Council President Mr. Neff called the SPECIAL Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 6:00 p.m. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Colvin, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Law and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Mayor Lorentz, City Law Director Mr. Webster and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.   Absent from the August 23, 2017 meeting was Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid and Councilperson Mrs. Miller.

New Business

Mrs. Drake made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CODE OF ORDINANCES 1149.02(B)(2) HEIGHT REGULATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING CHAPTER 1151 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Neff stated that the SPECIAL Meeting was called for the purpose of adding legislation to tonight’s meeting regarding telecommunications antenna tower and site regulations. This topic had been discussed three other times before council.

Mr. Neff gave the audience time to comment.  Each person speaking addressed their concerns for not wanting the telecommunications antenna tower being placed in the middle of town.

Those speaking were the following:

Angela Parker Reed, 107 Walnut Street, Belpre addressed council by wanting to know what are the ordinances and how do they effect the tower.

City Law Director Tom Webster stated that he was directed to consider legislation from Cambridge and Gallipolis Ordinances that would fit the needs of the City of Belpre.  I drafted two pieces of legislation, one that would first eliminate the zoning exemption allowing television and radio antennas to exceed certain heights depending on where they are located.  Mr. Webster stated that the Federal Communications Commission says those rules apply to telecommunication towers as well.

The second piece of legislation drafted regulates where such towers could be located, requiring a 300-foot setback from any residential areas, which would “severely limit where it is in the city.

Each citizen that spoke in opposition addressed their concerns of the telecommunication tower, which would be placed in the middle of town, located on the corner of Stone Road and Ridge Street. The Belpre Fire Association owns the property.  The citizens concerns were over health, property value, location, safety concerns, noise and aesthetics. Their concern was also what the Fire Association would receive from the lease.  Those speaking were:

Paula Sellers 1115 Blennerhassett Avenue, Belpre

Karl Webb 107 Stone Road, Belpre

Richard Thorn 513 Barclay Street, Belpre

Marian Duvall 85 Chris Street, Belpre

Roger Sellers 1115 Blennerhassett Avenue, Belpre

Louise Riffle 1112 4th Street, Belpre

Fire Chief Tony Cronin, a member of the group stated that the revenue anticipated from the lease is $9,000 a year.  This is enough to cover insurance payments on fire buildings and the command vehicle that he drives.

With the towers placement everybody is going to have a better cell phone reception and quicker response to 911 calls.

Belpre resident Jim Nelson 815 Ashbury Drive, Belpre said he was “ashamed to be a Belpre citizen because of the beating that the fire people have taken”.  Mr. Nelson stated that the Belpre Fire Associations should be able to do what they want with their property.

Paula Sellers 1115 Blennerhassett Avenue stated that people support the firefighters and would like to work with the association to come up with an alternative.

Mr. Shutts asked for name clarification.  According to Mr. Neff the association is a private entity that provides money to assist with the fire department expenses but is under no obligation to the City of Belpre.

Mrs. Drake echoed her concerns to the citizens of Belpre of health issues and potential cancer risks.

She feels that we need to do something about this or the responsibility will fall in our hands.

Mrs. Marshall expressed her concerns about the tower and human life.

Mrs. Drake brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CODE OF ORDINANCES 1149.02(B)(2) HEIGHT REGULATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second reading of AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CODE OF ORDINANCES 1149.02(B)(2) HEIGHT REGULATIONS.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CODE OF ORDINANCES 1149.02(B)(2) HEIGHT REGULATIONS.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

Mrs. Drake brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING CHAPTER 1151 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second reading of AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING CHAPTER 1151 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING CHAPTER 1151 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

Adjourn:

Mr. Neff adjourned the Special Meeting of Belpre City Council.