Council President Mr. Martin called the January 13, 2020 meeting to order at 7:30PM. Council President stated that the first order of business was to appoint a Council Clerk for the 2020-2021 term.  Council President Mr. Martin stated that he has asked the clerk if she would maintain the position and she agreed.  Ms. Riffle closed the nomination and a voice vote was taken by council members appointing Mrs. Meredith as the Council Clerk. The roll was called with the following members present: Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Gant, Mr. Locke, Ms. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Mayor Lorentz,  Safety Service Director Ms. Hoblitzell,  City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, City Treasurer Ms. Copeland, and Council Clerk Mrs. Meredith.

Council President Mr. Martin asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mr. Gant gave the invocation.

Next order of business was selection of Council Appointments/Committees and Chairs.

First was a motion for Council President Pro-tem.  Both Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Riffle informed council that they were interested in the position.  Ms. Miller made a motion for the appointment of Mr. Ferguson.  Mr. Locke made a motion for the appointment of Ms. Riffle.  A voice vote was called Mr. Ferguson voting for himself, Mr. Gant voting for Ms. Riffle, Mr. Locke voting for Ms. Riffle, Ms. Miller voting for Mr. Ferguson, Ms. Riffle voting for herself and Mr. Shutts voting for Ms. Riffle.  The vote was 2 for Mr. Ferguson and 4 for Ms. Riffle.  Ms. Riffle was appointed as Council President Pro-tem.

Council President Mr. Martin stated that the next order of business was to accept the committees and chairs.  He stated that he had sent out the committees a couple of weeks ago for review.  He asked if there were any discussions.  Hearing none he asked for a motion. Mr. Locke asked about the (?) under the committee assignments.  Mr. Martin stated that when the Central Committee fills the Council at Large position they will fulfill that position. Ms. Miller told the President of Council that he should go ahead and put Mrs. Drake in as Council at large because he was holding the seat for her. Depending on who is put in that position there may be a few changes however I will not change the chairs. That way we will still have the stability in the chairs. Mr. Locke made a motion to accept the committees as presented.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except for Mrs. Miller who voted nay.

Council President Mr. Martin asked for a nomination for Clerk of Council Pro-tem.  Mr. Ferguson stated that he would do it.  Mr. Gant made a motion to appoint Mr. Ferguson as Council Clerk pro-tem.  The roll was called with all members of council present voting aye.

Council President Mr. Martin stated that council is set all except the Council at Large position in which the Central Committee has 45 days to appoint someone to the position.

Council President Mr. Martin stated that going forward he wanted to give direction as to how legislation will go.  Coming from the Law Director it will come to me to be assigned to committee no matter if it comes from the law director on the day of the meeting.  It will still be assigned to committee.  It will be up to the committee chair whether or not we need to vote on it that day.

Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the minutes of December 9, 2019 meeting as presented and by-pass the reading.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson made a motion to accept the minutes of January 1, 2020 Organizational meeting as presented and by-pass the reading.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Moving forward Council President Mr. Martin thanked the Council Clerk for the work she puts into her position.

Reports of City Officials:

Mayor Lorentz announced that with us tonight is Jeff Greenley, Superintendent of Belpre City Schools, Lance Irwin and Brenda Church.  Mr. Greenley is here tonight to discuss plans for our schools.  The title of his presentation is Board Retreat – Creating the Portrait of a Graduate. A copy of his presentation is on file in council chambers.

Mayor Lorentz announced that on December 13th I attended the Annual Donor Reception at Washington State Community College. During this reception our Sergeant Tyler Heddleston was recognized as the 2019 Distinguished Alumni of the college. Please let Tyler know we are proud of him and his service when you are given the chance.

On December 14th my wife and I took part in the Wreaths across America remembrance at Cedarville Cemetery. Our local Rotary Club placed wreaths on every veteran’s grave at Cedarville as well as at the memorial here at Howe’s Grove.

Some of you may know that negotiations with the AFSCME Union are not going well. We are heading to mediation as neither side is willing to budge on a couple issues.

