Mr. Neff 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: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Drake, Mr. Gant, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Treasurer Mr. Smith. Absent from the October 8, 2018 meeting was City Auditor Ms. Pittenger and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Mr. Neff reminded all members of council to please speak into the microphone when speaking this evening.
Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the minutes of September 24, 2018 as presented and to by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials:
Mayor Lorentz reported that on September 27th through the 30th my wife and I attended the America in Bloom Symposium in Lexington Kentucky. Although we did not win any awards we will benefit from the suggestions of the judges.
October 1st I was able to attend the Governor’s Debate in Marietta. This was enjoyable and interesting to see firsthand the differences in both candidates.
Mr. Webster, Mr. Cross and I met with the Civitan Officers on October 2nd to discuss our lease, and all the interest in the ball fields at this point. For now the lease stays as is with no change. We will call a Recreation Commission meeting in the near future and see what can be done to improve the fields for play.
On the evening of the third we attended the I Believe Dinner in Vienna. Zach Cline one of our graduates started this leadership program and it has become very successful.
Mr. Cross and I have started working with department heads to hammer out the first pass at the budget. Although the needs are many, I believe the employees understand the importance of being very cautious of expenditures.
I have tried to contact Ms. Pintz at the High School to set a date for Government Day. Council I ask you tonight if you have a preference. December or January are your choices to hold this event. Last year’s class was held in January.
Council, we have spent a lot of time working with prospective business owners wanting to land here but, we are having the issue of natural gas supply. If you have any ideas or a pot of money let me know. This is fast becoming a real deal breaker. Our legislators must start listening to us in this region.
The Apple Butter Stir-Off is this weekend and looks like the weather this year will cooperate. Hope to see you all in attendance.
Mr. Neff stated that he didn’t have a pot of money but he sure had a lot of questions regarding the gas supply. Mr. Neff was under the understanding that the supply was not the issue. Mrs. Drake stated that it was the Supply in Demand. According to the Mayor it was the infrastructure. Mayor Lorentz stated that before anyone signs anything regarding this issue to please call Traci Stephens. Mr. Neff stated that there should be opportunities with State Representatives.
Mr. Webster stated that the tentative plan was to try to increase volume at the Route 10 area by increasing the size of the pipe to get more pressure. According to Mr. Webster this has not yet happened. Mr. Webster said that Judy is right by saying the Supply in Demand. The Business Plan is to demand and then supply. Judy stated unless you have a company that is going to match some funds.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross reported that the stripping on Main Street has been completed.
Also the gas repair work on Clement, Hocking and Franklin Avenue has been completed. They are working now on the street repairs in that area.
Mr. Neff asked Mr. Cross the status of the burnt trailer on Poplar Street. According to Mr. Cross the home owner is working with the tenant regarding this matter. I believe there will be some legal issues in order to get this done.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent. No report was given in her absence.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.
City Treasurer Mr. Smith reported that the September’s Treasurer’s Report is before you this evening. Copies are on line and on the desk in the back. A signed copy has been given to the clerk. I would like to have Council’s approval this evening. Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Communications and Petitions: none
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit Committee reported that her committee met prior to this evenings meeting to discuss the budget review, spending against current year budget. We also discussed infrastructure needs and a plan to go forward. The Safety-Service Director is going to do some work for us and then bring it back to us.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee reported that she had an ordinance that we will be voting on this evening concerning the fire department and the new rates. Mrs. Miller stated that it was on the agenda however she was informed that it was not on the agenda. Mr. Webster stated that the Soft billing Ordinance was incomplete because there was some blanks not filled in. According to Mrs. Miller she thought we agreed with the ordinance as presented. It will be available at the next meeting on October 22, 2018. Mrs. Miller asked that it be added to the agenda at the next meeting. Mrs. Miller also stated that this has gone on long enough,
Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mr. Gant Utilities Committee had no report.
Mr. Shutts, 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. Drake stated that the committee will meet next Thursday October 18, 2018 at 6PM.
Ms. Riffle had no report for the Rules Committee. Ms. Riffle stated that she attended a Chamber of Commerce meeting last Thursday regarding the Homecoming. There was a lot of information provided regarding events, entertainment, etc. however they are in need of volunteers. They are looking to hire coordinators specifically for the homecoming who would be in charge of that event. Another meeting will be set at that time. I will also be attending the Ohio Economic Development meeting this Wednesday in Marietta.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.
Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street asked what Chapter 557 of the Codified Ordinance was for. Mr. Neff informed her that it was our weed control ordinance.
Unfinished Business: –
Mr. Campbell brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 557 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELPRE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Campbell moved this be Ordinance 9, 2018-2019 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gant brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A SETTLEMENT AND RELEASE WITH AT&T CORP TO SETTLE A CLAIM FOR SERVICES PROVIDED BY AT&T CORP TO THE CITY OF BELPRE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gant moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A SETTLEMENT AND RELEASE WITH AT&T CORP TO SETTLE A CLAIM FOR SERVICES PROVIDED BY AT&T CORP TO THE CITY OF BELPRE. Ms. Abdella asked why we needed to suspend the rule. Mr. Webster stated that he was in contact with them and stated that we would provide legislation at the next meeting to inform folks as to where the money is coming from. We need to run this three times this evening so this can happen. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gant brought before council for second and third readings A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A SETTLEMENT AND RELEASE WITH AT&T CORP TO SETTLE A CLAIM FOR SERVICES PROVIDED BY AT&T CORP TO THE CITY OF BELPRE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gant moved this be Resolution 15, 2018-2019 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
PERSONS APPEARING BEFORE COUNCIL:
Bill Locke 726 Tuttle Street asked council to expand on Resolution 15, 2018-2019 that was just passed. Mr. Webster stated that there was a period of time when Mr. Ferguson was on council that he undertook our telephone service from AT&T trying to find out from them why our telephone bill ran close to $18,000 when they couldn’t explain what lines and services that were being used. The city hired a consultant to work on this project. When Dave left Ron took over and tried to get the contract cancelled. AT&T refused to cancel the contract. We were provided with a demand letter of over $80,000 that we tried to resolve however working as a group we determined to settle by paying $25,000.
Tom Webster announced that the Apple Butter Stir Off is this weekend.
Mayor Lorentz announced that Trick or Treat will be on Tuesday October 30th from 6-7:30PM. We are doing this with three other cities.
Mr. Neff asked about the sidewalk on the 100 block of Walnut Street. According to Ron something should be done this week.
Ms. Abdella stated that this week there will be a Candlelight Service on Blennerhassett Island. Ms. Abdella was concerned about parking issues. At this time parking would be up by the Civitan Club.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to adjourn at 8:00PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.