Student Council President Miss Harman and Council President Will 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: Miss Collins, Ms. Abdella; Mr. Sprague, Miss Curfman, Mrs. Drake; Miss Sydenstricker, Mrs. Marshall; Mr. Reams, Mrs. Miller; Mr. White, Mrs. Sinnett; Miss Secrest and Mr. Turrill present. Also present were Student Mayor Miss Cantrell, Mayor Lorentz; Student Safety-Service Director Mr. Sydenstricker/Mr. Cross; Student City Auditor Miss Erb, Miss Pittenger; Student City Law Director Mr. Baker, Mr. Webster; Student City Treasurer Miss Arthurs, Mrs. Kincaid and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the January 23, 2017 meeting was Councilman Colvin.
Miss Harman asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Sprague gave the invocation.
Mr. Reams made a motion to accept the minutes of January 9, 2017 meeting as presented and by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials:
Mayor Miss Cantrell presented the Mayor’s Report that was prepared by Mayor Lorentz. The report is as follows: Since our last meeting Mr. Cross and I have met with Buckeye Hills and the Engineering Group at Burgess and Niple. The intent of this series of meetings is to gather enough information such as flow rates etc. and be able to present to our stakeholders an idea of what their monthly sewer bill will be. At this point we are waiting on CSX and ODOT to allow our crossing points.
On January 12th we met with the UFWC and our employees to finalize a few issues with the contract.
Saturday the 14th, I was able to swear in a new Auxiliary Police. For the first time in a long time we have a female patrolman to call on should the need arise.
On January 15th I attended the celebration and retirement party for Don Burch who retired from Boy Scouts after 43 years. Don has always been a community minded person and a blessing to many young men in our area.
January 21 I was invited to a dinner at the Lion’s Club to honor our area servicemen and women. Only one of the invitees was able to make the event. Travis Hayton a resident of Belpre and stationed in Greenland, his parents, and lady friend from Greenland did attend. Travis and family were very appreciative for the invitation. Young people like Travis gives me a sigh of relief knowing this country is in good hands.
Chief Williams, one of our Sergeants and I will start the process of interviews for a new Police officer. Also note that we are starting the testing process and interviews for the water department. And this week starts the interviews for an EMS Provider.
If you plan on running for office time is running out. Petitions need returned by February 1st.
Mr. Sydenstricker presented the report prepared by Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross. His report is as follows:
AEP Ohio announced a new online power outage map for customers. The website will include outage information such as: A. Date and time outage was reported. B. Estimated time service will be restored. C. Number of customers without service. D. Cause of the outage when information is available. You can find the map at AEPOhio.com/outage map.
Currently, the city is in the process of dealing with the property on 307 Maple Street. Notifications are being sent to the property owner and lienholders as specified in the city and state code. Once the proper legal process has been completed, the city will make a decision on demolition.
We have received a response from AEP in regard to the street lighting on Florence Street. I have scheduled to meet with AEP personnel and will keep you updated as information becomes available.
The street lighting at the Belpre Bridge will be completed in the next few weeks as a part of the ODOT project closeout process.
Miss Erb reported for City Auditor Miss Pittenger. Before you this evening is the Utility Adjustment Report for December. Copies of the report appear on-line and at the back table for your review. We would like to have Council’s approval on the December Utilities Adjustment Report. Mr. White made a motion to accept the December Utilities Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Baker presented the Law Director’s Report as presented by Mr. Webster. His report is as follows:
This is in reference to the 2016 City of Belpre Criminal Cases. Enclosed please find City of Belpre Summary of 2016 Criminal Case files opened by my office.
We have broken the criminal files down by charge – totaling (225) case files. In addition, we have listed the files by the different law enforcement agencies.
Please note that within the (225) case files opened, there are numerous separate charges that require prosecution.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to discuss with me.
The breakdown is as follows:
Child Endangering/Abuse – 7 cases, Theft – 8 cases, DUS/Speed – 32 cases, Possession of Marijuana/Drugs Para/Controlled Substance – 39 cases, OVI/DUI/Public Intoxication – 40 cases, Disorderly Conduct/Assault – 16 cases, Trespassing/Obstructing Justice/Breaking/Entering – 22 cases, Domestic Violence – 19 cases, Contempt/Breach/Violate TPO Probation – 15 cases, Dog Roaming – 1 case, Concealed Weapons – 2 cases, Receiving Stolen Property 6 cases, Expungement – 1 case, Misc. – 17 cases. Each case was also broken down as to the City of Belpre, 207 cases, City of Marietta, 6 cases, Ohio State Patrol 8 cases, Washington County Sheriff’s Office 4 cases.