January 6th I presented awards to our School Board Members to recognize School Board Appreciation Month. I felt it an honor to be asked and presented all members a certificate.

Please mark your calendar for the Ribbon Cutting at Hawkins Dental Office January 17th at 1:30.

Everyone should have received a notice to complete your Financial Disclosure Statement for the Ohio Ethics Commission. Make sure this is completed by the drop dead date.

Board of Zoning,

  1. Marian Duvall
  2. Bob Raugh
  3. Janet Gilbert

Recreation Commission,

  1. Zach Carte
  2. Bill Locke
  3. Nathan Greene

Civil Service.

  1. John Underwood
  2. Karen Waller
  3. Ron Duvall

Health Board

  1. Justine Bodenhoff
  2. Joel Whittaker
  3. Michael Lorentz

The Chaplaincy Program for our city has been quite successful to date. The Celebration Center is now bringing this training to our city so to reduce the cost and time commitment for our pastors and volunteers. Pastor Rob sent a flyer if you know anyone interested.

Safety-Service Director, Ms. Hoblitzell reported that the survey was done @ Orion Plant so we can get started on upgrades to the lift station.

Insurance meeting was held in December and we may have the ability to offer 2 different plans.

Mediation for the AFSCME did not end well and we will now be going to fact finding.  We were just sent a list of five persons to choose from for the fact finder and a date should be set soon.

Attended the WWW meeting in December.  Curbs and ramps will be done on Washington Blvd.

The “No Turn on Red” sign was installed today from Main St onto the Bridge to Parkersburg.  Persons will be issued a warning for 30 days.  After 30 days of this installation, they will be ticketed.

Attended the mayor’s dinner in December.  All in attendance from the city had a nice time.

After reviewing the emergency plan for the city of Belpre, I have determined it needs a huge facelift.  Anyone interested in helping look at this plan or putting a committee together to upgrade the plan, please let me know.

I put the MCA Fiscal Report on everyone’s desk.

I recently reviewed the personnel policy manual.  There is no limit on meals for travel.  I am submitting the meals limitations to the rules committee.

The mayor and I signed the final paperwork for the UFCW union agreement, it was already agreed upon, but the signature copies were just given to us.

The invoices to receive reimbursement grant funds for the Farson St project, have been submitted and should receive a check within a week.

Met with Burton Planning for the kick off meeting for Belpre’s Strategic Plan that council approved in October.

We are asking for an appropriation to add capital to the temporary budget that was approved at the December meeting.  All the capital was removed from that temporary budget without our knowledge. We received bills from Burton Planning Services, LLC in the amount of 978.75 for Belpre’s Strategic Plan, again that council approved in October, from Burgess & Niple in the amount of $13,550 to finish the plans for the lift station at Orion and from our Toni Tiano in the amount of $1,000 and $11,000 for the rest of the year for grant services.  Total requested is $26,528.75.

= $978.75 301-24-2401-4-4466 = $12,000 603-28-2801-4-4060 = $6,775 602-27-2701-4-4060 =$6,775 we also are requesting an appropriation for $80,000 to cover a man in the sewer department.  This department requires another employee.  These wages were also taken from the budget without our knowledge.  The $80,000 would go into the accounts for wages, Medicare, insurance, dues, etc.

Matt West will be obtaining his CDL license.  He will be required to take the DOT physical and DOT drug testing.

Council President Mr. Martin asked council and the administration to please email all your reports to the clerk.

Mr. Locke asked the SSD when the kick off meeting was with Burton Planning Services. According to the SSD it was last week.  Mr. Locke asked when the next one would be held that he would like to attend.  According to the Mayor there was not one set but he would let Mr. Locke know so that he could attend.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that she was able to obtain a $1,000 Grant from our insurance for Safety Equipment.  I do not have a report to give you this evening as I have been locked out of the website.  The Treasurer and I will have a report at the next meeting.  I didn’t think it was fair to ask you to approve something that you haven’t even seen.

