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, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry, and Mr. Robinson present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the September 14, 2015 meeting was Councilperson Mr. Gilbert.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Lorentz gave the invocation.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the minutes of August 24, 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 since we last met Mr. Ferguson and I along with Chief Williams and Dave Shaffer have been in the process of hiring a new officer for the police department, and a laborer for the maintenance pool. At this time we are satisfied, the process is complete, and good candidate for both positions. They are in the process of physicals etc. to begin work. Hopefully by our next meeting you can meet our newest officer.
The Chamber of Commerce along with business owners and residents took part in the ribbon cutting and welcome for CAS Cable on August 31st.
September 4th we said goodbye to an old friend, as Captain Ron Burch passed away. Our officers really stood tall as they presented Mr. Burch’s Widow with a shadow box holding his old badge and whistle. This act of kindness and respect was very much appreciated by the family.
September 5th Mayor Matthews and I judged a pie contest at the county fair. This was a lot of fun but disappointing as they only had 15 entries.
September 8th marked the kick-off for the 2016 United Way campaign. I attended the breakfast and have the packets for all of council. At this time I would like to issue a challenge to all of council that you pledge at least one of your council checks to this worthy cause for 2016. With all the scout troops, seniors, BAM, recreation, and others in our community we pull more than we give as a city.
On September 9th I met with the area Mayors to discuss business of the association and pledged help for our friend Rick Phillips. Rick is the St. Mary’s City Manager and is having very serious health issues. Our prayers go out to Rick and family for his recovery.
September 10th I attended the MPO TIP meeting in Marietta. The project for both bridges is on the calendar for 2016. Paving improvements and lights at the Memorial as well as paving and minor lane changes at the Parkersburg Belpre Bridge.
On September 11th I attended the kick-off for the Stern wheel Festival in Marietta. All the Mayors and county officials offered their blessing and wishes for good weather and large crowds.
On September 12th the city was blessed with the Gathering at Civitan Park as well as Leavitt’s Gospel Sing. Hopefully some of you were able to attend and join in.
As I mentioned earlier in my report Mr. Ferguson and I are in the process of hiring a new laborer. We also started or renewed a conversation with the union about combining efforts in our city. Before you get complaints I will tell you that all needs of the city will be met. All needs of the employees will be met. It just does not make sense to have three divided departments for a dozen people. All will be included in overtime if qualified. All will be included in learning to operate different pieces of equipment so that if a retirement occurs or someone leaves we are not left with a crew that is not experienced and could possibly get hurt. At any time if you have questions or get concerns call Mr. Ferguson or I. Change is sometimes hard to swallow but it comes to us all.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson reported that sometime during the middle of 2016 stop signs would appear at all Railroad Crossings except for Farson Street and Belrock Avenue. Once in place our police department will enforce these stop signs.
We recently had a request for variance at the corner of Boulevard Drive and Braun Road. The property owner of 1448 Boulevard Drive is requesting a zoning variance on the lot depth regulations as per Ordinance 1149.01 (a). The property owner request a variance of the one hundred (100) foot depth as the property is approximately ninety-two (92) and ninety-four (94) feet in depth. A Public Hearing is scheduled for September 29th at 7:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers located at 715 Park Drive, Belpre, Ohio, to allow property owners within 100 feet of the proposed variance request to express any concerns.
The other request is at 2209 Washington Boulevard where the gentleman at 2209 Washington Boulevard has requested permission to build a large garage 15×21 at the peek.
Blennerhassett Island has received permission to build a dock at the island and has requested permission from the City of Belpre to use their landing to store equipment. If council has no objections, I will give them the go ahead to do so.
I would also like some information from the law director’s office regarding condo’s being built on C3 zoning. According to the law director C3 zoning is for marine purposes only. Condo’s can only be built on C3 zoning if there is a variance.
I would like for the seven members of council to reply to me regarding a questions I have. The question is, “What matters to you as a member of city council?” I would like feedback from our seven members of council along with responses of possible new members.
Mrs. Marshall asked Mr. Ferguson why trash wasn’t picked up on Thursday. Per Mr. Ferguson it was due to the Labor Day Holiday.
Mr. Neff stated that he had received two calls regarding the recycling trash not being picked up two weeks in a row. Mr. Ferguson said he knows this has been happening and he isn’t sure how someone is missing a big green can.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that the Adjustment Report is on line and is ready for approval. Mr. Webster will report on the Water Bill progress during his report. Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the Adjust Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported the Hazardous Chemical legislation has been prepared and will be ready to move forward once approved by committee.
