City Fire Hydrants Get New Look

The following article was written by the Piqua Utilities Department Water Treatment Division:

Hydrant YellowHydrant GrayHydrant Red

Gray fire hydrants seemed to be the talk of the town last month as Water Department crews began prepping downtown area fire hydrants for painting.  The Water Department rented a unit that stripped the hydrants of old paint.  The unit, specifically made for stripping fire hydrants, saved the City on time and cleanup as to what it would have taken to wire brush and prep the hydrants.  Immediately after a hydrant was stripped of the old paint, another crew would follow behind and paint the hydrant with a gray primer.

In less than two weeks, city crews were able to strip and primer approximately 140 fire hydrants.  The hydrants were located mainly in the downtown area as well as State Route 36 to the east, State Route 66, and County Road 25A on both the north and south ends of town.

After all of the hydrants were stripped and primed, crews began going back to paint the hydrants.

Painting of the hydrants is a much more time consuming project.  To date, city employees have completed around two-thirds of the hydrants.  A spray gun is used to paint the hydrants and the area around the hydrants is covered to prevent overspray.  The employees working on the project have done an excellent job of getting a clean coat of paint on the hydrants and keeping the surrounding areas clean.

The hydrants are being painted Safety Red with a Bright White cap.  Some hydrants are needed to be identified as “non-draining” hydrants.  Those hydrants will have a blue stripe around the bottom of the white cap.  (non-draining hydrants used to be identified with a red stripe around the yellow hydrant)

As you can see below, the finished product is quite the eye catcher.  The new paint scheme is much more vibrant and the hydrants really stand out.

The City of Piqua will be looking at the best and most economical way to continue the project into the upcoming years.  Piqua has over 1,000 fire hydrants throughout town so the process of getting all of them converted to the new colors will take some time.  We all will agree though that this has been a much needed endeavor and the final product looks amazing!

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Piqua 4th Fest Coming Soon


4th Fest 2016

Independence Day will soon be here and that means the Piqua 4th Fest will take place as a City of Piqua special event.  Lots of entertainment and fun are planned for the entire day.

Foto Booth Events  Madcap Puppets 

JJExpress Train  Zip Line

Starting at 10:00am at Fountain Park, activities will include a bike parade for kids at 10:00am and Madcap Puppet shows at 11:30am and 1:30pm.  Other activities taking place throughout the 10:am until 3:00pm time period include Putt-Putt Golf, Zip Line, COSI Science Exhibition, Portrait Caricatures, Photo Booth, Balloon Sculpturing, J&J Express Train Ride for Kids, Face Painting, Care Flight Helicopter and BMX Bike Demos.  Non-Profit Organizations and Church booths will feature games and a variety of foods available for purchase.  Music will also be on-going at Hance Pavilion with the Mountain Dulcimer Society playing from 10:30am until 11:30am, Rum River Blend from 12:00pm until 1:00pm, and the Piqua Civic Band from 2:00pm until 3:00pm.

Hired Guns  Coasters blk  silver uniform2


The evening activities move to Lock 9 Park with The Hired Guns entertaining the crowd from 6:00pm until 8:00pm.  At 8:30pm, The Coasters will perform as the headline entertainment.  Fireworks by Pyrotecnico will be providing a great fireworks display at approximately 9:40pm.

Come join us for a full day of Fun and Entertainment!

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Will the Community Support Code Enforcement?

Logo_City of Piqua - cyclist - red on blue

Below is a blog article that I wrote last August which challenges the way local government works in the United States.  There certainly are issues in our community that have to be addressed, but not everything is the responsibility of local government to solve.  Why should we need local government telling residents to pick up trash from their yard or mow the grass?  Shouldn’t that be the responsibility of the person living at that address?  Unfortunately, some residents do not heed their citizen responsibilities.

I think most people would agree that local government should not be involved in solving every problem within the community nor try to regulate every aspect of our lives.  At some point, the community as a whole needs to challenge those that create problems within the community and support the efforts of local government to correct issues that the community views as problems.

That being said, the City of Piqua does have an important role in code enforcement and is in the process of hiring a Code Compliance Coordinator to enforce the ordinances applying to building code, nuisance, and junk vehicles throughout the city.  This will be the first such position employed for this purpose for several years.  The position will be traveling daily throughout the city looking for code violations.  As these violations are processed and enforced, the community needs to stand behind and support these actions to ensure the violations are corrected.  Without the support of the community, the likelihood of correcting these obvious problems will falter from pressure that local government is again overreaching it’s authority.  The real success and effectiveness of this effort lies with the community.

A New Local Government Management Model

Local Gov

A recent article by Ed Everett – Senior Fellow at the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement of Pepperdine University – Today’s Local Government Management Model…It’s broken, so let’s fix it, proposes a new model for local government management.