City Law Director Mr. Webster asked all members of council if they received an email from his office today regarding council rules.  No one reported that they did not receive.  Mr. Webster stated that he would have a report at the next meeting on the number of Mayor Court cases as well as Municipal Court cases.

City Treasurer Ms. Copeland had no report as the website was down.

Communications and Petitions:  – None

Council President Mr. Martin assigned the following to committee.




Report of Standing Committee: 

Council President Mr. Martin asked Mr. Ferguson to check on all appropriations and contracts.  I would like council to know what is in the works.

Mr. Ferguson Finance/ Audit Committee thanked everyone for their kind words and expression of sympathy with the passing of my mother-in-law.  Mr. Ferguson stated that he had received a letter from the Human Society of Marietta wanting to come to council with a proposal.  Mr. Ferguson called a Finance/Audit Committee meeting for Monday, January 27. 2020 at 6:45 PM for the purpose of discussing the Humane Society Contract, Touch on the 2020 Appropriations and Credit Card Policy for the City of Belpre.

Council President Mr. Martin informed council that he has been asked to start the process with the nuisance ordinance.  Mr. Martin asked Mr. Gant to please meet with the Chief on this.  Also questions on firefighter’s dependency board members…needs to be assigned to your committee.

Mr. Gant, Police and Fire Committee announced that the kick off for the Census would be held at the Belpre Senior Center on January 30th, 2020.  There will also be a ribbon cutting.  I would like to call a Police and Fire Committee meeting for January 22, 2020 at 6PM for the purpose of discussing the Firefighters Dependency Board and the Impound Lot.

Ms. Riffle Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report but requested that junk cars be reassigned to her committee.  I will be calling a meeting at our next meeting.

???? Utilities Committee no report.

Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report. Mr. Webster wants to have a discussion on the swimming pool as to whether or not we are going to open it.  Mr. Shutts stated that the contract was already signed.  Mr. Webster stated that the contract is signed if we open.  Ms. Miller asked if there would be an open meeting on the city pool.  She stated that she has had a lot of citizens asking questions about it.  Mr. Martin stated that there would be an open meeting.

Mr. Locke Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.  The Mayor asked Mr. Locke if he had any information on the Burton Planning Project.  Mr. Locke stated that he was new to the project.  Mayor Lorentz is to send him information on this project.

Mr. Locke Economic Development had no report.

Council President Mr. Martin informed Ms. Miller that he had a request from the SSD to place in committee a look into capping employee expense.

Ms. Miller Rules Committee had no report.

Judy Drake 713 Oak Tree Drive, Belpre addressed council on her recent trip to the White House Conference in Washington DC on December 12th 2019.  This conference was held for elected municipal women officials across the United States.  Government department heads relating to various areas of municipalities were present to answer questions and concerns for cities and villages of all sizes and to assist communities.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.  None

Unfinished Business: – None



Charlie Schilling appeared before council as he is running for County Commissioner.  He lives at 590 Stoney Run Road, Beverly, Ohio.  Mr. Schilling spoke about himself and why he feels he is a good candidate for County Commissioner.  He has 4 children of which he and his wife Carrie adopted 2 children from the Washington County Children Services.  He would like to provide better communication within our county and work toward common goals.

Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street asked about the no right turn on red on Washington Boulevard and Main Street.  Mrs. Locke stated that she saw they put the sign up today.

Mr. Locke asked about the Software quotes and contract.  Mr. Locke was informed that the quote was for $130,000 and was all part of the appropriations.

Mayor Lorentz stated that we have two bills that can’t be paid because money was taken out of the Capital Fund.  According to Ms. Pittenger there has been no money put into the Capital Fund for the last four years for the Temporary Appropriations.  Mayor Lorentz stated that he has never seen business conducted like this.  Ms. Pittenger stated that she was directed at the Finance meeting to remove all capital expenditures from the Temporary Appropriations.

Mr. Martin asked council who was responsible for getting the new name plates for our new members on council. Ms. Pittenger volunteered to take care of the name plates for all new members of council.


Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn at 8:49 PM.   A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.