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, Mr. Colvin, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. Sinnett present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the April 10, 2017 meeting was Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid and Councilman Mr. Turrill.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of March 27, 2017 meeting as presented and by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials:
Since our last meeting we have been busy interviewing candidates for Police Officer as well as a laborer II position in the water dept. We should be able to introduce our new officer very soon. Physicals etc. needs completed at this time.
April 1st I joined Mayor Joyce in the Easter Parade. I believe we had as many Belpre folks as did Parkersburg. Kiki Angelo’s and crew do a very good job.
The Muskingum Valley Chamber of Commerce honored our very own Tyler Heddleston as Police Officer of the year at their recognition luncheon… Belpre was well represented, as was officer Heddleston’s family.
Today the Chamber of Commerce and I held a ribbon cutting celebration at Apex Physical Therapy on Washington Blvd. Folks we are truly blessed with all the business activity going on at this time.
Do not forget the Historical Society Dinner tomorrow night.
Also remember your Ethics and financial report is due.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross was absent. No report was given in his absence.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that at the last meeting she had reported that 73 letters had been sent out to delinquent taxpayers. We have received payments in full or payment plans for about 15% of the people. We have received a handful as undeliverable that we will turn over to a collection agency. With everyone moving they have until May 1st to respond. Also this evening I have the Adjustment Report that needs to be approved by council. Copies of the report appear on-line and copies are on the back table for review. Ms. Abdella made a motion to approve the Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster stated that the only thing he had to report was the on-going non-activity of the Jail Contract. I have talked twice to the Prosecuting Attorney and he has talked to the County however there has been no final approval. Until the language gets worked out there will be no final approval.
City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that as of late today he received a letter of resignation from James Brian Turrill. The letter is as follows:
Dear Mr. Neff, Mr. Mayor, Council Members, and Citizens of Belpre.
Please accept this letter as formal notification of my resignation from the City of Belpre for the elected position I hold of Councilman at Large. My resignation is effective immediately. Due to well publicized legal issues I feel it is best for me to step down, as I have far to much respect for the citizens of Belpre, my fellow councilman, and our city government to allow my legal issues to detract from the day to day business of our beautiful city. Moreover, my resignation will allow me to focus my energy on defending my name.
I really appreciate the opportunity and the honor to serve my hometown, and for all I have learned while working for you and with you. My successor, like me, will be fortunate to be a part of a well-educated and caring group of people who want nothing more than to serve the community we live in.
If I can help in any way to ease the transition, please let me know. I wish you and everyone in our city continued success.
In closing I would like to share with everyone some appropriate passages from the Bible which apply to my situation:
Ephesians 4:31-32, which stated all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
Romans 8:28, which say: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
I am taking comfort and refuge in God’s word and although I do not understand all that have happened, I have faith that God is using me and I am excited about what is next for me. God Bless you.
Sincerely James Brian Turrill
2410 Norris Avenue
Belpre, Ohio 45714
Mr. Neff stated that he accepted his letter of resignation as of April 10, 2017. I have signed off on the letter. Mr. Neff stated that we now know the procedure for replacing our two members on council. The Central Committee for the Democratic Party will fill the seat for Mrs. Sinnett and the Central Committee for the Republican Party will fill the seat for Mr. Turrill’s Council at Large position. If anyone is interested please let the appropriate parties know.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella had no report for the Finance Audit Committee.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report. Mrs. Miller called a Police and Fire Committee meeting for Monday, April 24, 2017 at 7:00 PM for the purpose of discussing parking at the lower end of Elm and Walnut Streets.
Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee had no report. Mrs. Marshall called a Utilities Committee meeting for April 24, 2017 at 6:45 PM for the purpose of discussing AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 939.01 (d). This ordinance needs amended to change when utility bills should be read and billed.
Mrs. Sinnett, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee had no report.
Mr. Turrill, Rules Committee resigned. No report given in his absence.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: –
Ms. Abdella brought before council for third reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND HEALTH COMMISSIONER TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH THE CITY OF MARIETTA CITY BOARD OF HEALTH TO PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL NURSING SERVICES. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved this be Resolution 25, 2016-2017 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Sinnett brought before council for third reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE CITY OF BELPRE SWIMMING POOL. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Sinnett moved this be Resolution 26, 2016-2017 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Colvin brought before council for second reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH THE WASHINGTON SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Colvin moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the third reading of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH THE WASHINGTON SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Colvin brought before council for third reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH THE WASHINGTON SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Colvin moved this be Resolution 27, 2016-2017 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Marshal announced that she would like to table AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 939.01 (d) until after the committee meeting on April 10, 2017 at 7 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Mrs. Karen Locke, 726 Tuttle Street, Belpre asked Mrs. Marshall what exactly was AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 939.01 (d). Mrs. Marshall stated that she had no clue. She was waiting to hear back from Mr. Cross for which she did not hear from him prior to the committee meeting. According to Mr. Webster it was for once a month reading and once a moth billing of utilities.
Norman Allen, 601 Barclay Street, Lot 7, Belpre addressed council as to why ordinances aren’t being enforced in parks dealing with cleanup of feces. Mr. Webster addressed the issue about maintaining your animals. Mr. Webster stated that it is difficult to enforce on private property.
Mr. Lin Nelson announced that on May 2 through May 5th, plants and flowers would be on sale at the High School Green House.
Mrs. Miller asked about the set up of mobile homes in trailer parks. According to Mr. Webster the State rules how the parks are set up and the distance between each mobile home.
Mrs. Drake stated that she thought it was a good idea if our city has a Code of Ethics and Conduct for Elected Officials. Because our culture is changing I feel it is a good idea for the city to adopt a Code of Ethics. Mr. Neff assigned this to Mrs. Drake and Mr. Colvin.
Ms. Abdella stated that since we have had the new swearing in of officers to the Fire Department she was wondering if council needed to approve the new roster for their new positions. According to the Mayor it was not needed because the number remains the same.
Mrs. Locke, 726 Tuttle Street, Belpre asked what the progress was on the drug dog. Mrs. Miller stated that she asked the Chief last week and he didn’t have any new information. Mr. Webster stated the Chief is checking about training and policies of the department. Mrs. Locke stated that with the $10,000 Budget for Belpre in Bloom she would like to see some of the money used toward the Drug Dog. Could we have some kind of a meeting that we could discuss Belpre in Bloom and the money that is being used in our city? Meeting was scheduled for this week. Mrs. Locke was planning on attending.
Ms. Abdella stated that at the last meeting Mr. Cross stated that there were no changes to be made to the appropriations.
Bob Hadfield, 1584 Lois Street, Belpre reported that recently he had talked with a retired Washington County Sheriff and handler of the K-9. The retired sheriff has a complete dog kit in his former car that the City of Belpre could probably get at a reasonable price. He recommended that the city talk to the sheriff department about it.
James Barrett, 1566 Gene Street, Belpre addressed council regarding the issue on the river last night that involved the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department and Belpre Police Department. While I was at the Belpre Shrine Club assisting the Belpre Police Department trying to locate three missing persons that were canoeing on the Ohio River we find out later that they had been found a quarter of a mile away from us. Mr. Barrett stated that Belpre Fire Department and Belpre Police Department are not patched together on the radio. The same officer that was on the scene at the river was dispatched to a fire on Walnut Street.
Norman Allen, 601 Barclay Street, Lot 7, Belpre stated that he thought our police officers needed more body armor as there is so much domestic violence in our city.
Mr. Neff stated that he forgot to mention that he has signed off on the Bank Reconciliation.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to adjourn at 8:12 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.