Council President Mr. Martin called the February 08, 2021 meeting to order at 7:30 PM. If you aren’t a member of council please mute your computer so it will cut down the background noise. Due to COVID-19 our council meetings are being conducted through ZOOM.  The roll was called with the following members present: Mrs. Drake, Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Gant, Mr. Locke, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle, and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.  Absent from the February 08, 2021 meeting was City Auditor Miss Pittenger and City Treasurer Mrs. Copeland.

Council President Mr. Martin asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mayor Lorentz gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

President of Council Mr. Martin thanked Ms. Riffle for filling in for him at the last meeting.

A motion was made by Ms. Riffle to by-pass the reading of the January 25, 2021 minutes and accept as presented.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Reports of City Officials:

Mayor Lorentz reported that over the past couple weeks, it seems that all we have accomplished is either meeting with planning and zoning or the Health Board. With everything slowed by the virus a lot of construction and home improvements are happening.

Interviews for Dispatch and Police Officer are complete. We had good candidates for both positions.

The office area has been a wreck due to the new flooring being installed. Hopefully, we can find everything now that it is going back together. Two of the offices received a new coat of paint.

There have been a few issues with the Health Board and scheduling our residents for the Vaccine. The clinic was shut down the 4th and 5th along with this coming Thursday and Friday.  Today, I spent my time going back and forth for meetings at 10am and 1 pm in Marietta.

Thursday February 4th the Service Director and I got a tour of the new Rockland Ridge nursing home. This is an amazing addition to our community. The Fire Chief also toured on Friday to view the safety equipment and was quite impressed.

The new owners of the shopping plaza are intending on opening a restaurant that would like to serve beverages that contain alcohol. Ward 4 in our city will have this on the ballot in May. It is exciting times waiting to see what is planned on this site.

The S.D. and I are sending quite a few grant opportunities to our grant writer. The recreational opportunities for funding are starting to come in now. We are still researching for water and sewer assistance grants.

Safety-Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell reported that the startup of the new equipment and installation at Orion was held on Wednesday.  It was determined that there is a collapse in the sewer line from Orion to Lockhart.  This will be our next big repair.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent.  No report was given in her absence.

City Law Director Mr. Webster advised council that there will be a couple of new pieces of legislation to be considered at the next council meeting.  Mr. Webster told President of Council Mr. Martin that he could decide how he wanted to assign these two pieces of legislation.  One is the proposed contract with the soil and water conservation district and the other one is the contract with the O’Neil Center for the Senior Center.  Hopefully I will have this out to you by the first of next week so council will have time to review. Both of them are very similar to last year with minimal changes in regards to language and requirements.  President of Council Mr. Martin asked if there was a time frame for passage.  According to Mr. Webster we would like to pass them ASAP however they weren’t passed until April or May of last year.

City Treasurer Mrs. Copeland was absent.  No report was given in her absence.

Communications and Petitions:

Council President Mr. Martin stated that the only thing he has is that there will be two pieces of legislation coming from Tom’s office that will have to be assigned to committee.  He told council to be on the lookout for these two pieces of legislation.

Report of Standing Committee: 

Mr. Ferguson Finance/Audit Committee had no report.

Mr. Gant, Police and Fire Committee had no report at this time.

Ms. Riffle Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.  Ms. Riffle said she would like to convey appreciation to the street workers for keeping are streets as clean as possible with everything that is happening.  One day it is nice and the next day it is terrible.  We have been really lucky with that.

Mrs. Drake Utilities Committee had no report.

Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.  Mr. Shutts did ask the Mayor if he was able to get the Memorandum of Understanding with the school signed.  Mayor Lorentz stated that the signed copy has not yet been returned.

Mr. Locke Planning and Zoning Committee reported that his committee met on February 8, 2021 from 6:30-7:00 PM with Mr. Locke, Chairman.  Present at the meeting was Ms. Riffle, Mrs. Miller and several other city council members along with local citizens.  Discussion centered around C-3 zoning issues with wording on signs discussed as well as changing residential to multi-family dwelling within this area.  The C-3 zoning centers on our riverfront property.