Mr. Baker also stated that Mr. Webster has given each member of council a copy of the Ohio General Assembly Substitute Senate Bill 321: Public Records Reform.
A copy of the law director’s report is on file in Council Chambers.
Miss Arthurs presented the Treasurer’s Report for Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid. The Treasurer’s Report is as follows: Miss Arthurs stated that a copy of the December’s Cash Report and Year to Date Report has been placed on-line and copies have been placed on the table as you come in to Council Chambers. Miss Arthurs stated that they would like to have approval by council. Miss Curfman made a motion to accept the December Cash Report and Year to Date Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Miss Osburn was shadowing Chief Williams today and had a couple of things to discuss this evening. I would like to share a few stats with you from our Police Department. During 2016 our department received over 1,000 more calls for service than in 2015. In 2015 we had 7,256 calls and in 2016 we had 8,307. During 2016 our officers had over 300 more arrests than 2015. In 2015 we had 523 traffic tickets, 608 other arrests for a total of 1,131. In 2016 we had 1,016 traffic citations and 447 other arrests for a total of 1,463.
This year alone from January 1 to the 18th, our department has dealt with 22 drug related calls for service, including 9 drug arrests, 6 possible OD’s 1-drug overdose death, which occurred this passed weekend. We have used 5 doses of NARCAN so far this year.
Our department would like to recognize a citizen for his heroic acts on January 3rd, 2017. Sgt. Tyler Heddleston was attempting to apprehend a subject passing forged checks at the Belpre Kroger on January 3, 2017. The suspect Aaron Banks started resisting arrest and Sgt. Heddleston and Banks were wrestling around. Kroger employee Cody Webb assisted Sgt. Heddleston in making the apprehension on the suspect. This arrest helped solve an ongoing case of several hundreds of thousands of dollars where the suspect and his accomplices had been cashing forged payroll checks at Kroger’s and similar stores all over the Country.
At this time, The Belpre Police Department would like to recognize Cody J. Webb with an award for being a Good Samaritan back on January 3, 2017.
Communications and Petitions: None
Report of Standing Committee:
Miss Collins presented the Finance Audit Committee report that was prepared by Ms. Abdella. The report is as follows: Miss Collins stated that her committee met prior to this evenings meeting to discuss Manpower and the O’Neil Center Contract. A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER does appear on the agenda this evening.
Miss Collins stated that Ms. Abdella would like to call a Finance/Audit Committee meeting for February 1, 2017 at 6:00 PM for the purpose of discussing Appropriations for 2017, Athens City/County Health Department, and the Health Nurse Contract.
Mr. Reams presented Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee report. It is as follows: On January 16, 2017 at 6PM the Police and Fire Committee met to discuss EMS services to the city. All council members were present along with the Mayor, SSD and City Law Director. We had a lengthy discussion. The committee went into Executive Session to discuss all proposals with three of them being selected for further review. The Mayor and SSD will schedule appointments for the three that were selected for further review. Council returned to the regular committee meeting with adjournment at 7:35PM.
Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer was absent. Mr. Sprague stated that there was no report.
Miss Sydenstricker/Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee had no report.
Mr. White/Mrs. Sinnett, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Miss Curfman/Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Miss Curfman/Mrs. Drake, Economic Development had no report.
Miss Secrest/Mr. Turrill, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.
Unfinished Business: – none
Miss Collins brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY SERVICE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT FOR MANAGEMENT OF THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Mayor Lorentz thanked the students for their efforts put forth today for Student Government Day.
Miss Collins/Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse Mr. Colvin from this evenings meeting. Mr. Neff stated that Mr. Colvin contacted him and was ill. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Neff congratulated the students on a successful day. Mr. Neff also reminded everyone that if you plan to run for re-election the deadline is February 1, 2017. You must have 50 signatures before you can submit your petitions. Also Financial Disclosure Forms must be filed by May 15, 2017 or you will be fined for not doing so.
Katie Pintz, Teacher at Belpre High School, thanked everyone for his or her involvement in Student Government Day.
Miss Secrest/Mr. Turrill made a motion to adjourn at 7:55 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.