4th of July 2016

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For many years, the 4th of July Association sponsored and conducted an Independence Day Celebration at Fountain Park.  The association consisted of volunteers that spent countless hours providing this special event and day for the community.  Unfortunately, the association membership informed us earlier this year that this would be the last year they would conduct the event.  The 4th of July Association should be commended for the service that has been provided to the Piqua community.

I think that the 4th of July holiday is one of the most important of our American holidays because of its purpose of celebrating the freedoms that we enjoy in this country.  I also believe that it is important that we continue to celebrate the 4th of July in our community, and therefore, the City of Piqua will ensure continuation of the event beginning in 2016.

Obviously, there will be changes to the event to encourage citizen and visitor participation and enhance economic benefits to our city businesses.  One of the changes will be to bring the event to the downtown and riverfront areas where it provides convenient parking, dining, shopping, and visibility.  Detailed plans for the event will be developed over the next few months as we build partnerships to put on a great event.  One thing for sure is that we will have a fantastic fireworks display over the Great Miami River.

During the first half of my now 40 plus years working in local government, I was in the Parks and Recreation profession and involved in the organization and administration of many outstanding July 4th community celebrations.  I look forward to being part of a new celebration and event in Piqua.

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Piqua Community Clean-Up Day Builds Pride

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Each year, we set aside a day to encourage residents to spend time helping clean-up the community.  The Annual Piqua Community Clean-Up Day is scheduled this year for Saturday, May 9th.  This is a dedicated time that we all can pitch in and get rid of trash and debris that has accumulated over the winter months.

Why is this important?

Having a clean and aesthetically pleasing community helps in many ways.  Businesses or retail stores scouting our city for relocation purposes want to know how the community maintains the infrastructure and surroundings.  Individuals and families looking for a new place to reside pay great attention to the condition and appearance of the city.  Likewise, attracting visitors to the community very much depends on our aesthetic appeal.  Along this line and beginning in May, numerous special events are scheduled for the purposes of providing entertainment to residents and attracting visitors.  Our businesses, stores, and restaurants benefit immensely from the additional tourism.

Some of the key events that are scheduled in Piqua this spring include Taste of the Arts, Historic Walking Tours, Miami Valley Cycling Summit, Active Piqua Cyclovia, Farmer’s Market, Downtown Sidewalk Sale, For the Love of Cities Community Workshop, and Rock Piqua Riverfront Concert Series.  Having our downtown and community looking good for these events, promotes the image and reputation that is tremendously important to the city’s economic vitality.

We know, and research supports, cities that are well maintained build significant community pride.  And as a result, community pride induces citizens to work together, friendliness toward neighbors, optimism about the future, strengthening of community values, revitalization efforts, and enhances citizen involvement and engagement.  All are critically important community attributes for success.

The City of Piqua will be doing its part in participating in the clean-up and beautification efforts this spring.  New public parking lot signs are being installed in the downtown, landscaped areas are being improved with colorful plantings, public parks and areas are being mowed more often, and streets and parking lots will soon be improved.  The city is also working closely with MainStreet Piqua to install and maintain the flowers in the downtown planters.

The Clean-Up Day is being coordinated this year by the Piqua Health & Sanitation Department.  The clean-up activities are planned for the hours of 9:00am until noon.  Individuals, civic groups, community organizations, schools, businesses, and families are all encouraged to participate.  The department can provide locations that need cleaning or you can decide the location or locations you or your group would like to target.  The Sanitation Division will be picking up all materials collected throughout the day.  In order to register and identify your clean-up site, contact the Health & Sanitation Department at 778-2060.

If you do not desire or are unable to participate, you can still play a vital role by focusing on your own individual property.  Simply mowing the grass or removing debris does wonders to help the appearance of neighborhoods throughout the city.

I hope that you will join in and be a participant in the Piqua Community Clean-Up Day.  We need everyone’s help and support.

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Citizen Involvement is Important and Needed

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Over the past three years, we’ve created a number of programs to encourage citizen involvement throughout the city.  The over-arching identification for this initiative is Citizennet.  Citizennet attempts to connect the Community, Government, and Business for a unified effort toward the good of the City of Piqua.

The purpose of these programs is to make improvements to the community and assist fellow citizens.  This may entail anything from cleaning up a trashed area to helping a neighbor with a maintenance issue that they are unable to complete.

As a reminder, here are a number of programs that you can become involved:

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By adopting a park, you can help maintain it by keeping trash picked up or weeding landscaped beds.  This can also include adopting a downtown landscaped area, street, or trail section.

INVOLVE

There are times when residents are physically impaired and cannot perform certain maintenance tasks at their homes and need assistance such as shoveling a sidewalk or removing a tree branch.  INVOLVE matches volunteers with those needing help to provide assistance.

