner of the Randolph & McCulloch Freedom’s Struggle Complex, spoke during Tuesday’s open forum segment regarding his efforts in inclusivity and historical preservation.

“I have attempted to persuade community leaders to recognize the importance of an inclusive historical heritage,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said his plan for the complex, which he recently acquired and is now renovating, is to make an effort to educate people regarding the city’s and country’s history of civil rights, freedom, and equality.

“I am going to come before (commission) from time to time to share my perceptions of what could be better about making Piqua a distinctive community that stands apart from other communities of a similar demographic,” Hamilton said. “I want us to elevate and walk collaboratively with one another toward advancing the interests of Piqua as a desirable community for people to come, and to activate the effort to have Piqua as a tourist destination.”

Piqua resident Jey Roman also spoke during the open forum regarding his plans for a Be the Change Voter Drive scheduled for June 12, 2021, at the downtown gazebo.

“The main purpose of this voter drive is to get people involved, not only in Piqua, but in Miami County, as far as voting goes,” Roman said.

Roman shared some statistics of voting in Piqua, including that 46.94 percent of residents are not registered to vote. Of all registered voters, 23.8 percent did not vote in the last election.

Jim Oda, director of the Piqua Public Library, spoke briefly about the library’s levy request, which will appear on the May 4 election ballot.

“The levy is a 1.3-mill renewal with a .5-mill additional for general library operation (expenses),” Oda said.

Oda debunked a rumor that the .5-mill additional will be used to build a new library, stating the additional revenue is for operational expenses alone and to offset inflation.

The total 1.8-mill would cost the owner of a $100,000 house $57.31 per year, or the approximate cost of one cup of coffee per month, Oda said.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting:

• The commission passed a resolution of appreciation for the public service of Christopher A. Melvin, who has worked for the city for over 30 years, most recently as wastewater superintendent.

• A resolution was passed authorizing participation in the ODOT cooperative purchasing program.

• Utilities Director Kevin Krejny gave a presentation regarding the utilities department, including cost controls, budget comparisons from prior years, goals for the department and his experience as director three months in. Krejny took over the job at the beginning of this year.

Commission meetings are streamed live, and subsequently archived, on the city’s YouTube page.