Mr. Locke Planning and Zoning Committee reported that his committee met on February 8, 2021 from 7:00-7:30 PM with Mr. Locke, Chairman.  Present at the meeting was Ms. Riffle, Mrs. Miller and several other city council members along with local citizens.  Discussion was in regards to golf carts.  Proposals from meetings in 2019 were discussed along with requirements from ORC.  We discussed head and taillights, brake lights, turn signals, rear view mirror, seatbelts, slow moving signs, horns, etc.  Also that there would be no usage on 35 MPH Streets which include Main Street, Washington Boulevard, Putnam Howe, Lee Street and Farson Street.  Crossing of Washington Boulevard would only be permitted on Stone Road.  Crossing of Main Street would only be on 5th Street.  Discussion on safe use of the golf carts were of main concern.  Further meeting to be held.

Mr. Locke Economic Development Committee announced that he had the opportunity of attending the Southeast Ohio Port Authority meeting.  I learned a lot.  Hopefully there will be more exciting things come along.

Mrs. Miller Rules Committee had no report.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.  None

Unfinished Business:

Before moving forward with the third reading of AN AMENDED ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AUTHORIZED MANPOWER FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2021 Mr. Ferguson had a question for Mr. Webster regarding Appendix A as the ASCME Group.  Should this contract be reviewed by the Legal Counsel out of Columbus, Ohio and voted on by them prior to our council passing on third reading.

Mr. Webster stated that this was a question for them.  Mr. Webster also stated that he had no opinion.

Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that the contract we have is correct.  If you go on the SERVE website it is correct.  What we voted on was the correct contract.

Mr. Ferguson stated that the one he printed off last week was not correct.

Mrs. Hoblitzell said that she has a correct copy and also Lisa has the correct copy.  It was pulled from the SERVE website.  Also the SERVE website is where it was filed.

Mr. Webster stated that it was filed with the Labor Group in Columbus, Ohio.

Mr. Ferguson stated that since all members of council didn’t have the correct copy or didn’t know where to find it he would like to table until everyone has the corrected copy of the appendage.

President of Council Mr. Martin informed Mr. Ferguson that he would need to let the clerk know whether or not to place on the agenda for third reading at the next meeting.

Per Mr. Gant, Miss Pittenger sent out a corrected copy of the attachment on January 28, 2021 with C-1 being 1428 and S-14 being 2296.

Mr. Webster reminded the President of Council that we had not voted to table the third reading of AN AMENDED ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AUTHORIZED MANPOWER FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2021.

Mr. Martin asked the clerk to please call the roll to table the third reading of AN AMENDED ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AUTHORIZED MANPOWER FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2021.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.



Jon Neff was present with two scouts who were working toward their merit badge.  In order to receive this badge they have to work on citizenship within their community and attend a council meeting.  One of their main concerns was whether or not the Belpre Pool would be open this year.  Mr. Shutts informed them that it would depend on the State and the COVID issues.  Mr. Britton asked if the pool is in good working order.  Mr. Shutts stated that we could use help with clean-up at the pool.  Mayor Lorentz stated that every year we have to check for leaks, painting in the shower room, etc.

Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that they would be installing automatic shut-offs at the pool.

Mr. Neff said that we are in need of community service hours.

Mr. Britton stated that he has been in contact with Mayor Mike regarding his Eagle Scout Project.

Mr. Locke asked about renewing the contract at the pool.  Mayor Lorentz stated that he has already contacted Mike Bishman.  He is aware that he may or may not have that contract depending on the State decision.

Mr. Locke also announced that there is someone that is willing to donate cash to upgrade the dugouts at the ballfield.

Mr. Locke also asked about how things were going at the Senior Center.  Mayor Lorentz stated that things were going fine however there is only 10 people allowed in attendance until further notice.

Jesse Wonycott asked where she could obtain copy of the minutes.  She stated that they haven’t been posted since November.  Mr. Martin informed her that the clerk and I would be meeting with the auditor so she could show the clerk how to upload to the website.  It is not a promise for the next meeting but we are working on it.

Mr. Locke informed the clerk that he would send her a copy of his committee meeting report.

Mr. Ferguson asked who had copies of the contracts with Kathy Davis, Soil and Water and the O’Neil Center.  Mr. Webster stated that he has copies of the contracts and would forward them with the legislation once prepared.


Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn at 8:02 PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

___________________________________________________________________________________                      President of Council Mr. Martin


Clerk of Belpre City Council Kim Meredith