Swale to be constructed at Franz Ditch

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

PIQUA — The Piqua City Commission passed a resolution Tuesday awarding a contract to Strand Associates Inc. for design of the Franz Ditch swale.

According to Stormwater Manager Sky Schelle, Franz Ditch, which starts just north of the intersection of Sunset and High and flows into Franz Pond, has been causing an issue for over a decade.

“The erosion there is contributing over 180 tons of sediment every year into Franz Pond, which is part of our drinking water source,” Schelle said. “That erosion is also threatening private property.”

Two years ago, an engineering study was completed in an effort to determine how to solve this issue to stabalize the ditch, Schelle said.

“The only financially attenable solution we could find and an engineering solution that would work was to put a swale adjacent to the ditch, and that was this design is for,” Schelle said.

Following approval of the presented resolution, Strand Associates will design an approximately 500-linear-foot swale on property owned by Piqua Baptist Church, on High Street.

“This swale will have two connections to Franz Ditch. When that water rises during a storm event, the flood waters will move into the swale, and then over the course of 72 hours, it will either soak into the ground or slowly move back out into the ditch once that storm has passed,” Schelle said.

This will ensure that the “erosive force” and energy from the storm water is in the swale rather than in the ditch, lessening the errosion and accumulation of sediment.

According to Schelle, Piqua Baptist Church will remain in ownership of the property, however, PBC owners have agreed to grant the city rights through an easement for construction and for perpetual maintainance of the swale.

The design will cost a total of $130,000, Schelle said, and $50,000 of that will be donated by the Middle Great Miami River Watershed Alliance LLC. The remainder of the funds will come from stormwater funds. Design of the swale is expected to take about 12 months.

Several residents were in attendance during Tuesday’s meeting to share their support of the swale. The resolution was passed unanimously.

The following resolutions were also approved Tuesday:

• Authorizing the purchase of up to 2,500 tons of road salt from Cargill Inc. at a total cost of $145,800.

• Authorizing the purchase of 36 golf carts for Echo Hills Golf Course from Century Equipment Inc. These carts are currently possessed by Piqua on a lease, which is expiring.

• Authorizing the purchase of a Duraco Durapatcher for the street department from Leader Machinery Co. for a total of $69,363.

• Authorization to award a contract to Outdoor Enterprise for construction of the 2021 Storm Sewer Repair Project. This contract will include three separate projects, replacing a total of nearly 1,200 linear feet of 48-inch storm pipe on three separate private properties. The total contract amount is $800,000, which includes nearly $45,000 worth of contigency. Construction is expected to last three months and begin sometime in August.

• A first reading of a resolution to repeal Schedule A of Chapter 33 of the Piqua code and adopting a new Schedule A of Chapter 33, as it relates to full-time, non-union represented municipal employees. According to Human Resources Director Catherine Bogan, there are six steps in each classification and with passage of this resolution, the wages for certain classifications will be adjusted in an effort to support organizational efficiencies and operations.

• Authorization for the city manager to enter into a joint use agreement with Bowling Green State University for the expansion of the Piqua Public Safety Regional Training Center.

• Authorization for the city manager to prepare and submit an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement and/or Local Transportation Improvement Program(s) and to execute contracts as required for the Lincoln Street Reconstruction Project.

• Authorization for the city manager to enter into an agreement with Transmap Corp. for the GIS data collection and software creation services for the city of Piqua.

The commission held an executive session prior to public session on Tuesday to “prepare for and review negotiations on compensation or other terms and conditions of employment for city personnel.“ No action was taken.