PIQUA, Ohio (WDTN)- Starting Friday, October 1, a Designated Refreshment Area (DORA) will go into effect for areas in downtown Piqua. This is after months of work, research and preparation on behalf of city leaders.
“The DORA really seemed like the next logical step and it’s a great way for us to be able to improve the quality of life for those who live in Piqua and might visit here,” said Chris Schmiesing, Community and Economic Development Director for the city. ” the DORA certainly fits in the context of creating a vibe in our downtown environment that’s appealing to folks who are looking for a certain lifestyle in regards to walkability and amenities near by.”
The city commission is hoping that the DORA will draw more people downtown to patron the local businesses.
“We want to do everything that we can to make Piqua an attractive place where people want to live and go out and enjoy our restaurants and take advantage of our trail systems and enjoy our wonderful community festivals and all the great things that happen in Piqua,” said Schmiesing.
The DORA boundaries include the central business district area bordered by North Street, Spring Street, Wood Street, and Wayne Street, extending west on Water Street to Roosevelt Avenue, including Fort Piqua Plaza, McColloch Square, and Lock 9 Park, and excluding the YMCA, YWCA, St James Church, Municipal Government Complex, and U.S. Post Office.
The DORA hours are daily from noon to 10 p.m.
Businesses downtown are spending their Thursday evening preparing for the implementation of the DORA.
“We have cups coming and things like that, so that’s really all we’re really waiting for is the material to be ready. Other than that i believe everybody is pretty much ready to go,” said Martin “Marty” Landis, general manager of 311 Drafthouse on Main Street.
Landis says the sharing the rules and regulations of the DORA will also be a learning curve as the DORA gets started.
“At first, a lot of people were just thinking that you could go down to the gas station and buy a ’22’ and start walking around town but that’s not the case,” said Landis.
But overall, he believes it will be good for business.
“It has the potential to be a really good program for everybody Downtown,” he said. “It has the ability to maybe draw some new businesses downtown.
It has done so for more than 60 other communities across Ohio that have also implemented DORA’s according to Schmiesing who said city leaders looked at these other communities while determining how Piqua’s DORA would operate.
“It’s been a positive for the community and hasn’t really generated any negative side effects and it certainly has contributed to the downtown business environment in a positive way in terms of generating foot traffic and causing people to spend a little more time in the downtown,” said Schmiesing.
Schmiesing says the city commission will observe the DORA’s operations for 90 days to determine if it meets all expectations.
The license for the DORA also must be renewed every five years.
To learn more about Piqua’s DORA, click here.