Council President Mr. Martin called the October 12, 2020 meeting to order at 7:40 PM. If you aren’t a member of council please mute your computer so it will cut down the background noise. Due to COVID-19 our council meetings are being conducted through ZOOM.  The roll was called with the following members present: Mrs. Drake, Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Gant, Mr. Locke, Mrs. Miller, and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Treasurer Mrs. Copeland.  Absent from the October 12th, 2020 meeting was Council person Ms. Riffle and Clerk of Council 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.

Mrs. Drake made a motion to accept the minutes of September 28, 2020 as presented and by-pass the reading.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Locke made a motion to accept the minutes of the Special Meeting of September 30, 2020 as presented and by-pass the reading.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Motion carried.

Reports of City Officials:

Mayor Lorentz announced the rollout for the Burton Economic Development Plan is now rescheduled for October 23rd. The virus hit the group again.

On Saturday October 10th the Health Board with the assistance of Belpre City schools and the Landings held a vaccine clinic at the elementary school. According to WTAP News some 80 plus took advantage of the drive thru.

The Ohio Health Mammo Bus will be at the Senior Center October 20th from 9 until 4pm. This is a free mammogram for those needing the exam. Please spread the word.

On October 24th the Sheriff’s Department will be in our Howe’s Grove Park for a drug Take Back Day. This is for drop off only No pick-up allowed.

The Service Director and department heads have done a very good job in using the Care Act monies that came due to the Corona Pandemic. We have until just December 30th to use these funds or have the money encumbered. If you feel a need is present and not mentioned please let us know. We need to use this wisely.

The Census needs to be complete by October 31st. Please talk with your constituents and make sure all are counted.

October 3rd the Mid- Ohio Valley Veterans Museum invited me to a Stepping Stone of Honor Ceremony. The men and women did a very good job and the veterans walk at City Park is beautiful.

The Belpre Lion’s Club, Holiday lights and the Belpre Woman’s Club are working on the Holiday lights Parade upcoming. The parade is scheduled for November 28th at the high school. The application will soon be on the web and you will notice it is a reverse parade this year due to the pandemic.  Parade sits still with drive thru viewing.

Safety-Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell reported that the budget was given to me today October 6th, 2020.  We finished it up today.  I’ll be sending it by email tomorrow to David and the rest of council.  Hopefully he will be scheduling a committee meeting tonight.

As you probably have noticed the street department has started stripping the roads.  We have started stripping roads in the area.

All park restrooms have been completed with the self-flushing fixtures and the auto lights.  The city building has also had that portion completed.  We have the wave opening doors yet to be completed.

The Natural Gas Aggregation should be on the schedule for this evening.  Per Judy it was not on the agenda as she wasn’t given anything.  I have talked to Luke Sulfridge and Shannon McCullough who is with the Electric and Gas Aggregation.  They are going to set up meetings for folks to sign-up.  The dates and times will be on Facebook and the city’s website.

We’ve applied for a Grant to get GPS’s for all cruisers.  Hopefully this comes through.  I have applied for and received a safety grant for $1,000.  We are going to use the Grant monies toward the rubber mulch at the children’s playground.

Drag Strip started October 5th, 2020.  It is coming along nicely.  Not sure of completion date.  I was told it would be drivable by Thanksgiving. I hope it will be before that.

Jeremiah Brown contacted us and he would like to start a trash pick-up group for the streets, sidewalks, and walking trails.  I told him I would put him in touch with Ms. Riffle as she is Chairperson for Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer.

We are starting the water asset management plan that city council approved earlier in the year.  It should be completed by next June.  This is an EPA required plan.

Orion upgrades to the Lift Station should be starting soon.  Dave Weber has signed all the agreements.  The west side water and sewer drawings are starting also.  Buckeye Hills are looking for Grant monies for the west side water and sewer.  The mayor stated that paperwork was turned into ARC.  We are waiting on their review so we can start our paperwork.

Hopefully ZOOM will be ready for the next council meeting so that ten members of council will meet in council chambers and the remaining folks will still have to continue on ZOOM.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger stated that this past week you should have received two emails.  One was from the State Auditor’s and one was from me stating the audit has been completed and is now on the city’s website.  Someone asked me for the Readers Digest condensed version.  Basically it says we are fiscally responsible, there is money in the bank, but we are spending more than we are bringing in.  I think we are all aware of that.  We discussed it at the last two budget meetings.  We need to increase our income or reduce our spending.  Both are hard to do.

