The Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio was called to order by Council President Mr. Neff at 7:40 p.m. with Mr. Neff welcoming everyone to this evening’s meeting. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Baker, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Sinnett, and Mr. Wallace present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mr. McAfee and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the meeting was Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson.
At this time, Mr. Neff asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the minutes of January 09, 2012 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 presented the below report before council:
Effective January 3rd Kimble Companies is consolidating all waste disposals and recycling entities into one name KIMBLE. They assure their customers that service will remain consistent. Kimble also owns Ace disposal along with J&J.
Allohak Council for Boys Scouts of America has asked for Civitan Park to be the site for their Camporee in June. As of now I have reserved the entire park June 20th through the 23rd for this activity. If attended as well as the past years have been you will see 250 to 300 young men in our park during this time. The Belpre leadership has asked us to come up with a project they could complete during this time to thank the city for their cooperation and support.
On Friday the 13th Washington County Sheriff’s Department held a sale on the Courthouse steps. Nobody entered a bid on the motel property. This may be a long process cleaning up this area.
At the last meeting I was elected to the Board of Directors for Marietta Health Foundation Board. This is somewhat of a new experience for me but looking forward to it.
Dawn Raugh from Washington Morgan Community Action will be scheduling public hearings for our next CHIP Opportunity. Possible times will be February 13th and March 12, prior to our council meetings.
The city has now $50,000.00 toward the expansion of the Senior Center. In this year’s appropriations I am asking council to consider adding funds to complete this project. I am working to gather new quotes for some of the items that may have changed.
Since our last meeting I did attend an informational meeting at the college addressing funding from the state along with our new Superintendent. This is the states way of spending municipal funds that we once received without competing with the larger cities. Maximum grant amounts are $100,000.00 per project.
On your desk I have placed an invitation to a meeting explaining the Utica Shale and Fracking operations going on in our area. The meeting is open to the public and I have been told we should try and attend to assure Belpre City is represented.
Susan Hagerty from the High School called and would like for us to come up with a problem that the Problem Solving Team could work on this semester. If you have an idea please let me know as this exercise starts in February.
The Dog Warden will be returning the 25th of this month during the hours of 1pm until 8pm for all those who need tags.
Mr. McAfee emphasized the additional $15,000 from the Senior Citizens Grant to make the $50,000. If the monies are not used within this year we will lose the money.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson was absent. No report was given in his absence.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger presented a spreadsheet that she uses for the State Audit. This is a helpful tool that she uses to be sure we are staying in the budget. We do have some citations. They are all payroll lines.
End of the Year Report – First page tells you actual expenses vs. revenue. We had more revenue then expenses as a whole. The next page is Revenue, followed by the expenses on the third page and finally the Income Tax Collection on the last page. Mr. Neff asked Miss Pittenger if the increase on the last page was due to the aggressive tax collections. Miss Pittenger told Mr. Neff that this was all due to the aggressive tax collections. Mr. Neff also asked about the negative dollar amount on Fund 604 Sanitation. Miss Pittenger informed Mr. Neff that this was when we transferred funds from the sanitation fund to the general fund.
At the last meeting I had asked for everyone to vote on their favorite color for Belpre in Bloom. The primary color for this year is “yellow”. When fixing up your landscaping this year be sure and use the color yellow. We have several projects planned this year as well as fund raising events. We are planning a Bus Trip to Bob’s Market as one of our fund raising events. On that day we will enjoy shopping in downtown Pomeroy and enjoying a nice lunch at the Wild Horse. We will be also asking for personal and business sponsors for Baskets in the Park and for banners for up and down Main Street.
Last but not least is the Utility Adjustment Report for December awaiting Council approval? Mr. Sinnett made a motion to accept the Utility Adjustment Report for December. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that Mayor’s Court continues to be lengthy. Multiple pieces of legislation have been prepared by the law office and have been assigned to committee. At this time there is no known litigation involving the city.
