The Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio was called to order by Council President Mr. Neff at 7:30 p.m. with Mr. Neff welcoming everyone to this evening’s meeting. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Martin, Mr. Newberry, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Wallace present. Also present were Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the meeting was Mayor Lorentz, Treasurer Mr. McAfee and Council person Mrs. Marshall.
At this time, Mr. Neff asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. The invocation was given by Mr. Neff.
A motion was made by Ms. Abdella to accept the minutes of June 10, 2013 as presented and by-pass the reading. Mr. Neff pointed out that the Executive Session that was called for the meeting of June 10, 2013 had been omitted from the minutes and needed to be added. Mr. Sinnett made a motion to accept the amended minutes. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials
Mayor Lorentz was absent. Mr. Ferguson presented his report in his absence.
The Farson Street Project is under way. Only one bid for construction was submitted and well above budget. After talking with O.D.O.T. and the developers we decided it was best to proceed. O.D.O.T. found most of the funding with assistance from our developer we will precede. Costs are only going to escalate and the time is now to not hinder further growth.
Landscaping is almost complete on Rockland Avenue. This SRTS Grant went pretty well in spite of the weather at times.
The opening of the Sr. Center expansion was held last Wednesday. Everybody seemed excited to have the extra space and overall improvements. On another note Terry Zdrale is leaving the O’Neill Center. Terry has decided to move closer to her children. This will be a big set of shoes to fill as Terry is one of the reasons our partnership has been so successful over the past five years.
Do not forget to mow and trim early this week as our America in Bloom inspection is later this week. Let’s set a good example of what our city can look like if we all pull together.
The Fire Department has three new probationary volunteers to add to our roles: Austin Meredith, Derek Withrow, and Jay Mason.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson reported that last Thursday Dave Schaffer and I visited the company that is going to build our John Deere Tractor. It will be at least 90 days before it is available.
On the same day the Mayor and I attended a meeting in Athens regarding HB5. There is a Coalition sub bill language that municipalities are discussing ways to change the language of the State collections of taxes.
Also we had the second Public Hearing this evening that is required regarding Gas Aggregation. No one addressed council. There were a couple of persons present that had questions but was not sure of the process. I would like to have this added to the next meetings Agenda.
Also on your desk is an updated Landscaping Ordinance.
Mr. Neff asked the law director the status of the Gas Aggregation legislation. The legislation has been prepared and already assigned to the Utilities Committee.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger stated as the Mayor and Mr. Ferguson stated American in Bloom judges will be here on Thursday and Friday of this week. There has been a lot of mowing, weeding, planting, etc going on to beautify our city. If you happen to be driving along and see something that needs to be done please do it yourself or call Leslie or Dave to have the job done.
Last Tuesday when the Mayor and Safety-Service Director were in Athens at a meeting about HB5, I was at an R.I.T.A Conference. They presented some valuable information. The website has been made more users friendly. One of the best things is that we paid them 3% to collect our city income tax, now because of the efficiency last year we will be getting a percentage of that returned to us.
I put an Ohio Municipal League Bulletin on your desk regarding the FINAL PROPOSALS BEING OFFERED FOR BUDGET.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that the OVI case is still pending. There has been no decision made at this time.
Mr. Webster also stated that he was on the Board at the O’Neill Center with Terry Zdrale. Mr. Webster stated that Terry was very instrumental with the program. Her services will be greatly missed.
There will be a Public Meeting tomorrow night at 6:00 PM at the Marietta Township facility to discuss the Port Authority purchasing the Army Reserve Center from GSA.
Treasurer Mr. McAfee was absent. No report was given in his absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff reported that he had received a revised Belpre Volunteer Fire Department Roster. At this time I would like to have a motion from council to accept. Mr. Sinnett made a motion to accept the roster as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
I also have legislation that I am assigning to Ms. Abdella’s Finance Committee regarding A RESOLUTION TRANSFERRING FUNDS.
I received a letter that there is a Coalition being formed regarding immigration in municipalities.
Legislation has been received on AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM. Copies will be made and distributed.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report.
Mr. Sinnett, Police and Fire Committee had no report.
Mr. Wallace, Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mr. Robinson had no report for the Utilities Committee.
Mr. Martin, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Planning and Zoning Committee was absent. Mr. Newberry reported that a meeting was held on June 19th to discuss the Landscape Ordinance. After discussion it was the decision of the committee to amend the Landscape legislation.
Mrs. Marshall, Economic Development Committee was absent. No report was given.
Mr. Newberry had no report for the Rules Committee.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Mr. Newberry brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO, PROVIDING MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR LANDSCAPIING OF CERTAIN AREAS, INCLUDING SETBACK, OFF-STREET PARKING AND OTHER VEHICULAR USE AREAS, IN CONNECTION WITH NEW CONSTRUCTION, CHANGE IN USE OR RECONSTRUCTION, RENOVATIONS OR REMODELING; REQUIRING A LANDSCAPE PLAN TO OBTAIN A BUILDING PERMIT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse Mrs. Marshall from this evenings meeting. Mrs. Marshall stated at the meeting of June 10, 2013 that she would be on vacation. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Carol Will of 120 Locust Street appeared before council regarding a water line break at 117 Locust Street. She stated that the line had been replaced at least seven times and it is broke again. There are mosquitoes, fowl odor and she is concerned about mold and mildew. This is a piece of rental property that is occupied. Mr. Ferguson to address the issue
Mr. Robinson made a comment that he would like to be informed when meetings are changed.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:05. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.