Council President Mr. Neff 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: Mrs. Marshall, 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 and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the November 23, 2015 meeting was Ms. Abdella, Mr. Martin and City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of November 9, 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 announced that on Tuesday November 10th I attended and spoke at the Veterans Remembrance Service at the Sr. Center. All branches of the service were represented as well as veterans of all wars since World War II.
Wednesday November 18th was Graduation for the Tree City U.S.A. Tree Academy. Three cities were recognized, Parkersburg, Vienna and Belpre.
Thursday November 19th a delegation from the Chamber of Commerce, Southeastern Ohio Port Authority and I toured the MX Motor Sports facility in Parkersburg. These folks are interested in purchasing the Middleton Doll Building.
This morning I assisted the Chamber of Commerce in a ribbon cutting exercise at Comic sense. This new business is across from the library and owned by our former police chiefs son Ira Walker.
Tomorrow night at 6 pm our police department, The Celebration Center, our police officers and the Governor’s Start Talking Initiative will host a town hall style meeting at the Celebration Center to further educate our citizens on our drug problem. Hopefully council will attend and support our Police Officers. The Right Path, Sheriff’s Office, Ministerial Alliance and others will also have a part in the presentations.
Mr. President at this time I would like to introduce and swear in our new Fire Chief Tony Cronin. Since the loss of our Eric Sinnett Tony has stepped up to the plate and has shown he has the leadership qualities and interest in not only keeping the department running but also, moving us forward. Tony has the support of the department and will have the support of this office while in this position. With Tony’s promotion there will also be changes in the officer’s ranks with people moving up to fill openings: Pat Taylor Assistant Chief, Jeff Bucy Captain, Bill Matheny Lieutenant, Jay Mason Lieutenant, and James George moves to the Training Officer’s position.
Mr. Neff recognized the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department and their service to our city.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson congratulated all the newly elected officers and families that are with us this evening. With the amount of folks here this evening, please be careful leaving the lot. I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with the ASCME Contract.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger had no report.
City Law Director Mr. Webster stated that he would be preparing a formal letter for the 3rd Ward Council position and will pass along to Council and the Mayor. There was a question whether or not to fill the position for the remaining term. I advised them of the process.
Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that he had received notice from the Belpre Youth Chamber of Commerce Holiday Get Together on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 from 5-7PM at the Belpre Area Chamber Of Commerce. Refreshments will be provided. Please feel free to bring friends and family.
There will be a meeting on November 30, 2015 at 5:30PM for the purpose of interviewing our four candidates for the upcoming Third Ward position on Council. We have one candidate with us this evening and I will notify the other three.
Mr. Neff asked the Mayor what the status was for Student Government Day on December 14, 2015. Mayor Lorentz stated that he has tried to contact the teacher at the high school and has had no response. He will go down to the high school in the morning to find out whether or not we will continue with the process.
Swearing in of our new candidates will be January 1st, 2016 at 10AM in Council Chambers. Mayor Lorentz will get someone to swear in the new council.
Mr. Neff stated that we would need to have two readings at the next meeting or have a Special Meeting to pass the Temporary Appropriations before the New Year.
The 2016 Temporary Appropriations that is on the website shows the budget for the full year. Ms. Abdella asked that Mr. Neff pass along to council that this is not just for the first quarter. Ms. Pittenger asked Mr. Webster about the way it was posted. According to Mr. Webster it is correct.
The 2016-2017 council will need some form of training and we will need to explain how things work. I will be reviewing Committee Assignments for the new term. If anyone is interested in changing committees please let me know asap.
After the first of the year council will need to convene in a Special Meeting for the purpose of fulfilling the 3rd Ward Council Seat. If council doesn’t select someone to fulfill the seat then the Mayor will appoint someone on February 2, 2016.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee was absent. No report was given in her absence.
No report was given for the Police and Fire Committee.
Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer was absent. No report was given in his absence.
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 will meet on November 30, 2015 at 6PM at the Chamber Office. Everyone is welcome to attend. Pat Menick will be the guest speaker. Mr. Newberry stated that he would have a report for the student for Student Government Day.
Mrs. Miller, Rules Committee reported that she had attended the ribbon cutting for the new business in town called COMICSENSE. I also wanted to mention what a good job our Youth Chamber is doing. Mrs. Miller said that she couldn’t say enough about the folks on our Belpre Volunteer Fire Department. What a great asset they are to the City of Belpre.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: none
Mr. Robinson brought before council for first reading TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2016. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lay over until the next meeting of council.
Persons Appearing Before Council-
Jason Church, George St. Belpre, appeared before council with a request to close an alley between 718 and 722 Ohio Avenue. Mr. Neff gave a point of clarification as to where Ohio Avenue is located. It was brought to the attention of Mr. Church after he had purchased property that they wanted to open the alley where they have placed separate water meters for the condo’s and people are driving on the waterlines. His concern is that the property owners are responsible for water lines to their property and driving on these water lines isn’t good. There has been no gravel placed in the alley since 1978. Judy Ahart, Belpre stated that she has no problem with closing of the alley. Mr. Neff explained the procedure to Mr. Church. A petition must be filed and a Public Hearing will be held on the issue.
A Public Hearing is scheduled for December 28, 2015 at 7PM for the purpose of vacating the alleyway.
Terry Mullen’s who was with the Belpre Baseball/Softball Associations addressed the proposed changes to Civitan Park.
Mr. Newberry congratulated the newly elected officers and their families.
Mr. Robinson thanked the BVFD for their services to our city.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:15 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.