Volunteer Park Ranger

It is important to have visibility in our parks and trails to discourage vandalism and graffiti while providing assistance and information to parks users and visitors.  The Volunteer Park Rangers assist in multiple of facets to provide a fun and positive experience for users.

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One of the important contributions that citizens can make in the community is to help keep it clean and free of trash and debris.  The annual event encourages participation by civic organizations, neighborhoods, churches, families, and individuals to assist with public and private properties.  Individual home owners are also encouraged to clean their properties.

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The Housing Enhancement League of Piqua (HELP) is designed to coordinate the many organizations dedicated to improving housing and properties in Piqua.  Organizations that perform some housing improvement function or those that perform special projects are encouraged to be involved.

 

If you are interested in participating in any of these programs or to find out more, you can call the City Manager’s Office at 778-2051.  The more citizen engagement and involvement in our community; the more successful we are in creating a “Quality Place.”

 

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Piqua Fire Department Launches CO Detector Program

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The following is a Press Release from the City of Piqua:

 

 

 

In an effort to acknowledge Piqua residents who supported the safety services levy in last November’s election, the Piqua Fire Department is launching a CO Detector program to provide qualifying families with a free combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector and heighten their awareness about the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning and proper maintenance.

The ambitious undertaking follows in the aftermath of last month’s carbon monoxide incident in Troy which tragically took the lives of three teen-agers and sent an eight year-old boy to Children’s Hospital where he’s since been subsequently released.

The Piqua Fire Department reportedly “received an influx of calls from Piqua residents requesting that a CO Detector Program be initiated “ and organizers note “It is crucial that the CO Detector Program be implemented as soon as possible while this unfortunate tragedy is fresh in the minds of the community.”

The City of Piqua Fire Department in coordination with Citizens for a Better Piqua, The Salvation Army of Piqua and the Piqua Juvenile Education Fund Inc. is currently seeking $10,000 in funding to purchase 400 smoke/CO detectors. Detectors will be distributed to homeowners and tenants who qualify. It is noted this will not be a “mass distribution program” but rather an “educational program stressing the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.”  Detectors will be distributed and installed by the Piqua Fire Department firefighters for those Piqua residents with a fuel appliance and/or attached garage.  In addition, the CO Detector Program will install one detector per qualifying household without an existing CO detector.

Efforts are being made to obtain donations to defray the cost of the CO detectors being purchased. To date, the department has received a generous $500 donation from Peggy Henthorn and the Miami Valley Centre Mall and the Piqua Neighborhood Association to kick off the project.

“Last Fall, our (fire) members went door to door to ask citizens to support a Safety Levy allowing the Fire Department to maintain six federally funded firefighter/paramedics,” notes Fire Chief Mike Rindler. “This life-saving CO Detector Program will afford our members an opportunity to give back to the citizenry by personally installing CO detectors to citizens without one who have a fuel appliance or attached garage.” A fuel appliance qualifier is a natural gas or propane powered appliance such as a range, water heater, or heater.

The Piqua Juvenile Education Fund Inc, a charitable non-for-profit organization, will be administering the donations received and purchase of detectors. Donations can be forwarded to PJEF at 100 N. Wayne St., Piqua, Ohio 45356. Organizers will continue to explore other avenues as well to secure needed funding.

Families interested in signing up for the CO/smoke detectors should contact The Salvation Army at (937) 773-7563.

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Special Events Galore this Spring and Summer in Piqua

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Numerous special events are scheduled this Spring and Summer in Piqua.  Although the dates and events may be subject to change, here’s a list of some of the events known at this time.

  • April 11 – Dancing with the Stars
  • May 3 – Runners Assemble 5K
  • May 9 – Piqua Community Clean-Up Day
  • May 15 – WOTVC Golf Tournament
  • May 15 – Taste of the Arts
  • May 16 – Do My Best 5K, 10K & Half Marathon
  • May 21 – Farmers Market Opens
  • May 25 – Samuel F. Pearson Memorial Day Event
  • May 29 – Miami Valley Cycling Summit
  • May 30 – Active Piqua Cyclovia!
  • June 2 – i Love Piqua “For the Love of Cities” Community Workshop
  • June 4 – Rock Piqua Unplugged
  • June 13 – Miami Valley Corvette Club Car Show
  • June 20 – Rock Piqua! Riverfront Concert Series
  • June 27 – Glenn Cota Ride for Courage 2
  • July 2 – Rock Piqua Unplugged
  • July 4 – Independence Day Celebration
  • July 11 – CLC Block Party at Pitsenbarger Park
  • July 18 – POWW Clean Sweep of the Great Miami River
  • July 18 – Rock Piqua! Riverfront Concert Series
  • August 1 – Rock Piqua! Riverfront Concert Series
  • August 6 – Rock Piqua Unplugged
  • August 8 – i Love Piqua “Positive Energy” Community Workshop
  • August 22 – Down A River Trail Celebration
  • September 3 – Rock Piqua Unplugged
  • September 13 – Winans to Winans Half Marathon
  • September 18 & 19 – Piqua BikeFest
  • September 26 – Moonlight Stride & Ride
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i Love Piqua Community Workshop Series

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The Piqua community will now benefit from a new innovative community workshop series that promotes positive happenings, involvement, and leadership.  The i Love Piqua Community Workshop Series has been created by civic leaders to provide inspirational and motivational opportunities throughout the year to demonstrate and encourage citizens to become engaged and involved in helping our community.

