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: Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry, and Mr. Robinson present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Law Director Mr. Webster and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the April 13, 2015 meeting was City Auditor Miss Pittenger, Treasurer Miss Martin and Council person Ms. Abdella.
At this time, Mr. Neff asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of March 23, 2015, 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 Monday March 30th I met with ODOT inspectors along with Mr. Ferguson and David Shaffer to inspect the Wirt Street Bridge. Some of you are aware that the bridge was damaged due to a vehicle colliding with the east side guard railing. At the initial and preliminary inspection time the bridge was totally closed. At some point we may be able to open with strict load limits BUT be prepared it may be permanent unless funding is found and approved. When legislation is prepared I will need to get it passed so that we can take advantage of the program.
April 30th started the first day for our new Sergeant in the Police Department. Sergeant Tyler Heddleston was the successful candidate for this round of promotions. At this time I would like to swear in our newest Sergeant. Mayor Lorentz swore in Sgt. Heddleston at this time and recognized his guest.
On another note we have a competitive test within the ranks of the Police Department. Testing will be on June 1st for the position of Police Chief for the City.
April 1st Mr. Ferguson and I attended the Muskingum Valley Area Chamber Luncheon in Beverly. Our very own Eric Sinnett was honored for his service to the city as a fire fighter and Chief. The award was presented from the Muskingum Chamber and Sons of the American Revolution.
April 5th marked the 100th birthday for Mary Hannigan. Mary is Red Cross Director Sharon Kesselring’s mother and a proclamation was prepared in her honor from the city to mark this special day.
April 8th I attended the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program at ODOT headquarters in Marietta. Mr. Ferguson and I received the mapping of all road projects in Washington County.
I have reserved the Valley Gem Sternwheeler for July 8th, as this is the month Belpre sponsors the Mid-Ohio-Valley Mayor’s association meeting. If council is interested in attending please let us know in the office prior to July 1.
Council, as you travel your precincts or neighborhoods please let your constituents know that blowing your lawn waste and clippings into the street is against city ordinance. We did not buy a sweeper, nor do we have the employees to clean out catch basins due to our lack of respect for our city. The Police Department has been instructed to site for these violations. Personally I witnessed debris on Blennerhassett, Mary, Belrock and Rockland. If I can see it so can our officers.
Buckeye Hills has announced grant funding is now open and due on May 18th for CDBG and ARC grants. Mr. Wiggins has resubmitted the CDBG for sidewalks and I am working the ARC for water line improvements on Farson and wastewater equipment at our plant.
Do NOT forget to send your financial disclosure forms in before the 15th!
Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson announced that the Belpre Historical Society “Founders Day Dinner” would be held on April 14, 2015 at 6:00 PM. Cost is $20 per person. Reservations are necessary and must be made no later than April 5th.
Mr. Ferguson stated that he had placed on your desk a Press Release from the PUCO encouraging safety at rail crossings. Mr. Ferguson stated that every three hours, a train in the United States hits a person or vehicle. Many crashes at railroad crossings occur because motorists fail to stop at the crossing drive around the gates or stop/stall on the tracks.
The PUCO is encouraging you to practice caution when traveling over rail crossings.
Before me this evening is a request for a windmill at 1451 Boulevard Drive. The windmill will be decorative in nature. According to some individuals in our law office it is an accessory structure and we must have a Public Hearing. Mr. Ferguson requested names and addresses of residents living within 150 feet of where the windmill would be placed. Once letters are sent out to residents informing them of the request we will hold our Public Hearing.
Due to numerous possibilities of leaks at our city pool I would like to announce that the pool has been sealed around many edges and it is looking much better.
At this time, Mr. Ferguson introduced Andrew Kimball. Kimball Company was our successful bidder for the next five years for garbage collections. This company has worked with the city for the past five years. There will be a weekly curbside recycling with no sorting necessary. Letters will be sent out to all residents around the 27th of April as the 1-7 grades of plastic that will be recyclable. Residents should receive their recycling containers around June 15 with the first recycling pick up on July 2nd. The containers will be at no cost to the consumer; however there will be an increase in the program per cost to household. This is now in the hands of our City Auditor. Kimball Company has two garbage trucks and one recycling truck. All collections will begin no earlier then 6AM. Discussion followed.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent. No report was given in her absence.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.
Treasurer Miss Martin was absent. No report was given.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that he had received the following correspondence:
A press release was distributed from the Ohio PUCO, encouraging safety at rail crossings.
An invitation from The Belpre Historical Society inviting us to attend their “Founders Day Dinner” on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 6PM.
Mr. Neff stated that he had the opportunity to meet with Leslie and Denise Blair one of our State Auditors regarding Councils role in the Budgetary Process. Mr. Neff stated that it was a very informative meeting.
As a reminder April 15, 2015 is approaching very quickly. I would like to remind members of council that if you haven’t already done so please take a minute and send in your Financial Disclosure Forms so that you are not fined.
I received a letter from the State of Ohio regarding (The Ohio Checkbook.com).
Mr. Neff distributed Council assignments regarding our Budget items. He would like members of council to be proactive on this assignment.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee was absent. Mr. Gilbert called a committee meeting for April 27, 2015 at 7:15 PM for the purpose of discussing the Everbridge Communication.
Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee had no report. Mr. Gilbert called a committee meeting for April 27th, 2015 at 7:00 PM for the purpose of discussing Golf Cars.
Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report. Mr. Martin asked about the first paragraph of the Mayors report regarding the Wirt Street Bridge. Mr. Martin asked if the legislation was prepared. According to the Mayor and Law Director the legislation is prepared however there is no attachment.
Mr. Robinson, Utilities Committee had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mr. Newberry had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mr. Newberry had no report for Economic Development Committee. Mr. Newberry stated that he attended the Chambers Economic Development Meeting and that the meeting was very productive with a lot of interesting information shared. Bob McCloy was very interested in seeing the community grow.
Mrs. Miller had no report for the Rules Committee. Mrs. Miller stated that she would be addressing the citywide cleanup.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: None
New Business: None
Persons Appearing Before Council-
Harlen Colvin, 732 George Street addressed Council regarding the fresh drinking water that was being emptied onto our city streets. Mr. Ferguson stated that parts have been ordered however they have not yet been received. Mr. Ferguson to check about the parts. Also addressed was the plugged up drywells at the upper end of George Street on the CSX right of way.
Eric Sinnett, 927 Belrock Avenue addressed storm drainage.
Michelle Fought, 930 Belrock Avenue also addressed storm drainage.
Kim Meredith, 1102 Blennerhassett Avenue addressed trashcans along city streets, and properties not being cleaned up throughout the city.
Sam Pittman addressed the Cities Noise Ordinance. Bohio wants to hold a Cinco de Mayo Celebration on May 7 from 1-9PM. They wanted to have music in the parking lot and wanted approval from council.
Mr. Webster Belpre Jr. Baseball thanked all those who helped with the leave situation at the park.
Mr. Gilbert made a motion to excuse Ms. Abdella from this evenings meeting. Mr. Neff stated that she had to attend a meeting at work. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 9:02PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.