Council President Mr. Martin called the June 8, 2020 meeting to order at 7:33 PM. Our meeting is being conducted through ZOOM due to the COVID-19 virus.  Also Council members were present in council chambers for the meeting.  The roll was called with the following members present: Mrs. Drake, Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Gant, Mr. Locke, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle, and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, City Treasurer Mrs. 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 and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed everyone back to Council Chambers for the meeting.  He stated that we will get through this the best way we know how.

Ms. Riffle pointed out there was a correction to the minutes. On page 5, 2nd paragraph from the bottom Mr. Bo’s name was changed to Mr. Bowe.  Ms. Riffle pointed out that this was already changed and it does reflect in the minutes. Hearing that Ms. Riffle moved forward with the motion to accept the minutes of May 25, 2020 meeting 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 The Beautify Belpre Committee has done a remarkable job in getting everything planted and cleaned up around our parks. The community has responded as well as the local business people in sponsoring the baskets and large flower pots.

The Chamber of Commerce celebrated the re-opening of Zenergy Massage. They are now at the small plaza at Stone Road and Washington Blvd. If you know Kenna Lewis please congratulate her on her beautiful new facility.

On June 1st the Service Director, Denzil Ray, our engineer and I met with the county engineer and the county’s engineering firm responsible for the meter change out. At this time the parameters of the exchange have changed once again, so we held the meeting to assure whatever was changed did not cause any further problems on the west end of town. As we progress through this project, I will keep you informed.

The Service Director can explain the huge change in our newest slip on dragstrip Road. Much work will be needed before we can re-open. In a two-week period this has grown from a huge crack in the pavement to a four-foot drop.

July 10 from 4 until 10 pm the center roadway at Civitan Park will be closed for a smaller version of Relay for Life. The luminaries will be placed along the track or roadway for the walk.

On Sunday May 31st. with the rally’s and or riots being talked about in Parkersburg our Sheriff Mincks, Lieutenant Chesar from the State Patrol, and our officers responded to our city so to assure good conduct and safety for all. Many thanks to these outside agencies for being so responsive to Washington County and Belpre.

Safety-Service Director/IT Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that in her report she was going to talk about the meter change out however it was in the Mayor’s Report.  Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that they are close to an agreement.

Denzil and I started talking about the back water valves.  The City of Belpre does not have an ordinance and we should have.  We have been paying for cleaning out basements because sewers keep backing up in the area.  Larry passed out a copy to everyone this evening to review.  This is an ordinance to put in place for the back water valves.  I took the ordinance from Green Valley but it fits what we need.  I assume you will do a committee on that.

We started Drug Testing the first week of June.  Happy to say that those tested all came back negative.

Talked to Laura with FEMA and she did send a check to be paid.

I was also going to talk about dragstrip road and the Grand Opening of Zenergy however the Mayor included this in his report.

I’m still working on HBAC.

I redid the Manpower and it has been sent out.

Trash and Recycling went to Rumpke.  There will be an increase just not sure of the amount yet.  Leslie and I need to discuss.  Miss Pittenger stated that it will be somewhere around $4.

The owner of Zenergy contacted Mr. Martin about folks from the Flea Market parking in her space.  He asked that Mrs. Hoblitzell check into this.

Mr. Gant stated that the City of Parkersburg just went through the issue with the backwater on Park Avenue.  Mrs. Hoblitzell asked Mr. Gant if they have an ordinance in place.  According to Mr. Gant he thought they did.  He suggested that she contact them to get information.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger announced that the State Auditors arrived today to start their audit.  We are about two months behind on the audit process.  First of all they weren’t allow to travel when everyone was working from home.  They will be here until Thursday if anyone wants to meet with them.  They are reviewing payroll and checks.  Today they worked on expenses and next they will work on revenue and other miscellaneous things to be sure we are doing everything correctly.  They have already found some things.  I’m amazed because they were really tough on us last year.  I’m surprised anything slipped through the crack.  We will have some things to work on.  I’m going to ask tonight and it has already been approved in the budget and it has to be in the minutes.  I ask that we verbally vote on transferring $10,000 from the General Fund to the Pool to cover current expenses.  Mr. Shutts made a motion to transfer $10,000 from the General Fund to the Pool to cover expenses.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Miss Pittenger also stated that she needs the March, April and May Adjustment Reports approved by council.  There are copies on the back table and the reports are on the cities website and have been for a while.  Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the March, April and May Adjustment Reports as presented.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Riffle asked about the audit and didn’t we already do an in brief before all this started.

