Student Council President Miss Blaschke 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: Miss Berg, Ms. Abdella; Mr. Lockhart, Mr. Campbell; Miss Foster, Mrs. Drake; Mr. Stribblin, Mr. Gant; Miss Richards, Mrs. Miller; Miss Daugherty, Ms. Riffle; Miss Kapple and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Student Mayor Miss Cockerham and Mayor Lorentz; Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mr. Smith and Clerk of Council Miss Kerns/ Mrs. Meredith.

Miss Blaschke asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Student Mayor Miss Cockerham gave the invocation.

Mr. Lockhart/Mr. Campbell made a motion to accept the minutes of January 01, 2018 and January 08, 2018 as presented and by-pass the reading.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Reports of City Officials:

Student Mayor Miss Cockerham presented the Mayor’s Report as prepared by Mayor Lorentz.  The report is as follows:  The Belpre City Health Board did vote to pursue a contract with Marietta City Board. Last week I met with Marietta officials and started this process. As of now I am looking at a contract then possibly a merger of the two boards. The idea of Belpre being accredited at this time is impossible. Bill Dauber and Dr. Brocket are working with me to work within our budget as well as Marietta’s.

Tonight, I would like to commend our street department for their outstanding job in keeping our streets clear of snow. Many long hours were spent in the freezing cold to accomplish this. I for one appreciate it. Our streets were in better shape than most around the area.

The schedule of repairs is being delivered to Mr. Cross this week for Dragstrip Road repairs. Hopefully something is started in the next couple weeks.

The ad for a patrolman is out and to date we have just a couple responding. Hopefully before our deadline more will apply.

State Representative Jay Edwards, Kevin Smart for Congressman Johnson’s office, Jason Wilson from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia and I met today with folks wanting to purchase the Middleton Doll Building. The Economic Development team and I are doing all we can to assure this is successful.

Our Government Day exercises were very enjoyable today. Many thanks to the Belpre Rotary for providing lunch for all and thanks to our State Rep. Jay Edwards for attending part of the morning agenda items.

Council members, if you have not filled out your ethics report please do not forget.

Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross had no report.

Miss Pittenger announced that the State Auditors are on site and have begun their audit for 2017. They will be present for the next couple of months. This Wednesday at 2PM we will have the Pre-Audit for anyone wishing to attend.

Dog Tags will be on sale at the Administration Building this Friday from 8AM until noon and 12:30 until 3:30 PM for anyone wishing to purchase tags can do so on Friday. We are the only ones that will be handling the sale of dog tags beside the Court House.

The Adjustment Report is available this evening both on line and on the back table.  I would like for council to approve the Adjustment Report this evening.  Miss. Berg 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 presented his State of the City report before Council in regards to the Summary of the City of Belpre 2017 Criminal Cases that were opened by his office.

We have opened the criminal files by one charge totaling 202 cases.  Mr. Webster noted that there are numerous files with more than one charge.  The Prosecutor addresses each charge separately.

The top five criminal charges include Drug Para. Possession; OVI; Probation Violation, Failure to Appear, Resisting arrest; DUS;

There was a thank you by the Mayor to the Street Department where your City Law Director was involved in an accident on Market Street and Harmer Hill when a vehicle hit a patch of ice, as the streets had not yet been cleared hitting my vehicle.  No one was injured.  I wanted you to know that you can be proud of where you live.  Our Street Department doesn’t have very many people in it however they did an outstanding job keeping our streets clean.

The County Commissioners had a meeting today and voted in regard to a Settlement Offer from the Attorney General’s Office regarding the sewer line issue with Devola, Oak Grove, and Reno as well.  The vote was 2-1 not to accept. There is a potential fine of $10,000 a day that will come out of the General Fund that will affect everyone in Washington County. They help provide services to us all.

Miss Blaschke asked how we could fight that.  Mr. Webster stated you could start by contacting your County Commissioner.

Mrs. Miller expressed her feelings regarding the sewer system.  Some of these folks had to pay $30,000 for septic systems and now they are being forced to pay their share of the new sewer line.  Mrs. Miller stated that you should contact the Ohio EPA and State Representatives Jay Edwards.

Mr. Gant asked who to contact at the State Level.  According to Mr. Webster you should contact the Ohio EPA and State Representatives Jay Edwards or any other Commissioners.

City Treasurer Mr. Smith reported that a copy of the Cash Report for December 2017 and Year In Review for 2017 appear on-line with copies placed on the table in the back.  Also a signed copy has been given to the clerk.  Mr. Smith stated that he would like council to approve these reports.  Mr. Stribblin and Mr. Gant made a motion to accept the reports as presented.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Communications and Petitions:

Mr. Neff announced that he had reviewed and signed off on the Bank Reconciliation.

Report of Standing Committee:

Miss Berg presented Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee report.  The Finance committee met on January 17th at 6PM to begin work on the permanent appropriations.  This meeting we discussed the City’s revenue projections and the historical actual revenue.  Several questions were generated from this meeting and will be submitted to the auditor for clarification.  There will be several meetings in the upcoming weeks to complete the work around the appropriations and manpower legislation.  The next meeting scheduled for 6PM tomorrow will be cancelled until we can coordinate schedules so the auditor can be present.

Miss Richards/Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report.

 Mr. Lockhart/Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.

Mr. Stribblin/Mr. Gant Utilities Committee had no report.

Miss Kapple/Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.  Miss Kapple/Mr. Shutts thanked the cities street department for clearing the streets.

Miss Foster/Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.

Miss Foster/Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee announced that there would be an Economic Development meeting this Thursday at 6PM.

Miss Trinity/Ms. Riffle Rules Committee had no report.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.  None

Unfinished Business: – None

New Business

Miss Berg/Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION CREATING FUND #218:  DEPOSITS OF EMS LEVY FUNDS.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

Persons Appearing Before Council:

Kevin Reiter stood and announced that he was running for the position of County Commissioner and would appreciate your support.  As a History Teacher at Washington State he acknowledged the students for a job well done in conducting the meeting.

Pastor Mark Eaton of Mead Street in Belpre addressed the snow removal in Belpre and what a tremendous job the Street Department did in clearing the roads.

Pastor Eaton once again addressed the decline of water pressure at his home.  Pastor Eaton and some area neighbors were informed by Mr. Cross that there would be a crew out first thing tomorrow morning to address the issue.

Ms. Pence, Student Government Teacher at Belpre High School thanked everyone who participated in Student Government Day especially Mayor Lorentz who puts this together each year.

Mr. Neff recognized Mayor Lorentz, SSD Mr. Cross and Council Clerk Mrs. Meredith who also plays a big part in Student Government Day.

Mayor Lorentz stated that he enjoyed the day.  I hope you young folks enjoyed the day.  I hope that one of you will be sitting here on council in the future.

Mr. Webster stated that Mr. Campbell was a student on his Mock Trial Team and now is here sitting on council.  Mr. Webster encouraged all students to join the ranks after your 18th Birthday when you become eligible.

Triston Lockhart 217 Elm Street addressed an issue to council regarding a speed bump that was inserted two years ago.  A salt truck took out the speed bump.  They use our road like a drag strip.  We have 18 children on this street now.  Not one of us wants to be hit by a car.

Mr. Webster stated that by Ohio Law we are not allowed to have speed bumps on city streets.  I understand your dilemma and I suggest that this goes through Police and Fire so we can have more patrolling.


Mr. Lockhart/Mr. Campbell made a motion to adjourn at 8:05PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.