Council President Protem Mr. Martin called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:35 p.m. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry, and Mr. Robinson present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.
Mr. Martin asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Lorentz gave the invocation.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of September 26, 2015 as presented and by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials:
Mayor Lorentz stated as reported earlier Chief Williams and I are setting up meetings with community leaders and professionals in the drug interdiction field. As of now we have a brainstorming meeting scheduled for October 19th. In this meeting will be folks from behavior Health, Right Path of Washington County, Pharmacists, Doctors, Educators, Law Enforcement, The Attorney General’s Office, Start Talking from the Governor’s Office and concerned citizens. On November 24th at the Celebration Center we will hold a town hall style meeting to inform people of our plan. A wonderful program from Franklin County will present for us and better inform all of the threat drugs impose on our society.
Investors from out of state may be interested in property in our downtown area. Just to appease and start the ball rolling I had a quick and dirty appraisal of our fire station 1 property. At this time there is nothing to report but it is nice to know Belpre is on somebodies radar.
Mr. Ferguson and I also met with Bob’s Market owners to discuss the drainage issues in that area. If Bob’s decides to expand we will need to gather a right-of-way across the property as well as the car wash property for maintenance of lines.
Mr. Ferguson and I also met with ODOT to comment on the plans for both bridge approaches. This work will take place in the spring and early summer and probably at the same time. It is inevitable that there will be 1-lane traffic to Parkersburg.
October 8th marked 20 years of service for the Mayor’s Partnership for Progress. Mayor Joe Matthews and Mayor Sultzer from Chillicothe were recognized as the founding fathers of this organization. Mayor Joe and I travelled to Jackson Ohio for the celebration on Thursday.
Saturday October 10th Fruth Pharmacy held a balloon release for Breast Cancer Awareness. If you were anywhere around you should have seen balloons everywhere. We applaud Fruth for the awareness campaign as well as the funds they raised. Also this weekend marked the 37th year for the Apple Butter Stir-Off. We had a nice crowd with beautiful weather, Thank You Bob’s Market, Boy Scout Troop 91 and Pioneer Presbyterian Church for their commitment to our city.
Thanks to our Fire Department and Chief Sinnett they held an open house on Saturday to celebrate National Fire Week.
Today Mr. Ferguson and I met with a group interested in the Middleton Doll Building. We have discussed this before and movement has been slow. With the site being manufacturing there is a lot to consider before moving on. These gentlemen were from Jen Su City, China. There are incentives needed before we can move on but with these incentives they would be starting operations in the next 2-3 months with a possibility of 100 jobs.
The election is just around the corner from now and I encourage all to get out and vote. Other than leadership for our city the biggest thing to consider is the sale of Marijuana in our state. Please don’t be fooled by all the propaganda. Let’s vote this out once and for all.
Mrs. Miller spoke briefly about the sale of Marijuana in our state and encouraged everyone to vote it down. Mrs. Miller thinks we need to get information out to our citizens that this is not just for health issues it is also for recreational use and we must vote it down. There are enough problems in our city with drugs.
Mrs. Marshall stated that the Belpre Lions Club was present for the Apple Butter Stir Off and was not mentioned in the Mayor’s Report.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson reported that on your desk this evening is a copy of the Rubbish Ordinance for your review. The highlighted items are of importance.
At the last meeting we had a 5-2 vote to purchase an SUV for the fire department at 2015 prices. This did not happen and was not ordered. There was a lot of communication between the fire chief and myself, and it was the decision not to order. Mrs. Marshall asked if council had any say so in the decision. According to the Mayor and SSD they did not go against council. The vehicle would have to be ordered at the 2016 price.
Letter was received from a citizen recognizing one of our very own police sergeants. Sergeant Joe Fields was off duty and noticed a citizen in trouble. Sergeant Fields identified himself as a police officer and helped the stranded citizen with two flat tires and health issues. A big thank you to Sergeant Fields.
We have two officers who will be attending active shooter instructor classes in the near future.
I have already started talking with the department heads about their needs for the department for the Temporary Appropriations for 2016. Hope to have something in place by next week.
We received a 2015 police car last Friday. The car still needs the radio installed and some other minor details.
There are two new SUV’s scheduled for delivery around the middle of March.
Not sure whether you have noticed but the fence and building is coming down by Fruth’s. The property will be cleaned up and taken back by the city.