Miss Pittenger stated that we have a group that comes in and prepares our GAP Statement that is required by the State.  They basically put together all our financial information and now the auditors do their part.

Ms. Riffle stated that in the past she has gone to the in brief and I was wondering if we have already had this, this year.  According to Miss Pittenger we have not and we may not.  We will have an exit.

President of Council Mr. Martin asked that if you have a question please wait until recognized before asking the questions.

City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.

City Treasurer Mrs. Copeland asked that council approve the March, April and May Cash Report.  Copies appear on the back table, on the cities website and signed and dated copies have been given to the clerk for file.  Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the March, April and May Cash report as presented.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Communications and Petitions:

President of Council Mr. Martin assigned the following to committee:  Backwater Valve Ordinance to Mrs. Drake and Changes to the Zoning Ordinance to Mrs. Miller.  He asked that the committee work on these assignments quickly as Mrs. Hoblitzell is in need of them.

Report of Standing Committee: 

Mr. Ferguson Finance/ Audit Committee reported that the Finance/Audit Committee met prior to this evenings meeting via ZOOM.  Those present were Mr. Gant, Ms. Riffle, Mr. Locke, Mrs. Drake and Mr. Shutts. The committee met to discuss the Senior Citizen Contract, Supplemental Appropriations, Designation of Public Depository and COVID. We will add these four pieces of legislation to tonight’s agenda when appropriate.  President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed Mr. Ferguson back.

Mr. Ferguson made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER.  The roll was called with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson stated that if you weren’t here when these were discussed they were all approved by the committee to add to tonight’s agenda.

Mr. Ferguson made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING YEAR 2020 APPROPRIATIONS.  Mr. Ferguson stated that he wasn’t sure why we were doing this because we were taking money out.  We have always done this when we were adding to.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE ESTIMATED AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF PUBLIC FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR DEPOSIT DURING NEXT (5) YEARS FOR DESIGNATION OF PUBLIC DEPOSITORY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO TO EXPEND FUNDS TO COVER COSTS OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO CONSISTENT WITH REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 5001 OF THE CARES ACT.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Gant, Police and Fire Committee had no report.  President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed Mr. Gant back.

Ms. Riffle Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.  Ms. Riffle stated that she will be calling a meeting the next time. President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed Ms. Riffle back.

Mrs. Drake Utilities Committee had no report.  Mrs. Drake asked if we needed to have a committee meeting before the next meeting regarding the backwater valve.  According to Mayor Lorentz we do need to have a meeting.  Mrs. Drake called a Utilities Committee meeting for the next meeting at 7PM for the purpose of discussing the Backwater Valve. President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed Mrs. Drake back.

President of Council Mr. Martin stated that if Mrs. Hoblitzell needs this in a hurry we will need to clean it up in a hurry so the law director can get the ordinances in place.  Mr. Webster pointed out in Section 3 an effective date on new construction.  Mr. Webster stated that you will want to be careful doing this.  Mrs. Hoblitzell informed Judy that she also needs to look at the water ordinance.  Mr. Webster stated that we should look to see if Marietta and Parkersburg has a water ordinance in place.  If they do we can use them for examples.

Mrs. Miller was wondering if there were requirements by the Health Department on the water.  She was informed that there would not be any requirements by the Health Department.

Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.  Mr. Shutts asked why Depot Park had yellow tape around it.  Mr. Shutts was informed by Mrs. Hoblitzell that the parks were closed due to the COVID and would reopen June 10, 2020. Playgounds and shelters are mandated by the Governor and are to remain closed until June 10, 2020.  President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed Mr. Shutts back.

Mr. Locke asked about the tape on the bleachers at the ballpark.  Will that tape come off then also?  Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that yes it would.

Mr. Locke Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.  President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed Mr. Locke back.

Mr. Locke Economic Development Committee had no report.  President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed Mr. Locke back.

