The Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio was called to order by Council President Mr. Neff at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Neff called the roll with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry and Mr. Robinson present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Miss Martin and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the February 24, 2014 meeting was Councilperson Mr. Martin.
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.
Mr. Neff asked for a motion to accept the minutes of the previous meeting. Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of February 10, 2014 by amending the minutes to include Mrs. Marshall in the minutes of being present. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials
Mayor Lorentz’s Report:
Tonight I would like to complete the swearing in of officers for our fire department and recognize a couple young men that are the epitome of what law enforcement and fire and rescue is all about.
Chief Eric Sinnett and Chief Ernie Clevenger presented Patrolman Tyler Huddleston and Captain Pat Taylor a citation and Officers Medal for service. On February 7, 2014, there was a fire at the Cedar Wood Apartments. Instead of this being a one-apartment fire it could have been eight apartments without the bravery and efforts of Patrolman Huddleston and Captain Pat Taylor for which we commend.
Mayor Lorentz announced that being promoted in rank tonight are James Mason to Assistant Chief, Pat Taylor to Captain and Steve Rogers to Captain. Mayor Lorentz swore in the above mentioned.
Last week I made contact with the administrator of Continuing Healthcare Solutions. They are planning a groundbreaking for the new nursing home in early April. When I have an exact date I can communicate to council.
The new Advance Auto formally opened on February 17th. Thanks to the Chamber and Susie Casto a ribbon cutting was held. Sorry to say that I missed this one due to a flu bug.
We were contacted last week about a pre-construction meeting to prepare for the new gas line project to Kraton. 38,000 feet of 8-inch gas line is being installed to provide fuel to new boilers at Kraton. Our impact will be mostly Farson Street, Rockland Avenue, and Mary Street in the city. Drawings are available if anyone is interested.
February 21st I attended the Belpre High School Science Fair and judged the participants. We were able to see some pretty interesting exhibits while there. Kraton a partner of the High School sponsored the awards for winners.
After reporting over the past few months about a possible line north to Eramet and Blue Knob road, I do have some news for council tonight. Buckeye Hills, Southeastern Ohio Port Authority, City of Belpre, and Representatives from R&J Trucking travelled to Columbus on Friday, February 14, 2014. Our group met with representatives from OWDA, OEPA, ODSR, RCAP, USDA, RD, and Ohio EPA-DSA. We explained that some of the businesses aligned on Rt. 7 north of Belpre were in jeopardy due to sewer plant issues or lack of. After explanation of our intent they not only liked the project but also commended our city for attempting to reach out and retain jobs in our area. Along with helping this group we now have an affordable path to connecting the issue with our existing line that is along the riverbank.
Today I met with W.W.W. and O.D.O.T to discuss the upcoming changes to the bridge approaches in our city. Most of the changes will be in the intersections; new markings and signal devices make up the most of the work. The downtown bridge will be in the neighborhood of $600,000. And the Memorial Bridge is at the $300,000 range. O.D.O.T. is working out the funding through safety funds and or W.W.W. As I get a firm number I will report. These projects will possibly be in the 2015 July cycle.
Hopefully our street crews will get a long deserved break from all the snow. Our small crew worked very hard to keep things moving and safe through a long period of ice and snow. Hopefully some of you noticed the complimentary letter to the editor last week. On another note we have residents that want, plowed out but no salt or cinders. Some want plowed out and salt but no cinders. Some just want plowed out. After numerous calls I contacted our attorney who advised that we are obligated to treat everyone the same and we could create a liability if we do not clear and treat then an accident occurs in that area.
Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson had no report.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger had no report for the Auditor’s Office. Miss Pittenger reminded everyone that his or her Financial Disclosure Forms are due by April 15, 2014.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that there would be a Fund created for Anti-Lock devices. A check was received from Municipal Courts regarding the Interlock Program. The Mayor mentioned in his report tonight that there were businesses aligned on Rte. 7 north of Belpre that were in jeopardy due to sewer plant issues or lack of. Being involved with the Port Authority I am pleased with the response from the meeting and the funding agencies in regards to this project. The next Annual Port Authority meeting will be held on Friday at 8:00 AM at Washington State College for anyone wishing to attend.
Treasurer Miss Martin had no report.
Communications and Petitions: none
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee reported that her committee met prior to this evening’s meeting to discuss the 2014 Appropriations. The discussion will continue at 6:30 PM on Thursday February 27, 2014. At this time Ms. Abdella called her committee meeting for 6:30 PM on Thursday February 27, 2014.
Mr. Gilbert had no report for Police and Fire Committee.
Mr. Martin was absent. No report was given for Streets, Sidewalks & Storm Sewer Committee.
Mr. Robinson had no report for the Utilities Committee.
Mrs. Marshall had no report for the Parks and Recreation Committee.
Mr. Newberry had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mr. Newberry had no report for the Economic Development Committee.
Mrs. Miller had no report for the Rules Committee.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Mr. Newberry brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CODIFIED FLOOD DAMAGE REDUCTION ORDINANCE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Newberry made a motion to suspend the rule of council of three different days to allow for the third reading of AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CODIFIED FLOOD DAMAGE REDUCTION ORDINANCE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Newberry brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CODIFIED FLOOD DAMAGE REDUCTION ORDINANCE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Newberry moved this be Ordinance #2, 2014-2015 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella informed council that she would like to table ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2014 due to further discussion on the topic.
Persons Appearing Before Council: none
Ms. Abdella asked the administration about the location of the recycling dumpsters and if it would be possible to move them for the spring and summer. The location seems to be a concern. Mr. Ferguson is to contact the recycling company and require that additional pick-ups take place during this time.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse Mr. Martin from this evenings meeting. Mr. Martin called and stated that he was still working. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella also expressed her appreciation to all the ladies and gentlemen for attending and for services provided to our city.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:00PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.