Council President 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. Colvin, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Law and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the November 27, 2017 meeting was City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid.
Surrounded by many Pastors from our Community this evening Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Pastor Seth Fallon gave the invocation.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of November 13, 2017 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 announced that on November 16th I took part in the Groundbreaking Ceremony at Camden Clark Hospital. The new building to be completed in 2019 is for the cardiac team at Camden. This is exciting times for our area.
Civitan Park has four new park benches thanks to the Belpre Rotary. The new benches are set around the track on concrete pads. Thank you to our Rotary members for the donation.
November 20th we held a ribbon cutting ceremony at Inspire 111 in the shopping plaza. If my count is correct this makes 15 ribbon cuttings in the past year. Karen Waller and I are working on dates that may work for the First Settlement Ribbon Cutting ceremony. When that is finalized I will email all, so you have the chance to attend.
Today I was able to tour the new Fresenius Facility on Main Street. This is a beautiful and welcome addition to the neighborhood. Tentative plans are to be open for patients in January.
Tonight we have some of our officers with us that will be recognized for various actions while in service to our city. Chief Williams will assist me with presentations. We also have Officer Broski who will start duty with the city as of now. Broski and Officer Whittington have completed training successfully and are working successfully as you will hear later in the meeting.
Belpre Police Chief Terry Williams thanked all of those citizens and groups that donated money towards the K-9 program. He announced all the names of those who donated money that he had record of and presented certificates for his thanks.
Chief Williams announced awards for officers Heddleston, Campbell, Whittington and Nichols for their work on an armed robbery where all suspects were arrested and received jail time.
Next Chief Williams presented awards to Officers Heddleston, Tewanger and Nichols for their work on a multi state forged check ring that was in the hundred of thousands of dollars.
Chief Williams announced the AAA award that the Police Department received for community involvement.
The newest addition to the Police Department was introduced to council and the community, Officer Jesse Whittington and his drug dog Browski.
At this time Pastor Mark Eaton dedicated the dog and said a prayer for the safety of Officer Whittington, Browski, and all of our officers.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross had no report.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger announced that the Belpre Police Department written internal control policy has been placed on file, is posted on the website, and was submitted to the State Auditor’s office. This is notice that it has been adopted. Legislation is not necessary, as I had previously reported!
The October adjustment report has been posted online and copies have been made available. It needs approved by council.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the October Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that the legislation that we have before us this evening regarding changes to the tax code must be passed by the 1st of January.
City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that all officials elected in November to serve for 2018-2019 must bring in their Election Certificates to the Auditor’s Office so copies can be made pursuit to the State Auditor’s Office.
Mr. Neff announced the Belpre Youth Chamber of Commerce Holiday Get Together on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce. Food will be provided.
Mr. Neff all commended all of our businesses that participated in Small Business Saturday
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee reported that since the last meeting she has received a new exhibit regarding the 2018 Temporary Appropriations. Therefore she would like to table for this evening the second reading regarding the TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR & FISCAL YEAR 2018. Ms. Abdella called a committee meeting for Thursday evening at 5:00 PM to discuss the new exhibit.
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.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee thanked the community for what we saw here tonight. There is no way I could top that.
Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee had no report.
Mr. Law, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee reported that her committee met on November 20, 2017 to discuss Ordinance 1313.03, 01 Rental Properties.
Discussed was a listing of rentals and locations, and owners was discussed of which the City has not maintained a ledger of this information. Marietta College has been contacted and they will provide interns that will screen/survey and collect this data and perhaps help move information to a database that the City can manage.
The purpose of collecting the information is for the benefit of the community, the fire department and the police department.
This all came to me after listening to one of the police officers from the night shift that explained to council what they have to deal with in some areas of the community.
This Ordinance was approved and put in place in 1999 and has not been enforced over the past several years. If it were to be enforced it would be a great asset to the community, renters, police, fire department, and the schools.
To approach it tactfully will take a period of time beginning in 2018 with the college interns and then move forward.
I have provided Hilles Hughes at MC with what we need and connected her with Ron Cross so they may exchange information.
We hope to generate a form and place it on the City web site for landlords to list their properties and keep records up to date.
WTAP was present for the meeting and then interviewed me afterwards.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee had no report.
Mr. Shutts, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: –
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS AND TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE PURCHASE OF A STANDBY GENERATOR FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
New Business –
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.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Mr. Neff announced that he was glad to have each of you here this evening.
Mr. Webster stated that he appreciated all the calls and those showing concern for his recent surgery. Mr. Webster also announced that they would continue accepting contributions for the drug dog.
Mr. Neff stated that he has been working on the newly elected council assignments.
Mayor Lorentz announced the possibility of having to drive piling to support the hillside at the Brentwood Drag Strip Area.
A motion was made to adjourn at 8:07PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.