Negotiations with the ASCME Union health benefits will be changing by mid 2016. I don’t know how to negotiate until we know what the changes are.
Met with ODOT to discuss the bride approach on both the toll bridge and the Belpre Bridge. They will be working on these approaches spring of 2016.
Mr. Ferguson reminded everyone that before anyone begins digging please call in OOPS or Utility Company to check for lines. A six-inch water line was hit that caused 15 hours of overtime.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger thanked Boy Scout Troop 91 for coming this evening to observe a council meeting.
Miss Pittenger announced that this past week nine of us attended American In Bloom. This year’s evaluation is hot off the press. We had the largest number of people in our city to attend. They offered suggestions plus recognition.
Miss Pittenger stated that the Utility Adjustment Report is on line and is awaiting approval.
Ms. Abdella 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 to present Ms. Abdella with a copy of the changes to the City Income Tax Ordinance.
Mr. Webster followed up with a comment regarding the citizen that was digging. Mr. Webster stated that he was very close to a gas line. Besides the water line problem we could have had a major disaster. Besides these issues they trespassed on ODOT property. There may be consequences to this event.
Mr. Webster thanked the Lions Club for their help. We appreciate all the community support.
Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid announced that the Cash Report was available on line. Copies have been placed on the back table and a signed copy has been given to the clerk.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Cash Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Communications and Petitions:
2016 Temporary Appropriations was assigned to the Finance/Audit Committee.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee was absent from the committee meeting. Mr. Gilbert reported that Finance Audit Committee met to discuss Amendment 181 as to the City Income Tax Ordinance. The law director is to provide us with copies of the changes. Council did not act on the ordinance at this time. With this being said Ms. Abdella called a committee meeting for October 26, 2015 at 6:45 PM for the purpose of discussing Amendment 181 as to the City Income Tax Ordinance and providing we have the needs of the department we will also discuss the 2016 Temporary Appropriations.
Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee had no report. Mr. Gilbert stated that the assignment of Panhandling needed moved from his committee. Mr. Gilbert called a Police and Fire Committee meeting for October 26, 2015 at 7:25 PM for the purpose of discussing Nuisance Calls and whether or not to proceed with the ordinance.
Mr. Martin encouraged council to get their committee assignments completed as there are only four meetings left this year.
Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer reported that his committee met prior to this evenings meeting at 7PM for the purpose of discussing cars on city streets and panhandlers. Mr. Martin stated that he would like to get together with the Mayor and SSD to see what we are trying to take care of with the cars/campers parked on city streets. Mr. Martin reported that his committee has decided that since we haven’t had any issues with Panhandlers we don’t want to act on this now however if it becomes an issue we first must define the problems and then what we want to eliminate. Once you identify this then we will determine how to stop the activity. We must also determine the significance of the problems. I would like to have this removed from the assignment list at this time.
Mr. Robinson, Utilities Committee had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mr. Newberry had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mr. Newberry, Economic Development Committee reported that he had received an email from Mr. Bob McCloy wanting to know what does our city government want us to do. I had mentioned this at the last meeting. He would like to give everyone the opportunity to weigh in. The next BACC meeting is scheduled for October 26, 2015 at 6PM. Mayor Lorentz is to give a presentation on Economic Development at their next meeting. Anyone having any suggestions please leave your comments on your desk or send and email to Mayor Lorentz with your thoughts. Ms. Abdella and Mrs. Miller are invited to the meeting.
Mrs. Miller, Rules Committee announced that the fix-its for the Bike Trail has been installed at the Administration Building.
I would also like to encourage everyone to Vote No on Issue III regarding Marijuana and Vote Yes on Issue II regarding the Monopoly Issues.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Mrs. Miller brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE EDITION AND INCLUSION OF CERTAIN ORDINANCES AS PARTS OF THE VARIOUS COMPONENT CODES OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF BELPRE, OHIO. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Miller moved this be Ordinance 20, 2014-2015 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Persons Appearing Before Council-
Karen Locke, 726 Tuttle Street asked for point of clarification regarding Amendment 181 as to the City Income Tax Ordinance. Mrs. Locke asked if this is an increase to our city income tax. Mr. Webster said it was not. The increase is for not filing your city income tax. Mr. Webster also stated that quarterly estimated tax must be filed. She also discussed personal gain as to the Panhandlers.
Miss Pittenger stated that the Tax Ordinance Exhibit is on the website.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:25. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.