We have had some neglect on payment of Water Bills. The Auditor is submitting those names to me so we can send out letters to collect these funds. I have done some checking about sewer line break on Farson Street. The landowner wants the city to fix the break however it is privately owned. If the owner can show that the property was taken over by the city at a later date than we can perhaps do something at that point in time.
Mr. Webster reported that there has been a change in the State Code regarding Income Tax Collection. The change has been submitted to R.I.T.A. for review. The change will be effective January 1, 2016.
Mr. Neff asked about the changes to Code 969 regarding garbage/rubbish. This will be addressed at the next meeting.
Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid reported that the Cash Report is on-line for review and approval. A signed copy has been given to the clerk for file. Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the Cash Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except for Mrs. Miller whom voted nay.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that the Ohio Municipal League would be holding their 64th Annual Conference on October 21-23. Please feel free to attend at your own expense.
Also you should have all received the paperwork from Mr. Gilbert regarding his proposal for the Police and Fire Committee. Please contact him on any proposals you may have.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee reported that her committee met on September 2nd, 2015 to discuss vehicles for the Police Department and the Capital Request for 2016. It was requested to purchase 2 new vehicles for the police department and a new vehicle for the water department. We will know more as we move on to 2016.
Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee was absent. No report was given in his absence.
Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mr. Robinson, Utilities Committee had no report. Mr. Robinson called a Utilities Committee meeting for September 28, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. for the purpose of discussing changes to Rubbish Removal Chapter 969
Mrs. Marshall, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mr. Newberry had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mr. Newberry, Economic Development Committee reported that the
BACC met on September 6, 2015 at 6:00 P.M. Guest speaker was Ms. Casto who is also the Area Director for the Southeastern Ohio Economic Development Association. Ms. Casto began her presentation by distributing a folder with hand out materials for the OEDA. Her comments covered the OEDA organization and its importance to Economic Development in Ohio. She outlined the numerous educational programs offered by the OEDA, stressed the opportunities to “network” in the area of Economic Development and pointed out the legislative overviews and insights available to members of the OEDA. Ms. Casto also commented on the work of the Buckeye Hills-HURDD organization. A copy of Mr. Newberry’s report is on file in Council Chambers.
Mrs. Miller, Rules Committee had no report. Mrs. Miller stated that they are starting to install fix-its for the Bike Trail throughout town. There will be one at the Administration Building at Howe’s Grove Park, Middle School and Rite Aid Drug Store,
At this time, Ms. Abdella made a motion to by-pass committee and add to tonight’s agenda for first reading RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE AMOUNTS AND RATES AS DETERMINED BY THE BUDGET COMMISSION AND AUTHORIZING THE NECESSARY TAX LEVIES AND CERTIFYING THEM TO THE COUNTY AUDITOR. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second reading A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING 2015 APPROPRIATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mrs. Miller 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. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE AMOUNTS AND RATES AS DETERMINED BY THE BUDGET COMMISSION AND AUTHORIZING THE NECESSARY TAX LEVIES AND CERTIFYING THEM TO THE COUNTY AUDITOR. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved to suspend the rule of council of three different days to allow for the second and third readings of RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE AMOUNTS AND RATES AS DETERMINED BY THE BUDGET COMMISSION AND AUTHORIZING THE NECESSARY TAX LEVIES AND CERTIFYING THEM TO THE COUNTY AUDITOR. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second and third reading RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE AMOUNTS AND RATES AS DETERMINED BY THE BUDGET COMMISSION AND AUTHORIZING THE NECESSARY TAX LEVIES AND CERTIFYING THEM TO THE COUNTY AUDITOR. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved this be Resolution 23, 2014-2015 and passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Neff reminded council that they were not to leave until they had signed the legislation in two places.
Persons Appearing Before Council- None
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to excuse Mr. Gilbert from this evenings meeting. According to Mr. Neff, Mr. Gilbert had an excusable absence. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Newberry addressed playground equipment with Mr. Ferguson.
Ms. Abdella made a motion for a voice vote to purchase two police cars by September 15, 2015 for this year’s prices. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella addressed C3 Zoning with Mr. Webster.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:15 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.