The Utility Adjustment Report is on line and needs council approval.  Mr. Gant made a motion to accept the Adjustment report as presented.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that he had talked to Mr. Gant before the meeting in regards to the proposed Nuisance Ordinance and the uses of property for drug activity.  This ordinance should be available at the next council meeting.

Litigation continues in regard to the River City lawsuit with depositions next week.  There was a mediation which was unsuccessful so that action is going forward.  We will keep you advised of future developments.

I have been working with the police chief on some items in regards to participation in the task force to county agencies.  We will continue to work on that as well.

City Treasurer Mrs. Copeland announced that the September’s Treasurers Report appears on line and is awaiting council approval.  Mrs. Drake made a motion to accept the Treasurers Report as presented.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Communications and Petitions:

Mr. Martin reminded all members of council and the administration to take into consideration your conduct while you are on these ZOOM meetings.

Report of Standing Committee: 

Mr. Ferguson Finance/Audit Committee apologized for cancelling this evening’s committee meeting.  I didn’t feel we had enough time to review.  I would like to thank Mrs. Drake for reminding me about capping employee expenses.    Mr. Ferguson called a Finance/Audit Committee meeting for October 19, 2020 at 6:30 PM for the purpose of discussing capping employee expenses and begin the discussion on the 2021 budget.  If you have questions in reference to the budget please address before the meeting.

Mr. Gant, Police and Fire Committee had no report

Ms. Riffle Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer was absent.  No report was given in his absence

Mrs. Drake Utilities Committee met at 6:30 but due to technical problem meeting began at 6:43.

Members present: Tim Gant, Lee Shutts, Bill Locke and Chairperson Judy Drake.

Purpose was to discuss the Belpre Gas Aggregation Program.  All members of council were provided with a copy of Government Aggregation Master Retail Natural Gas Supply Agreement.

The intension of information was for all council members to have the information before them and understand those in the aggregation program are currently in the “gap” until a decision is made by council.

If the AEP Energy program goes into effect the effective date of rates will be December 16, 2020.

The pricing for the Belpre Gas Aggregation Program will be: 12 months @ $3.59 per MCF; 25 months @ $3.41 MCF; and 36 months @ $3.24 per MCF.

We hope there may be more information available at council on the 12th of October, and that if approved we could have the first reading.

Meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

Mrs. Drake made a motion for a voice vote to give Mrs. Hoblitzell the authority to proceed with Gas Aggregation.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee asked about the status of the Memorandum of Understanding for the ballfields at Civitan Park.  According to Mr. Shutts this agreement has never been signed.  The Mayor was going to call a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting and Mr. Shutts was to contact the Mayor the next day.

Mr. Locke Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.

Mr. Locke Economic Development Committee had no report.

Mrs. Miller Rules Committee announced that she would act on committee assignments in the future.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.  None

Unfinished Business: None

NEW BUSINESS: None

PERSONS APPEARING BEFORE COUNCIL: 

Steve McDougle 125 ½ Walnut Street addressed the trees hanging over new sidewalk in front of property owned by Mr. Hines on Walnut Street.  Mr. McDougle also addressed the Nuisance Ordinance.  He was informed that the ordinance would be addressed in the near future.

William Cassidy 824 Belrock Avenue asked about $442.000 sitting in the Sanitation Fund since 2011.  Ms. Pittenger talked to Connie about putting in General Fund.  This money will be used to pay the trash contract next year.  It has been sitting there 3 contracts ago.  As of July of next year there will be a $0.00 balance.

Mr. Shutts addressed the barricade on upper Walnut Street that had been knocked down.  He said that there was a bucket size hole there and had been there since Memorial Day.

Mr. Locke addressed whether or not the pool needed to be winterized.  Per Ms. Hoblitzell the pump will have to be pulled.  Pool was never in operation.  Already winterized!

Mr. Ferguson made a motion to excuse Ms. Riffle from this evenings meeting.  Ms. Riffle was ill.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake checked the status of the antenna on the city’s water tower on Putnam Howe Drive.  She asked if this should be taken off of her committee assignments.  According to Council President Mr. Martin it should remain on the assignments.

Mr. Gant addressed 1321 to Mr. Webster.

ADJOURN: 

Mrs. Miller made a motion to adjourn at 8:11 PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.