President of Council 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. Locke, Mr. Gant, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Ms. Hoblitzell, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and City Treasurer Ms. Carpenter, Absent from the November 25, 2019 meeting was Council person Mrs. Drake 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. Miller made a motion to accept the minutes of November 11, 2019 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 negotiations continue with the maintenance side of our city and AFSCME Union. Hopefully we can complete this tomorrow and be ready for council on the 9th of December.
The Service Director and I met with our insurance carrier in hopes of better rates or benefits. As it stands our rates remain the same until June time frame then we are looking at about a 10% increase.
On the 15th I travelled to Columbus and completed my Mayor’s Court Training for the year.
November 16th we attended the Miss Holidays Pageant to welcome all the contestants and wish them well. Hopefully you will be able to see and meet the new royalty on Saturday after the parade.
The Tree Commission planted 4 new memorial trees at Civitan Park. We still have 4 to plant but, are waiting on locations.
Our 911 dispatchers will be seeing a few upgrades to the equipment soon. The 911 team met and agreed on the changes and or upgrades on Thursday last.
The 2020 Census team is gearing up to assure a better count for our city. At last census they calculate we were approximately 72% which cost our city a few million dollars due to under count. It is amazing the programs effected by population counts. If you know of someone looking for part time work they are paying $18.00 per hour.
Ms. Riffle asked what the 10% increase would be for on our insurance. According to the Mayor it would be an increase for the carrier.
Safety-Service Director Ms. Hoblitzell had no report.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that at the last meeting she had announced that she and Lisa met with a new software company regarding Financials, Payroll and Utilities. Tonight on your desk is a PowerPoint for the new software. We will be moving forward with this new software. Also at the last meeting I informed Council that the Exit Conference would be on Tuesday the 26th however that date has been moved to Wednesday, November 27th at 9AM in the Conference Room in order for our Mayor and Safety-Service Director to attend.
Mr. Webster reported that he has continued researching the easement that was requested by Dominion. This is for a gas line upgrade that would go through the original east end of Pine Street and perpendicular to Hill Street. This Ordinance was passed in 98-99 however it wasn’t recorded. The legislation has now been presented to the county so that it can be recorded. This will allow for the easement for the new gas line next spring.
I have also been asked by several folks as what happens to the 1st Ward Council Seat after December 31, 2019. We had a candidate however that candidate didn’t take the position. The Ohio Revised Code Section 731.43 states that the position will be appointed by the Central Committee. However the position of President of Council isn’t that easy. According to the Ohio Revised Code Section 733.31 referencing Subsection C is the same as D but doesn’t discuss no candidates. There are no vacancies in elected offices. I have a call into the Ohio Municipal League in regards to their opinion. At this time I have no answer but will let you know just as soon as I have an answer.
Mrs. Miller stated she had contacted the Secretary of State and they informed her to look under Title 7.
City Treasurer Ms. Carpenter had no report.
Communications and Petitions: – None
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit Committee announced that her committee has not met to discuss the 2020 Temporary Appropriations. There really isn’t enough time to go through it line by line like I want to. We do have an attachment with the legislation that I suggest we start with that. I would like to add to the agenda this evening and request that the Mayor and Auditor get me the most recent attachment. We will complete at the next meeting and request that the new council start again in January. At this time Ms. Abdella made a motion to add to the agenda for first reading TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2020. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report. Still working on her assignments.
Mr. Locke Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer made a motion to add to tonight’s Agenda a Bridge Inspection agreement with Ohio Department of Transportation. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Locke also announced that last Wednesday he attended a policy summit at Buckeye Hills and listened to approximately 27 different speakers all of which stated that there are no funds to give out.
Mr. Gant Utilities Committee had no report.
Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee stated that we now have a Mayor and he would like to see the Mayor appoint a new Recreation Commission.
Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Ms. Riffle, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: – None
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2020. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mr. Locke brought before council for first reading A Bridge Inspection agreement with Ohio Department of Transportation. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Locke moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second reading of A Bridge Inspection agreement with Ohio Department of Transportation. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Locke brought before council for second reading A Bridge Inspection agreement with Ohio Department of Transportation. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mrs. Miller asked how many bridges we have. According to the Mayor we have several.
PERSONS APPEARING BEFORE COUNCIL:
Dave Ferguson 902 Morgan Avenue asked if there would be a second meeting in December. Since I’m preparing the script for Student Government Day it would be helpful to know that.
Mr. Martin informed Mr. Ferguson that this was next on his list to do.
Also Mr. Martin informed council that if anyone has committee assignments that have not been acted upon you must do so at the next meeting or it would have to be brought up under a new council.
Mr. Martin asked for a wish from council for the December 23, 2019 meeting. According to the Mayor and President of Council they thought once the two pieces that were added this evening are passed our work should be complete.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to cancel the December 23rd, 2019 meeting. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gant made a motion to excuse Mrs. Drake from tonight’s meeting. She called Mr. Martin today and informed me that she was sick. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gant made a motion to adjourn at 8:03 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.