President of Council Mr. Martin called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:30p.m. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Drake, Mr. Gant, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and City Treasurer Ms. Carpenter. Absent from the July22, 2019 meeting was City Auditor Miss Pittenger and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.
Mr. Martin asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Gant gave the invocation.
Since the clerk has been out of town there was no minutes for this evenings meeting. The clerk will prepare minutes when she returns and have them the first meeting in August.
Reports of City Officials:
Mayor Lorentz reported that the tree commission and I are continuing to work on our wetland grant at Civitan Park. Some of the earth work will happen this fall weather and funding permitting. The planting and walkway probably early next spring. As the engineering students study our project it changes daily.
July 10th I attended the chamber breakfast and met with Dominique Ciano from the State Auditor’s Office.
July 11th I met with the entire Opiod Hub group to discuss the housing, rehabilitation needs as well as transportation needs for these folks. The group seems to be growing and fully committed. We heard good things at the drug court also.
The Mayors of Washington County met to discuss the need for a land bank. All in attendance seem to believe it is needed and could work to our favor. Our goal is to meet with Township Trustees this week and get their opinion of the project.
Saturday the 13th I cooked a couple hundred hot dogs for the Alumni Association Ice Cream Social. Weather was hot but a good day for ice cream. The numbers were down but, still a good time and opportunity to help students.
The officers received their new bullet proof vests from a grant sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. They received 8 new vests and vest carriers, total cost $8,279.82.
Latest word on the opening of the new Burger King is Mid-August.
Chief Cronin has promoted two members of the department to Lieutenant, and another has completed the safety officer training. He has asked that I swear them in for their new role in the Fire Department. The three firefighters that were sworn in to the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department was David Starcher, Chris Guile and Kareem Wright Starcher. Chris Guile was promoted to lieutenant, while Wright was promoted to safety officer.
Radio Broadcaster Kirk McCall, who was in attendance, was recognized on his upcoming induction into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross announced that the Farson Street hillside street repair should begin in a couple of weeks.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent. No report was given in her absence.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.
City Treasurer Ms. Carpenter had no report.
Communications and Petitions: None
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit Committee had no report.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report.
Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mr. Gant Utilities Committee had no report. Mr. Gant did address speed limit signs on Poplar Street.
Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee had no report however the committee will meet this Thursday at 6PM at the Chamber.
Ms. Riffle, Rules Committee had no report. Ms. Riffle addressed the light issue at Main Street and Washington Boulevard by the bridge. She stated that the timing needs looked at.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: – None
NEW BUSINESS: None
PERSONS APPEARING BEFORE COUNCIL:
Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street addressed Police and Fire committee Chairman and Council member Donna Miller on her desire to see the Golf Cart Ordinance brought to the attention of the council to be readdressed and reconsidered. Karen stated that we are not the only city interested in the use of golf carts. “We are a small community that is generally safe and we have a member of responsible folks who would like to use them.”
Issues regarding golf carts on city streets has been an ongoing issue that has been discussed for several years.
According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, golf carts and other under speed vehicles are authorized at the discretion of the head authority where they can be operated.
Also golf carts are permitted on city streets in Ohio where the speed limit is 35 mph or less if the street is “deemed safe” which means they have proper plates, registration and turn signal equipment.
Belpre resident Tom Logston also expressed his desire for the ordinance to be revisited. Mr. Logston stated that his wife was handicapped and the cart he purchased was equipped with headlights, taillights, etc. for her safety.
Council person Donna Miller assured residents that the issue would not be ignored and that she would call a committee meeting at the August 12th, 2019 meeting. Mrs. Miller stated that she needed time to prepare so that the issue could be addressed appropriately.
Mayor Lorentz has concerns about allowing golf carts to operate on the streets. His concern was passing through major roadways like Ste. Route 618 and that could be unsafe.
Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn 8:07 p.m. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.