Treasurer Mr. McAfee reported that a copy of the November and December Treasurer’s Report is before you tonight and is awaiting council approval. Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the November and December 2011 Treasurers Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Signed copies have been presented to the clerk.
Mr. McAfee announced that the Lions Club is once again sponsoring the Annual Senior Luncheon. Awards will be given and also a free lunch.
Mr. McAfee also stated that he would be out of town for a few days as his wife would be having back surgery.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that he had distributed legislation that was prepared by our law director. In this was A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING SUPPORT OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO, TO WOOD-WASHINGTON-WIRT INTERSTATE PLANNING COMMISSION CONCERNING MAINTAINING CURRENT POPULATION THRESHOLDS FOR METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS. I would like to by-pass committee and vote on this as a whole. Ms. Abdella asked for point of clarification. Mr. Wallace made a motion for first reading A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING SUPPORT OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO, TO WOOD-WASHINGTON-WIRT INTERSTATE PLANNING COMMISSION CONCERNING MAINTAINING CURRENT POPULATION THRESHOLDS FOR METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to suspend the rule of council to allow for multiple readings. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion for second and third readings A RESOLUTION EXPRESSING SUPPORT OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO, TO WOOD-WASHINGTON-WIRT INTERSTATE PLANNING COMMISSION CONCERNING MAINTAINING CURRENT POPULATION THRESHOLDS FOR METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Marshall moved this be Resolution 1, 2012-2013 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Neff encouraged all members to send a letter opposing this resolution.
Several pieces of legislation have been passed out and I encourage each member of council to begin taking action on this legislation.
I would like council to move into the 21st Century and operate as an electronic environment. Ms. Abdella suggested a secure site to the Cities website.
Mr. Martin suggested that council consider using Notepads.
Mr. McCauley also addressed his concerns from the Law Office point of view.
Mr. Neff also reported that he received a letter of intent (from a gentleman) to establish a business in Belpre. The name of the business is Bernie’s Transportation and Courier Service. This service would be used to transport the elderly. The business location would be 923 Florence Street. Mr. Neff assigned this to Planning & Zoning. Mr. McAfee asked if this service would be handicap accessible. The service would not.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella had no report for the Finance Audit Committee. Ms. Abdella made a motion to by-pass committee and add to tonight’s agenda A RESOLUTION GRANTING BLANKET AUTHORITY TO THE MAYOR TO APPLY FOR GRANTS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council. Ms. Abdella called a Finance Meeting for January 25, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the Permanent Appropriations.
Mr. Sinnett reported that Police and Fire Committee met prior to this evening meeting to discuss the purchase of two police cruisers. Mr. Sinnett stated that the committee would decide after the Finance Committee meeting as to their intentions. Mr. Sinnett asked about placing the legislation for purchasing the police cruisers on the agenda. It was the suggestion of the law director to hold off due to confusion.
Mr. Wallace had no report for Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewers Committee but discussed his intentions for his committee.
Mr. Robinson had no report for the Utilities Committee. Mr. Robinson called a committee meeting for February 13, at 6:30 p.m. for the purpose of discussing Gas and Electric Aggregation.
Mr. Martin had no report for Parks and Recreation Committee however he told council that he had talked with Anytime Fitness about giving a special rate for city employees. Mr. Martin called a committee meeting for February 13th, at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of discussing Safe Routes to Schools, storm water run-off, Farson Street turn lanes and guard rails to close Dana Road.
Mrs. Marshall had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mrs. Marshall had no report for Economic Development Committee.
Mr. Baker had no report for the Rules Committee.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION GRANTING BLANKET AUTHORITY TO THE MAYOR TO APPLY FOR GRANTS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mr. Neff recognized Chief Clevenger, Chief Frank and Leonard Wiggins our new Code Enforcement Officer.
Mr. Robinson spoke briefly about the closure of the Department of Motor Vehicle and how disappointing it was.
Also discussed were our city pool and the pool being handicap accessible.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:30 p.m… A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.