Council President Protem Mr. Martin called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:30 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 Law Director Mr. Webster and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the October 26, 2015 meeting was Council President Mr. Neff, City Auditor Miss Pittenger and City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid.
Mr. Martin asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Martin asked that everyone remember in his or her prayers the family of Chief Eric Sinnett and Council President’s Mother-in-Law Ruth Dawson who passed since our last meeting of council.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the minutes of October 12, 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 reported that on October 15th Mr. Ferguson and I met with our union folks and a representative from AFSCME to start talks on the wage and insurance openers in our contract. The same day our premium notice for next year arrived and all is on hold at this point. Our rates are definitely taking a huge increase so we will have talks with employees and bring back to council once everyone understands.
October 17th was Heritage Day and we attended the celebration and flag raising ceremony at Farmers castle. Many thanks to the volunteers that keeps this open and successful for our youth.
On October 19th we held a brainstorming session with the Start Talking group from the Governor’s office. After the meeting we decided to have another town hall meeting on the drug issue on November 24th at the Celebration Center. WE had representatives for the Attorney General’s Office, Governor’s Office, Washington County Prosecutor’s Office, Right Path, numerous pastors, Belpre School Superintendent, Law enforcement, concerned parents, Doctors and Pharmacy Students. In all, we believe that this effort should continue so to curb the rise in drug dependencies. A letter was received from Mike DeWine’s Office informing citizens to vote against legalizing marijuana.
October 19th the Planning and Zoning Committee met to discuss the Middleton Doll facility and possible sale. With the operation described it will cause zoning changes to be made and or some concerns from surrounding property owners.
On October 21st the Belpre Tree Commission attended and hosted a tree academy Sr. Class with people attending from Parkersburg, Vienna, Belpre and Athens County.
On October 23rd I attended Mayor’s Court Training in Columbus. This is a requirement for us to have a court in Belpre.
The Economic Development Committee of the Chamber met this evening at 6pm. The committee asked me to speak on just what I thought their mission should be, and what I thought the city was accomplishing in the way of development.
I received a letter from Washington County Commissioners asking for us to enter into a contract for the Dog Warden’s assistance in our city. Hopefully I can meet with them this week as I was under the assumption we already paid for these services.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson reported that early this evening the Finance Audit Committee met to discuss the 2016 Budget. At this time the Budget is not in balance. Once complete it will be distributed via e-mail.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent. No report was given in her absence.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.
Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Martin reported that the only piece of communication that he received was the resignation of our 3rd Ward Councilperson effective October 27, 2015. Mr. Martin stated that Mr. Gilbert retired from OPERS and that they are making changes to their Medical program. Mr. Gilbert stated that he is shown on the City of Belpre records as an employee and would be classified as a reemployed retiree. That reclassification keeps me from receiving over $300 dollars a month to help pay for insurance for my wife and myself. Mr. Martin thanked Mr. Gilbert for his service to the City of Belpre and accepted the resignation from Mr. Gilbert.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee reported that her committee met this evening at 6:45 PM for the purpose of discussing AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 181 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO REGARDING MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX. It was the decision of the committee to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 181 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO REGARDING MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX. Once we receive the Budget for 2016, we will discuss the Temporary Appropriations. Ms. Abdella made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 181 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO REGARDING MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee reported that his committee met prior to this evenings meeting to discuss Nuisance Police Calls. It was the decision of the committee to bring back up next year. Mr. Gilbert also requested that the Golf Cart issue be removed from his list of assignments. It had been previously voted down. If it should become an issue it could be brought up at a later time.
Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report
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 the BACC met on October 26, 2015 at 6PM. Mayor Lorentz was the guest speaker at our meeting in regards to Economic Development. Mayor Lorentz also discussed the accomplishments that have been made in our city and future topics. Present from council was Mayor Lorentz, Ms. Abdella, Mrs. Miller, and Mr. Newberry.
Mrs. Miller, Rules Committee had no report.
Mrs. Miller stated that she is trying to review the rubbish procedures.
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.
Mrs. Miller stated that she had attended Heritage Day in our community. It was very nice but not a big turn out
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: None
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 181 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO REGARDING MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX. 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- None
Ms. Abdella called a Finance Audit Committee meeting for November 9, 2015 at 7:00 PM for the purpose of discussing 2016 Temporary Appropriations and the changes to the tax document.
Ms. Abdella asked Mr. Ferguson about the Fee Schedule that was lying on her desk this evening. Mr. Ferguson was not aware of the schedule. Mr. Ferguson was to check about it and get back with Ms. Abdella. Ms. Abdella recognized Mr. Gilbert for his service to the city.
Mayor Lorentz recognized Mr. Gilbert for his service. Mr. Martin asked the Mayor about Student Government Day. According to the Mayor it would be the first meeting in December. He asked that any member of council that could attend, it would be appreciated.
Mr. Newberry was out of town when Chief Sinnett passed and Mrs. Dawson. Mr. Newberry sorry for their losses.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 7:57. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.