Council President Mr. Neff called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:30 p.m. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Colvin, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Law and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.   Absent from the August 14, 2017 meeting was City Auditor Miss Pittenger and Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid.

Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.

Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the minutes of July 24, 2017 as presented and by-pass the reading.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Reports of City Officials:

Mayor Lorentz reported that on July 3rd I met with the new director for the Port Authority.  He and I discussed the issues we have with proceeding ahead with the sewer line north to Blue Knob.  At this time we are continuing to look for additional funding to assist our stakeholders.

Chief Williams and I are continuing to interview for a Police Officer.  Funding is complete enough for us to order the dog.  Council, if you do not approve tonight we must wait until next year.  This is not what our contributors expect so we need to move forward.  Today I spoke with Steve Heater of Pine Grove Kennel the trainer and he explains the dog and training will total $10,500.

The 85th Belpre Homecoming is in the books.  The Chamber and homecoming committee did a very good job with entertainment, planning and execution this year.  If you see Jon Neff or Theresa Turner be sure to thank them.  Our musical groups from the Hi-School took care of the cleanup and also performed very well.  Thanks to all!

AEP is working on the west side of Dragstrip Road.  As they started contouring the hillside our newly repaired roadway slipped again.  As of Friday August 11 the roadway is closed.  AEP feels it is a safety concern that does outweigh the inconvenience to residents that use the road.

On August 10th and 11th Chief Williams and I attended the Global Leadership Summit at North Parkersburg Baptist Church.  Thanks to Pastor Mark and Porterfield Baptist for providing our scholarships.  This was enjoyable and informative.  Much of what we heard and or learned can help us here in our positions with the city.

Today, I met the new owner of the Churn.  This new establishment will open September 10th and promises a wonderful dining experience.  Let’s welcome Denise Halasz to our city.

Justin Skinner is our new Health board member from Kroger’s.  Dr. Michael Brocket is our new Health Board Commissioner.  Council I need for you to approve both appointments so to make it legal.

Mrs. Drake made a motion to accept the new Health Board member and Health Board Commissioner.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Neff asked how much we were off on the sewer line project.  According to Mr. Webster we are off by about a million dollars.

Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross reported that Richmiller Drive is experiencing a lot of construction.  They will be installing some water lines. One lane only will be open so you should expect short delays.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent.  No report was given in her absence.

City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that discussion is continuing regarding the Prisoners Contract.  The Sheriff Department will now take the position that they will not charge us for prisoners arrested under the Ohio Revised Code or warrants through the Sheriffs Department or other agencies.  We will only get charged for prisoners under our own ordinances at this time.  I have asked for additional language in the contract.  Met with County Commissioners regarding some other issues at stake and needs resolved.

City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid was absent.  No report was given in her absence.

Communications and Petitions:

Mr. Neff assigned to Mrs. Miller’s Police and Fire Committee and A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING DONATIONS FROM THE BELPRE AREA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND FOR THE DRUG DOG FUND and AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SSD TO PURCHASE A DRUG DOG AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CARE & MAINTENANCE OF THE DRUG DOG.

Report of Standing Committee:

Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee had no report.  Ms. Abdella called a Finance Audit Committee meeting for September 11, 2017 at 7PM for the purpose of discussing the Sewer Project and the status and funding.

Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report.  Mrs. Miller made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING DONATIONS FROM THE BELPRE AREA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND FOR THE DRUG DOG FUND and AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SSD TO PURCHASE A DRUG DOG AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CARE & MAINTENANCE OF THE DRUG DOG. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

 Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.  Mr. Colvin stated that he received a call from a citizen praising the water department for the work they did on Covey Court.

Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee had no report.

Mr. Law, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.

Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee reported that her committee met at 6:30 PM prior to this evening’s council meeting to discuss Ordinance 741.01 Yard/Garage Sale Permits and Ordinance, 741.03 Signs on Poles, 741.99 Misdemeanors, 725.04, 1313.02 Mobile Homes and 733 Business Occupation Permits.  The decision of the committee on 741.01 was to increase fees and ordinances on both permits.  Allow only 3 sales per year.  Anymore then three sales must have a Business License.  A copy of the ordinance should be attached to each permit.  There was no change to 725 as it was grandfathered.  Ordinance 733-738.01 we added that this is not a prorated fee and is to be paid to the city annually on January 2nd.  Ordinance 1313 that pertained to rental fees and exceptions was tabled.

Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that Economic Development met on Monday July 31st at 6 PM at the BACC building.  The new South-East Port Authority Director was present.  His name is Andy Kuhn.  He seems very enthusiastic about his position.  He gave a great presentation on infrastructure and small manufacturing that could have a positive impact on Washington County and our community.

He is most interested in reaching out and partnering with others to bring people to Washington County, and provide outsiders with good information.

One topic of discussion was on how we communicate and get information into the local community.   The point being to keep residents better informed to activities, events, and information of interest to all.

Karen Waller had recently attended a School Administrators meeting that was presented with the question “how does your local businesses view your schools”? She then presented the question to those in attendance.  This brought forth some great discussion about many points most of us would not consider; such as when others are locating to your area and do their research by computer how are your schools rated and what do they offer.  Do your ratings invite new people to reside in your community?  It also brought up the fact that tutoring has been offered to the local students by different groups and professionals in the community but not taken advantage of.

