Council President Miss Darrach 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: Mr. Whealdon, Ms. Abdella; Miss Adams, Mr. Gilbert; Mr. Hall, Mrs. Marshall; Miss Wotring, Mr. Martin; Mr. Schultz, Mrs. Miller; Mr. Worstell and Mr. Robinson present. Also present were Mayor Miller, Mayor Lorentz; Safety Service Director Miss Fury, Mr. Ferguson; City Auditor Miss Delancey, Miss Pittenger; City Law Director Mr. Lowers, Mr. Webster; Treasurer Mr. Ryu, Miss Martin. Absent from the December 08, 2014 meeting was Councilpersons Mr. Counts, Mr. Newberry.
At this time, Miss Darrach asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mayor Lorentz gave the invocation with a moment of silence for the family of Mr. Newberry.
Mr. Worstell made a motion to accept the minutes of November24, 2014, as presented and by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials
Mayor Miller presented the Mayor’s report prepared by Mayor Lorentz:
The last couple weeks have been very busy with all the holiday dinners, parades and year-end meetings. Our Holiday Parade was very well attended and all the participants had very nicely decorated floats.
Mr. Ferguson and I met with representatives from the UFCW Local 400 Union that represents our police department. As you know we had a wage opener and insurance in the contract for this year due to the insurance premiums increasing so last year. This is in line with the increases everyone else received this past January. Our tentative agreement is for two years, which makes both contracts end at the same time.
Our Civil Service Commission is getting prepared for a promotional exam for Police Sergeant. This will take place hopefully late February or early March. We will then be prepared to test for a police officer as we have exhausted our list of applicants.
On December 3rd and 4th Belpre hosted a Tree City U.S.A. Tree Academy put on by Ann Bonner. Ann is our Arborist and very aware of our issues in Belpre. Residents from Belpre as well as Parkersburg and Vienna were in attendance. 17 participants in all attended both days.
Belpre City Christmas Party is December 13th, at the Fire Department Training Center. I need to know tonight if you are coming! If you do attend, bring a covered dish to share.
December 13th at 11 AM is the Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Cedarville Cemetery. All are invited to attend.
This has been a pretty busy year for Belpre. We have two new restaurants, and new Advance Auto, and the Emergency Room at Marietta Memorial is very busy with lots of activities to come in 2015. Belpre will celebrate the opening of a new nursing home. The sewer project should be well underway for our northern neighbors and we will be working to eliminate potable water issues in the Farson Street area. Hopefully council is proud of our accomplishments for residents and businesses as I am. We have turned the corner and now have growth opportunities at our doorstop. If we continue to work together for the right reasons Belpre will flourish both in the business area as well as appearance. Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.
Miss Darrach verified the 2% for the police department as they were under a pay freeze last year. Per the Mayor this was correct.
Safety Service Director Miss Fury presented the SSD report prepared by Mr. Ferguson: On Friday December 12, 2014 the Street Department will be grinding the bumps along Washington Boulevard and Main Street. Please avoid these areas if at all possible on Friday. Thank you, Madam President; I have nothing further at this time.
City Auditor Miss Delancey presented the City Auditor’s report that was prepared by Miss Pittenger: Earlier today we placed on your desk a copy of the Utility Adjustment Report for November. The report also appears on-line for your viewing. I would like for council to approve the Utility Adjustment Report for November. Miss Adams made a motion to approve the Utility Adjustment Report for the Month of November. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Miss Lowers presented the Law Directors report prepared by Mr. Webster: The Washington County Auditor has sent notices in regard to updated real estate tax bills for four parcels owned by the City of Belpre. We are verifying the location of the parcels to show that the new construction for each parcel is part of the new construction for the Farson Street Fire Station. Once we verify the location of the parcels the new construction will be part of the petition to have these parcels declared as “exempt property” owned by the City of Belpre. We will give you an updated report next month. Thank you Mr. President.
Treasurer Mr. Ryu presented the Cash Report for the City of Belpre that was prepared by Miss Martin: Mr. Ryu announced that a copy of the Cash Report for the City of Belpre for the month of November is before you this evening awaiting approval by council. A copy of this report is also on line for your viewing. At this time, Mr. Hall made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Communications and Petitions:
Miss Darrach announced that there were no new Communications and Petitions.
Report of Standing Committee:
Mr. Whealdon/Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee reported that their committee met prior to this evenings meeting to discuss Air Vac Contract Proposal. There were both pros and cons discussed and this is going to be carried over till the January meeting for further discussion.
Miss Adams, Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee had no report this evening.
Miss Wotring/Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer Committee reported that their committee met this evening to discuss the storm drain and water distribution. There were several questions, concerns, and comments about the storm drain and construction. The ordinance would lower flooding and help ensure the distribution of rainwater. Current construction projects would not be affected, but projects would begin after the storm drain. If passed this we will need to follow the criteria. Council will continue discussing next month.
Mr. Worstell/Mr. Robinson, Utilities Committee had no report.
Mr. Hall/Mrs. Marshall, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mr. Counts/Mr. Newberry was absent. No report was given for Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mr. Counts/Mr. Newberry was absent. No report was given for the Economic Development Committee.
Mr. Schultz/Mrs. Miller had no report for the Rules Committee.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Mr. Whealdon/Miss Abdella brought before council for third reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT A FUNDING APPLICATION TO THE OHIO WATER DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS ALONG OHIO STATE ROUTE 7 NORTH OF BELPRE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Whealdon/Ms. Abdella moved this be Resolution 12, 2014-2015 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Motion passed by Miss Darrach and Mr. Neff.
Miss Wotring made a motion to cancel the December 22, 2014 meeting due to the Christmas holiday. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except Mr. Schultz and Mrs. Miller. The vote was 5-1. Motion passed.
Miss Darrach asked that all reports be passed to the clerk.
Mr. Whealdon/Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse Mr. Newberry from this evenings meeting. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Persons Appearing Before Council-
Karen Locke, 726 Tuttle Street, Belpre addressed the Air Vac Contract proposal. Mrs. Locke is very much in favor of this contract. Ms. Abdella stated that there would be further discussion on the topic in January.
Tom Webster, President of the Port Authority thanked the administration and members of council for passing the proposal of moving forward with the loan for the sewer line project.
Mr. Robinson, 2404 Norris Avenue, Belpre announced that the students did an excellent job this evening conducting the meeting.
Mr. Ferguson, 715 Park Drive complimented all the students for such a wonderful job. We had a very enjoyable day. Mr. Ferguson recognized Mr. Ryu for his outstanding job.
Mr. Worstell/Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 7:53PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Miss Darrach wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday. This council meeting is adjourned.