Scheduled in 2015 are Brandon Johnson and Peter Kageyama.  Both are nationally known speakers.

Peter Kageyama will be in Piqua on June 2nd to present the For the Love of Cities workshop.  To learn more about Peter and his presentation, please go to the following link at http://fortheloveofcities.com/community-workshops/.

Brandon Johnson, the Positive Energy Guy, will visit Piqua in Piqua in August to present the Heart of a Leader workshop.  More information on Brandon can be found at http://brandonwjohnson.com/.

The newly created i Love Piqua Community Workshop Series Facebook Page provides more details on each one of these events and how to register to attend.

I encourage residents to take advantage of hearing these nationally known speakers and learn what you can do for your community.

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The Future of Providing Energy in Piqua

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This article appeared in the February 28, 2015 edition of the Piqua Daily Call and is co-authored by Ed Krieger, Director of the Piqua Power System.

Several years ago, the City of Piqua, through the efforts of the Energy Board and the Piqua Power System, began planning the most efficient and economical way to provide and deliver electric to Piqua Power customers.  The strategy was to move from a market driven purchase of energy to an asset driven.  This was an important and beneficial decision because of the fluctuating costs of buying power on the open market.  This is much like what we are facing currently with gas prices.

The most recent changes to electrical billing by the City of Piqua was a result of a rate study conducted to move costs from the mostly market driven to the asset driven approach. Any customers with a billing question are encouraged to contact the Utility Billing Office to have their accounts analyzed and explained. To date, over 500 customers have taken advantage of this service in the past week with only one error being found on a meter reading.

A number of issues have been raised about the new rate structure and the following information attempts to address these concerns.

Why don’t the numbers add up?

It is true that the base charges are increasing for Piqua’s residential, commercial and industrial customers.  What is missing is the Power Cost Adjustment or PCA.  When comparing the old rates to the new rates, the PCA has changed from a positive number of $0.0175 for all kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed to a negative number of -$0.00731 for all kWh used.  The current PCA value is listed under the special message section on your bill.

What about this 2% increase?

750 kWh is considered by many in the electric industry to be a typical monthly average residential consumer.  Therefore, when you input 750 kWh into the new rate calculation (including the current PCA credit), the result will be an increase of $1.74 per month or 2% over the rates that were in place in December of 2014.  However, cold January weather and extra billing days due to the Holidays have resulted in the majority of Piqua customers with energy consumption well over 750 kWh for January.  The good news is that as your consumption increases, your percentage of rate change actually decreases.  In fact, when you reach 1,029 kWh, you are actually saving money compared to electric costs under the old rates.

Why are electric rates changing now?

The cost-of-service study completed in 2014 identified the need to update existing rates.  As Piqua has moved from purchasing the majority of our energy from the market to owning portions of generating assets through our relationship with American Municipal Power (AMP), our cost to serve our customers has changed.  Piqua now has a diverse generation portfolio that includes clean-coal, natural gas and renewable (wind & hydro) resources.  This long-term strategy should serve Piqua electric customers well for years to come with resulting stable and predictable generation costs.

How does this impact Piqua’s Commercial and Industrial Customers?

Many Piqua businesses will actually see a cost reduction with the new electric rates.  Some may see a slight increase, but most will see a reduction of up to 3% or more.  The cost-of-service study recommended rate re-alignment as Piqua’s large consistent users of electricity were helping to cover the cost of serving Piqua’s residential customers.  On September 23, 2014, the Piqua Energy Board recommended City Commission approval of the revised electric rates.  The Piqua City Commission formally adopted the new electric rates on December 16, 2014.  It should be noted that the Piqua Energy Board is comprised of an equal representation of Piqua residential, commercial and industrial customers, to ensure all customer class interests are fairly considered.

How do the new rates compare to area electric suppliers?

Piqua electric customers continue to enjoy some of the lowest electric costs in the region.  Current calculations show Piqua’s residential rates to be approximately 20% below The Dayton Power & Light Company’s filed tariff rates.  Quite interestingly, that 20% margin is the same savings stated by Piqua leaders during the depression when the decision was made to build a competing electric system.  Obviously, that decision continues to serve our residents and businesses well.  On average, Piqua electric rates save residents hundreds of dollars annually, our commercial customers save thousands, while our largest industrial users save tens of thousands of dollars per year.

The Piqua Power System continues to be an asset to all Piqua customers.

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