Council President Mr. Neff called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Neff called the roll with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Miller, and Mr. Newberry present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Miss Martin and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the May 12, 2014 meeting was Councilperson Mr. Robinson.
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 and Girl Scout Troop 1036 led the Pledge of Allegiance as well as the Girl Scout pledge.
Mr. Neff asked for a motion to accept the minutes of the previous meeting. Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of April 28, 2014, 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’s Report:
Before this meeting I provided Mr. Martin a copy of the roadway estimates for this year’s paving projects.
On April 30, Peter Krantz at 91.9 FM interviewed me. The station interviews people across the country to showcase their cities or areas. My interview will air sometime in June to start.
On May 1st I attended the CHIP Housing Advisory Meeting with the Commissioners. Although different in the future we will see no difference until 2015.
May 1st I attended the National Day of Prayer on the Courthouse steps. This is a very meaningful occasion when so many people of different faith come together for prayer.
On May 2nd I attended the AERO Luncheon honoring the top 10 of our High School students.
May 3rd I enjoyed being able to throw out the 1st ball for the little league season start. Mr. Tony Dunn was honored with throwing out the 1st softball for 2014.
May 6th Mr. Ferguson and I met with the PM Company to discuss the final touches for the new firehouse. That evening I went to the United Way Office for interviews for the Recreation commission and Sr. Center grants.
O.D.O.T and the parties involved have been discussing the safety funds we spoke about last month. As you may remember I reported that our portion for the two bridge projects was approximately $75,000.00 to be expended in 2017. After the Safety Funding Committee met one project dropped a few dollars and the other went up. We feel the portion that they will not fund is the non-skid paving at the Memorial Bridge. If funded our match would be about $20,000.00 or 4%. The Belpre bridge match is $62,500.00 instead of $75,000.00. Our match for both will now come in at $82,500.00. Unless I hear differently from council tonight I will continue the process of keeping this alive.
Tonight during new business I would like to recognize Girl Scout Troop 1036. These young ladies have completed their silver level in girl scouting which requires some 50 hours completing a project. This group is responsible for the tire project we have planted flowers in and most of the fire hydrants that have been painted throughout our community. Mayor Lorentz also recognized Boy Scout Troop 13 who was present at the meeting.
Mayor Lorentz recognizing our outstanding seniors read a Proclamation. Susie Casto was present and introduced two of our outstanding seniors. Susie also recognized our veterans you have passed. A special program will be held on May 22, 2014 to recognize our veterans.
Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson announced that before us this evening is Fred Holmes to address council on electrical aggregation under new business. I also have 2-request for rezoning. I would like for the committee to address and forward on to council. I also have a request of council to consider in the Supplemental Appropriations approximately $10,000 to fix approximately 7 to 9 holes in the Brentwood area that is in much need of repair. If we don’t do something about these holes we are going to lose a lot of the street. Ms. Abdella asked if this was considered in the supplemental. Mr. Ferguson stated that he had sprung this on Ms. Pittenger today. Ms. Abdella asked that the paperwork also be included.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger announced that this week is the City-wide Beautification Week. Also on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Belpre in Bloom will be working in the city to help beautify our city. I would like to ask the President of Council to assign to committee the Supplemental Appropriations for 2014. Last but not least I would like to have the Utility Adjustment Report for the Month of April approved. Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Utility Adjustment Report for the Month of April as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster made council aware of the parcel of real estate that has been taxable. Auditor received notice that action had been taken however Washington County has not received. This came about due to the widening of Farson Street. Secondly I want to thank the Mayor and those who participated in opening day. Thirdly we do have a city ordinance for grass clippings in the street. This is a violation of our ordinance. The first time you will get a warning and the next time you will be fined.
Treasurer Miss Martin reported that a copy of the Treasurer’s Report was distributed prior to this evening meeting and is awaiting council approval. A copy of the report has been posted on the cities website and a signed copy has been presented to the Council Clerk. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff assigned to committee the Amendment to the Electric Aggregation Program.
Mr. Neff also assigned to committee the Supplemental Appropriations for 2014.
Mr. Neff reported that the repair of the CSX Railroad Crossing at Pomeroy Pike was scheduled for July.
Mr. Neff had received communication from the law director’s office regarding abandoned vehicles and the landscaping legislation. Per council there will be no further action at this time on abandoned vehicles and the landscaping legislation was passed.
Mr. Neff had received communication from Marian Keith regarding our Belpre Youth Chamber.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report. Ms. Abdella stated that she would be calling a committee meeting for the purpose of discussing the Supplemental Appropriations for 2014.
Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee reported that his committee met prior to this evenings meeting to discuss the Manpower Ordinance for hiring one additional police officer. Mr. Gilbert stated that this is a joint consideration, as it also has to do with finances. There will be further discussion on this topic at a later time.
Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer Committee had no report. At this time, Mr. Martin added to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE MASTER AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE ELECTRIC AGGREGATION PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Robinson was absent. No report was given for the Utilities Committee.
Mrs. Marshall had no report for the Parks and Recreation Committee.
Mr. Newberry had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee. Mr. Newberry stated that two buildings have been removed, one building on Main Street and the other one on Washington Boulevard.
Mr. Newberry had no report for the Economic Development Committee.
Mrs. Miller had no report for the Rules Committee. Mrs. Miller stated that she is still working on the written policy regarding city employees using social media and Fracking. There will be a meeting called at a later time.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Mr. Martin brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE MASTER AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE ELECTRIC AGGREGATION PROGRAM. Discussion followed. Mr. Fred Holmes with Volunteer Energy discussed the rates before council. Ms. Abdella stated that when comparing Apples to Apples she didn’t feel that there was a great savings to herself or to the community. Ms. Holmes was going to gather information and report back to council by Friday May 16, 2014. Council agreed to have the first two readings on the ordinance this evening and call a special meeting for Monday May 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM for the third reading providing all members are in agreement. A vote was taken on the first reading with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Martin moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second reading of AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE MASTER AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE ELECTRIC AGGREGATION PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Martin brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE MASTER AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE ELECTRIC AGGREGATION PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council that will be on May 19, 2014 at 7PM.
Persons Appearing Before Council-
With us this evening was Boy Scout Troop 13 who is working toward their Citizenship Badge.
Also recognized was Girl Scout Troop 1036 for all their hard work with Belpre in Bloom.
Mr. Newberry made a motion to excuse Mr. Robinson from this evening’s meeting. Mr. Robinson contacted President of Council Mr. Neff and he stated that Mr. Robinson had an excusable absence. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Martin made a motion to cancel our May 26, 2014 meeting due to Memorial Day. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to adjourn at 8:40 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.