Mrs. Miller Rules Committee had no report.  President of Council Mr. Martin welcomed Mrs. Miller back.  She said it was good to be back.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.  None

Unfinished Business:

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AUTHORIZED MANPOWER FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2020.  Dave gave a point of clarification to the changes from the last ordinance that was passed.  Mr. Ferguson stated that we have a Utility Supervisor that was promoted because we didn’t have a Senior Operator at the Sewer Plant.  Mr. Ferguson asked if this would be long term.  According to Mrs. Hoblitzell she didn’t know.  Mayor Lorentz stated that it would stay. We have been unsuccessful finding someone for the position. Further discussion followed.  Mr. Webster stated that in order to maintain changes to that document someone has to propose an entire new Manpower Ordinance, otherwise you vote as submitted.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except Ms. Riffle whom voted nay.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

NEW BUSINESS: 

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Riffle showed concern that we are paying for services rendered that have not been approved.  Ms. Riffle feels that there needs to be an amendment or some kind of clause should this happen again.

Mr. Webster stated that he wouldn’t change the contract at this point however it can be changed next year.

Mr. Locke showed his appreciation for those who are keeping the Senior Center going.

Mr. Ferguson moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for second and third readings A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson moved this be Resolution #3, 2020-2021 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING YEAR 2020 APPROPRIATIONS.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE ESTIMATED AGGREGATE AMOUNTS OF PUBLIC FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR DEPOSIT DURING NEXT (5) YEARS FOR DESIGNATION OF PUBLIC DEPOSITORY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE ESTIMATED AGGREGATE AMOUNTS OF PUBLIC FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR DEPOSIT DURING NEXT (5) YEARS FOR DESIGNATION OF PUBLIC DEPOSITORY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for the second and third readings A RESOLUTION DECLARING THE ESTIMATED AGGREGATE AMOUNTS OF PUBLIC FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR DEPOSIT DURING NEXT (5) YEARS FOR DESIGNATION OF PUBLIC DEPOSITORY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson moved this be Resolution #4, 2020-2021 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO TO EXPEND FUNDS TO COVER COSTS OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO CONSISTENT WITH REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 5001 OF THE CARES ACT.  Ms. Riffle asked Mr. Webster if he would be sending us something once he does his research.  Mr. Webster stated that he would forward his findings.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

President of Council Mr. Martin stated that before we go forward I wanted to address council’s behavior during our ZOOM meetings.  I know that we have had several comments during the meetings.  Going forward I would like to conduct the meeting in a respectful manner.  It doesn’t have to be by the book but I ask for cooperation.  We don’t have to like each other or agree with each other but we can have a discussion in an adult manner.  I expect this not only from the council but also the administration and anyone attending the meeting. I know it has been strange and hard times for everyone but I’m glad to see everyone here with us and knowing that none of us got the virus we need to move forward.  Thank you for your time on this topic.

Ms. Riffle stated that she was at the end of town where the gentleman has cleared off all the properties by the river.  Have we received any information from him in regards to his plans?  Mayor Lorentz stated that he thinks his plans are up in the air.  Ms. Hoblitzell stated she thought he was just going to clean off the property and sell it.  So there isn’t anything we need to do as a council right now. Ms. Riffle was informed no!

Ms. Riffle also addressed the COVID and city vehicles going home with city employees.  Is this going to be a policy that we continue with or is this going to come to an end.  Mayor Lorentz stated that it would come to an end.

I was wondering if the drainage property behind where Jones Boys used to be and where the storage building are now would be addressed this year.  The residents have been promised that it was going to be cleared.  They are now having more rodents, snakes and bug behavior back there.  Mrs. Hoblitzell informed Ms. Riffle that Kathy Davis is looking into that.  I will check with her to see what she is looking at.

Ms. Riffle announced that Belair’s would be opening tomorrow.  She has picnic tables set up outside.

Ms. Riffle also thanked those involved for having the meeting in council chambers this evening.

Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn.  Ms. Riffle rescinded her motion.

PERSONS APPEARING BEFORE COUNCIL:  None

Mr. Ferguson called a committee meeting on June 22, 2020 at 6:30PM for the purpose of discussing the credit card policy.

Ms. Riffle asked Mrs. Hoblitzell if they are continuing to have the Friday Finance meetings between meetings.  Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that they are still having the meetings.  Is it possible to get quick updates before our regular meetings so we know what the plans are?  Council is to be informed.

Mrs. Hoblitzell addressed the meal limitations that is on the list of committee assignments.  Mr. Martin stated that he was getting ready to go over the list but didn’t see that on his list. Perhaps it is under capping employee expenses.

President of Council Mr. Martin went over Council Committee Referral List.  Adding and deleting assignments.

Mrs. Drake addressed junk cars.  Ms. Riffle stated that it is still under her assignments.

ADJOURN:

Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn at 8:45PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.