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, Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.

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 27, 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 tomorrow we would hold a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the new First Settlement starting at 10 am. It would be nice for some of council to attend.

Thanks to the Chamber and The Peddler’s Junction folks we kicked off the Buy Belpre Campaign on Saturday. Abbey and family opened their doors to the community as well as the entire parking lot to draw attention to our business family in Belpre. My wife and I attended as well as some of the volunteer Firemen and our on duty Police Officer. The entire day went extremely well and gave all the sense of community. Thanks again to the Tanners and Chamber for a successful day and their donations to our emergency response people.

We will hold our Laying of the Wreaths Ceremony Saturday morning at 11 am in Cedarville Cemetery if you care to join us. The Belpre Rotary sponsors this every year.

Mr. Cross and I met with the Port Authority, Buckeye Hills, and a few of the stakeholders to discuss the future of the sewer line north to Blue Knob Road. As of now this project is dead due to insufficient grant funding for the stakeholders.

Council please remember that January 22 is Student Government Day. As many council members as possible will be needed during the day to assist with getting our students ready for the regular meeting. Mr. Neff, you will need to contact the newly elected members so they can schedule time.

Tonight we have a proclamation provided by April Gibson from the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. This proclamation is for Officer Whittington and K-9 Broski.

At this time Mayor Lorentz read and presented the proclamation to Officer Whittington and K-9 Broski.

We do not meet again until January, so I would again like to thank Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Law and Mr. Colvin for their service to Belpre. It has been a pleasure working with you all.

Mayor Lorentz informed Mr. Neff that the ODOT legislation that he had just received needed to be passed this evening.  It is in regards to signage.

Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross had no report.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger announced that the Adjustment Report has been prepared and is before you tonight.  I ask that council approve tonight.

Miss Pittenger also thanked Mrs. Kincaid for her service to the City of Belpre for the past four years.  Miss Pittenger wished her well in her new endeavors.

City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.

City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid reported that a copy of the November Cash Report is before you this evening and needs approval by council.  Copies appear on the table in the back, posted on-line, and a signed copy has been given to the clerk.

Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Adjustment Report and Cash Report as presented.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Communications and Petitions:

Mr. Neff stated that he had received a letter from the State Senator’s Office but has not had the opportunity to read it.

Also I received legislation from ODOT regarding signage that I would like to assign to Ms. Abdella’s Committee.  This piece of legislation needs to be read all three readings this evening.

Mr. Neff informed council that the swearing in ceremony would begin at 10 am on January 1st, 2018 with a brief organizational meeting to follow.  Please let me know if you want someone else to swear you in. We will need to elect a President of Council Protem, Council Clerk Protem and go over committee assignments.  This will be the only business conducted.

Mr. Neff reminded council that at the first of the year we will need to have the Manpower legislation and any updated adjustments for the 2018 appropriations passed.

Report of Standing Committee:

Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee reported that her committee met on Wednesday following the last meeting of council to discuss the Temporary Appropriation Ordinance for 2018.  We discussed that we know there has been a lot cut out of the appropriations and that we will have a lot to work on beginning 2018 with the Permanent Appropriations.  The biggest discrepancy that we have is with the Street Department.  Moving forward to January we will work on the issues.  We will finish this evening with what we have.

Mr. Neff asked if there has been any significant change to the Permissive Tax Use.    Mr. Neff heard it was going to be bumped up 50%.  The Council and Administration had not heard anything regarding this.

Ms. Abdella made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading A RESOLUTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF FLATSHEET SIGN REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE PROJECT ON STATE RT. 7, STATE RT. 32 AND STATE RT. 618 IN THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee stated that she is glad to see that she is on the Police and Fire Committee for the next term of council.  She stated that we would be working on drones, false alarms, etc.

 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 had no report.

Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that the committee met on November 30, 2017.  We went over the Economic Development Strategy Plan for the City of Belpre, Ohio.  There will be more forthcoming after the first of the year.

Mr. Shutts, Rules Committee had no report.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.  None

Unfinished Business:

Ms. Abdella brought before council for third 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.

Ms. Abdella moved this be Ordinance 23, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella brought before council for second 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.

Ms. Abdella moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the third reading of 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.

Ms. Abdella brought before council for third 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.

Ms. Abdella moved this be Ordinance 24, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella brought before council for second reading TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2018.  Ms. Abdella stated that we needed to amend the legislation to read 2016-2017 instead of 2018-2019.  A vote was made for the amendment and the second reading.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella made a motion to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the third reading of TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2018 as amended.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella brought before council for the third reading TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2018.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella moved this be Ordinance 25, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

New Business

Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF FLATSHEET SIGN REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE PROJECT ON STATE RT. 7, STATE RT. 32 AND STATE RT. 618 IN THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF FLATSHEET SIGN REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE PROJECT ON STATE RT. 7, STATE RT. 32 AND STATE RT. 618 IN THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella brought before council for the second and third readings A RESOLUTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF FLATSHEET SIGN REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE PROJECT ON STATE RT. 7, STATE RT. 32 AND STATE RT. 618 IN THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella moved this be Resolution 37, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Persons Appearing Before Council:

Karen Locke, 726 Tuttle Street Belpre addressed council regarding who was responsible for the lights on the Parkersburg Bridge.  The sign welcoming folks to Belpre is not lit up.  This is very unappealing.  Mr. Neff stated that he thought this was ODOT’s responsibility.

Bill Locke, 726 Tuttle Street, Belpre addressed the Mayor regarding the Port Authority Grants.  Mr. Webster stated that the Grants were completed.  The extra money was going to have to be a loan and paid for by the stakeholders.  The stakeholders didn’t want to pay.  The project couldn’t move forward because they didn’t want to cover the loan. The engineering has been completed.

Mr. Neff thanked Mrs. Kincaid, Mr. Law and Mr. Colvin for their service to the City of Belpre.  Mr. Neff stated that he appreciated the work they had done.

I would also like to thank Mrs. Marshal for her integrity and honor while serving the City of Belpre.  It has been an honor working with you.

Mrs. Marshall made a motion to cancel the December 25th meeting of council.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  Meeting canceled.

Mr. Neff reminded council and the administration that Student Government would be held the second meeting of January.  I would like everyone to attend if possible.

Council Clerk may not be here for the first two meetings in January.  She will be on baby alert.

If you were a candidate or officer in 2017 you will be required to file your Ohio Ethics Commission form by May 16th, 2017.  Failing to do so can cost you a fine.

Also remember when you get your election certificates from the Board of Election be sure and give a copy to our City Auditor.

I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Adjourn:

Mrs. Marshall made a motion to adjourn at 8:03PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.