My question to Council Members is:  Can we help?  What do we have to offer our students to reach a higher level?  Do we set a good example?  It takes a community working together to reach a higher standard of achievements and improvements, as it is all about making a difference.  The choice is ours.

The meeting date for Economic Development has been changed and starting with August they will be meeting on the fourth Thursday of the month at 6PM.

Mr. Shutts, Rules Committee had no report. Mr. Shutts stated that the CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF BELPRE, OHIO does appear on tonight’s agenda.

Mr. Neff assigned Written Control Policy to the Police and Fire Committee.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.

Tim Gant 1426 Boulevard Drive Belpre reported that he has received phone calls regarding AEP rates.  He asked for the gentleman’s phone number but he wouldn’t give his number.  He stated that they were going to lower the rates to 4.5.  I think this is a possible scam and I wanted to let council know.

Mark Eaton Pastor of Porterfield Baptist Church thanked everyone for working together as we raise the money for the drug dog.  I look forward to working with you in the future.

Mr. Webster stated that we are awaiting a final approval on a MOU with the city, police department and the individual that will have the dog.

Unfinished Business:

Mrs. Marshall brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE WITH AEP ENERGY FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE ELECTRIC GOVERNMENTAL AGGREGATION PROGRAM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

New Business

Mr. Shutts brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE EDITION AND INCLUSION OF CERTAIN ORDINANCES AS PARTS OF THE VARIOUS COMPONENT CODES OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF BELPRE, OHIO.  Mr. Neff stated that this is updated information that we have passed on the ordinances throughout the year.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Shutts moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE EDITION AND INCLUSION OF CERTAIN ORDINANCES AS PARTS OF THE VARIOUS COMPONENT CODES OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF BELPRE, OHIO.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Shutts brought before council for the second and third readings AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE EDITION AND INCLUSION OF CERTAIN ORDINANCES AS PARTS OF THE VARIOUS COMPONENT CODES OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF BELPRE, OHIO.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Shutts moved this be Ordinance 17, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Miller brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING DONATIONS FROM THE BELPRE AREA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND FOR THE DRUG DOG FUND.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella asked that we have line items in place showing money coming in and going out.

Mrs. Miller moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING DONATIONS FROM THE BELPRE AREA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND FOR THE DRUG DOG FUND.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Miller brought before council for the second and third readings A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING DONATIONS FROM THE BELPRE AREA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND FOR THE DRUG DOG FUND.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Miller moved this be Resolution 31, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Miller brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO PURCHASE A DRUG DOG AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF THE DRUG DOG.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Miller moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for second and third readings of AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO PURCHASE A DRUG DOG AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF THE DRUG DOG.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Miller brought before council for second and third readings AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO PURCHASE A DRUG DOG AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF THE DRUG DOG.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Miller moved this be Ordinance 18, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Persons Appearing Before Council: 

Mario Kuhn 1111 Blennerhassett Avenue appeared before council with concern of the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Main Street.  Mr. Kuhn would like to see and option for turn right on Washington Boulevard.  Mayor Lorentz stated that this was done by ODOT and that he would need to contact them regarding a possible change.

Paula Sellers 1115 Blennerhassett Avenue appeared before council with concern of a proposed 150 ft. structure on the corner of Stone Road and Ridge Street.

Dave Wells 106 Clement Avenue asked council if city tax funds would be used on that property.  Mr. Neff stated that no funds would be used.  Mr. Wells was also concerned about the storms we have and the possibility of lightening striking the tower.

Marian Duvall addressed council about if the tower was placed in the middle of town the impact it would have on the value of our homes.  She stated that this is not helping our city.  Mrs. Duvall asked if we could get an injunction.  According to Mr. Webster that would take a court action.

Richard Thorn 513 Barclay Street addressed the health issues that this tower could cause.

Linda Shutts 830 Walnut Street also addressed the health hazards.

Roger Sellers 1115 Blennerhassett Avenue addressed how far we are going and the set back it would be to have this tower placed in the middle of our city.  Mr. Sellers also stated that the President of the Association doesn’t even live in the city.

Debbie Marshall 2nd Ward Councilperson stated that she agrees with the citizens and wants to plead to the association as a group why they should not consider the tower.

Mrs. Drake Fourth Ward Councilperson stated that she agrees with everyone.  She has been researching and will call Jay Edwards at the State Level regarding the topic.

Dave Stump 817 Ashbury Drive Belpre discussed our options and where it should be placed.  He also discussed the long-term effects that this tower would have.  Going forward all issues need to be addressed.

Josh Deuley President of the Association stated that there has been no contract signed.

Mario Kuhn 1111 Blennerhassett Avenue asked if the property was zoned commercial and what was the permitted usage.

Dave Stastny Blennerhassett Avenue addressed the OSHA requirements.

Lisa Wells 106 Clement Avenue asked for clarification of the tower.  She was told that the tower didn’t involve the building or the parking lot.

Marian Duvall, Belpre asked for a plea that the Fire Department Association would work together with the Citizens of Belpre.

Mrs. Reed 1116 Blennerhassett Avenue Belpre addressed the recent lightening strike to her home and the possibilities of a lightening strike to the tower.

Ms. Abdella addressed the emergency tax levy that will be on the ballot in November for the purpose of police and fire department and medical services.

Adjourn:

A motion was made to adjourn at 9:10 PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.