Mr. Everett states that most local governments operate under the “Bitch and Fix” model.  Residents gripe and the elected body and local government manager believe the issue has to be fixed.  As a result, local governments take on more responsibility than they should and residents do not accept their share of the responsibility to improve the quality of life of the community.

The existing model makes the following assumptions…

Local government:

  • Is responsible for the quality of life of the community
  • Must solve people’s problems
  • Requires little of residents

Elected officials:

  • Are elected to fix all problems


  • Act and feel like they should be treated as customers

Local government managers:

  • Try to make all the above happen

Under his proposed “Partnership” model, local governments need to work with residents acting like citizens.  The assumption is that local government will never be able to solve all problems without the active involvement by residents.  This doesn’t mean that local government should expect residents to pave streets, build infrastructure, or perform economic development.

The new proposed model does make the following assumptions…

Local government:

  • Can’t solve all problems and never could
  • Are partially – but not completely – responsible for the quality of life

Elected officials:

  • Set priorities and allocate resources for the most pressing issues


  • Need to act more like citizens and less like customers
  • Must take shared responsibility for the quality of life in their neighborhoods

Local government managers:

  • Facilitate cooperative problem solving rather than always trying to solve the problems themselves

Whether you agree with the “Partnership” model or not, it does bring up some very valid points.  Local government cannot solve every community issue, nor should it.  Probably one of the most glaring examples is the property maintenance issue.  Local government is required by law to follow legal requirements to take action against violating property owners.  This generally is very time consuming and frustrating for residents.  Maybe a much more effective and quicker resolution could take place if neighbors talked with property owners to persuade cooperation in maintaining their properties.  Otherwise, we go through a continual cycle of required bureaucratic process.

In Piqua, we do have lots of citizen involvement (active participation) and engagement (knowledge about community issues).  Some great examples include our Adopt-A-Park program, Neighborhood Associations, Positively Promoting Piqua, Citizens for a Better Piqua, Active Piqua, POWW, MainSteet Piqua, Piqua Church Association, Friends of Piqua Parks, and the iPiqua Partnership.  These groups are taking on issues within the community.  But more of this is needed.

I would agree that the current model does not work well in some cases.  Hopefully, we can continue to expand our Piqua partnership with residents and progress for the betterment of the community.


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Ways to Get Involved in Your Piqua Community


There are lots of ways to get involved in the City of Piqua to help improve the community.  Here are the various programs that may be of interest to you that fall under our CitizenNet umbrella.


Our Adopt-A-Program provides opportunities for individuals, families, businesses, churches, or organizations to adopt parks, trails, streets, city blocks, landscaped areas, or other public to help maintain them and/or keep them litter free.


The INVOLVE provides for volunteers to assist those citizens that are physically unable to perform certain property maintenance functions such as shoveling snow, trimming a tree, repairing a roof, or cutting brush.

Volunteer Park Ranger

You can become a Volunteer Park Ranger to patrol city parks and trails to assist users, look for needed repairs, or be visible to curtail vandalism.




HELP Logo-02

This is another program that assists homeowners in making repairs to their house or property.  The program works with volunteers, businesses, and organizations to help with both physical and financial needs to make repairs or improvements.



Piqua Clean Up Day

The entire Piqua Community can participate in the Community Clean Up Day which will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 8:30am until Noon.  Citizens are encouraged to pick up litter and debris along trails, roadways, parks, fences, and even their own properties.

FriendsPark 3-11-13

Friends of the Piqua Parks is a non-profit organization with the mission of improving the Piqua Park System.


Active Piqua1

This organized group of citizens promote the many outdoor recreational opportunities in the city.




For additional information or who to contact on any of the these programs, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 778-2051.

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How Economic Development Works in Piqua

Economic Dev Image

Economic Development strategies vary from state to state and community to community.  There is no set formula that works for every community, so a number of strategies must be enacted to be successful in growing a community.  Some cities have more advantages than others, but no single answer works for anyone.


The City of Piqua’s Economic Development Strategic Plan emphasizes working with our existing businesses and capitalizing on Piqua’s great assets.  Nationally, statistics verify that as much as 80% of all job growth comes from existing businesses.  Helping our existing business to grow and expand is an important part of our economic development strategy.  To date, this has been very successful with five (5) business expansions in 2015 and the same number planned for 2016.


Piqua is blessed with great assets including location on I-75, the Great Miami River, a tremendous education system (Piqua School District, Upper Valley Career Center, and Edison State Community College), rail system, vibrant downtown, wonderful architecture, trails and park system, and much, much more.  Taking advantage of these assets is another important element in our economic development success.

Riverfront District Concept

A great example of this is the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan.  Utilizing our unique position on the Great Miami River with year-round activities and special events makes Piqua both a destination place and provides tremendous value to our residents.  Tying the riverfront into the downtown further expands the opportunities for business development and tourism.

It is important to recruit new businesses to Piqua, but that is not as easy as it seems.  Large manufacturers want shovel ready (all utilities and infrastructure in place) tracts of land at an affordable price.  This is one area that Piqua is very limited.  Very few large tracts of developable land have utilities in place and in most cases the cost of land exceeds the “going rate” which puts us “out of the game” for recruiting large manufacturers.  All of the large tracts of developable land in Piqua are currently privately owned, so these factors are controlled by the property owners.

DBJ Article

We are seeing a great increase in new small businesses, restaurants, and retailers opening in  Piqua.  Typically, we do not recruit these companies, but rather, they find Piqua because of demographics or reputation.  One of our excellent reputations is that the City of Piqua goes out of the way to help new businesses get started.  This reputation is a key component of our Economic Development Strategy.  And contrary to many false assumptions, the City of Piqua does not turn away any legitimate business.  Another reason for the growing interest in Piqua is because of our efforts to market the community.  Numerous recent national and regional awards, newspaper and journal articles (e.g. DBJ article of March 25th), magazine articles, and social media have garnered the attention of developers, potential new residents, and companies.

Finally, included in our economic development strategies are developing an available and reliable workforce for new and expanding businesses along with developing community amenities to entice new residents to live, work, and play in Piqua.  These are also critical factors that will determine our city’s future.

Having managed and been part of communities that have more than doubled populations and businesses in just a few short years, I can assure you there is no single answer as some mistakenly propose.  It takes working many different angles and strategies to develop a community that will be sustainable and generate community wealth for future generations.


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4th Fest Celebration Momentum Growing

4th Fest Feather RGB

The City of Piqua’s 4th Fest continues to build momentum with lots of activities planned for Fountain Park and Lock 9 Park on July 4th.  The City of Piqua took over the event for 2016 after the Piqua Fourth of July Association announced prior to the 2015 celebration they would not longer sponsor the event.  The City of Piqua’s 4th Fest Planning Committee consists of representatives from various city departments.

Festivities at Fountain Park begin at 10:00am and includes activities for children such as face painting, Center of Science & Technology exhibits, balloon sculpturing, puppet shows, a bike parade, costume characters, kennel club demos, putt-putt golf, BMX demos, caricature portraits, photo booth, and much more.  There is also much planned for adults including a Zip Line, Care Flight landing and demos, rock wall climbing, and more.  Musical entertainment will be on-going in Hance Pavilion with the Rum River Blend, Piqua Civic Band, and other entertainers.

Non-profit organizations and churches will be providing food and games throughout the day wrapping up at approximately 3:00pm.  Non-profits and churches wishing to participate with a booth at Fountain Park should contact the City Manager’s Office at 778-2051.

Coasters blk  silver uniform2

All evening festivities move over to Lock 9 Park around 6:00pm with The Hired Guns Band followed by the musical sensation and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band – The Coasters.  The evening culminates with a fantastic fireworks display over the Great Miami River.

More entertainment and activities are being planned and finalized, but there is no doubt this will be a fantastic 4th Fest Celebration.

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Piqua – The Bicycling Hub of Western Ohio


The City of Piqua is quickly becoming associated with great bicycling opportunities and advocacies of the sport.  In November 2015, the city was recognized by The League of American Bicyclists with the Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze designation.  The award recognizes states, communities, universities, and businesses for their efforts to create a bicycle-friendly environment.  A Bicycle Friendly Community is one that welcomes bicyclists and makes bicycling safe and convenient all citizens.

BFB silver seal

This past week, the City of Piqua’s Municipal Government Center was also recognized by The League of American Bicyclists with the Silver Bicycle Friendly Business Award.  The City of Piqua is one of 1,132 businesses, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies in the nation achieving this designation.  The city’s Municipal Government Center is located adjacent to the city’s trail system and provides amenities such as convenient bicycle parking.  Employees are encourage to bike to work, provided bikes to ride during lunch time, and can earn funding in their Health Savings Account by demonstrating exercise such as bicycling.

Efforts are underway to extend Piqua’s 15-miles of Recreational Trail System to the north to Shelby County, to the west to Darke County, and east to Champaign County.  The system currently connects to 330-miles of paved trails throughout the Miami Valley making it the largest connected trail system in the United States.

Bicycling support organizations such as Bike Piqua and the Active Piqua Council have helped make the City of Piqua a name synonymous with bicycling.  This is not only significant for the recognition of our community, but also for the health and recreation benefits of the citizenry.


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