Mr. Neff called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:30p.m. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Drake, Mr. Gant, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. There is no City Treasurer appointed at this time.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Mrs. Drake made a motion to accept the minutes of March 11, 2019 meeting as presented and to by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials:
Mayor Lorentz reported that Rob Reiter from the Southeastern Ohio Solid Waste Authority called in reference to Senate Bill 50 now in the house. Rob states that if this is passed our costs and contracts will go up due to funding now designated to the district will now also assist the Soil & water conservation Districts. As Rob explained to me this would be about a $0.25 raise per ton. Recycle is already causing issues without losing needed funding for the landfills etc. On Wednesday I sent letters to Senator Hoagland as well as Representative Edwards opposing this action.
We also received word that a bill is in play to give authority to the Commissioners to use Senior Levy money for Public transit. If our seniors understand this, another levy for seniors will never pass. Mr. Hoagland and Mr. Edwards also received notes regarding this action. As a late note, this bill House Bill 62 has been either defeated or removed from the floor. It seems that many complaints or letters hit their mark.
March 13th I met with Misty Crosby from Buckeye Hills Regional Council. Misty explains that our membership will be going up somewhat as their services have increased and the fact our cost per resident has not changed since the 70’s.
On March 20th I met with representatives from Ohio Christian University Representatives who would like to have a presence in our community. This faith based college offers quite a list of classes and opportunities for adult education. Anyone interested, I have a couple flyers you may pass around for review.
Friday morning I met with a Board Member from the Washington County Humane Society. They are looking for a spot in Belpre, or close to Belpre for a satellite facility. On your desk is a sample contract they use with Marietta and an idea of how much business we give them from our city. They would also like for us to consider a similar contract with the county as their funds are very tight also.
March 29th 10-AM Groundbreaking ceremony at Dr. Hawkins new site on Washington Blvd.
Friday evening I received word through Representative Edwards that the PUCO approved the plan that benefits Belpre getting natural gas. Actually the Way it was explained to me was that they did not object to the project. Dominion has no details as of this afternoon but states they will contact me hopefully next week with a progress report.
Council, I have provided you a list of grants either awarded or in play for our city.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross reported that before you tonight is A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PARTICIPATION IN THE ODOT ROAD SALT CONTRACTS AWARDED IN 2019. This piece of legislation is due by April 19th. So if council so desires they could have two readings this evening and one at the next meeting. The traffic light project is moving right along. As a reminder this year we have a new ordinance regarding grass cutting. The height of the grass can’t be any more than 6 inches. We are also reminding citizens that trash is not to go out to the street until 24 hours prior to pick up. This is to avoid any trash blowing onto other properties. GIS is working with us helping us to locate our storm water and storm sewer infrastructure.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger announced that our Cash Report for February has been on line for the past two months and needs approval by council. Copies are on the back desk and a signed copy has been given to the Clerk. Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the February Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Also in the absence of a City Treasurer I have a Treasurer’s Report that needs approved. Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that there has been several pieces of legislation prepared since the last meeting. He asked different members of council if they were receiving their legislation on-line. Those asked responded yes to his question. Other than the Salt Contract the other pieces of legislation serve as annual pieces of legislation such as the CHIP Program and Dog Warden. In regards to the sidewalk situation on Walnut Street I have spoken to the Attorney and informed him that the landowner is in violation of an ordinance and that either he complies or we are going to put the sidewalk in. His response was that he would talk to his client. Mr. Webster informed the attorney that April 1, 2019 was his deadline. The prisoner’s contract with the Washington County Jail is the same contract as last year that we could not accept. I have contacted the Washington County Commissioners and the County Prosecutors telling them that we can’t accept this. One of the previsions is that if we arrest someone and we take them to the jail for incarceration until they have their hearing we are responsible for their care. According to the contract we are responsible for paying for the care of that prisoner from the moment we make the arrest. I’m objecting to all of those things and I’m sending them a letter.
There has been no City Treasurer appointed at this time.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff assigned the ODOT Salt contract and the Belpre Senior Center to the Finance Audit committee and I ask that they be placed on the agenda this evening under new business.
Received a letter from the Ohio Municipal League regarding Transportation Infrastructure Funding Statement. This statement is the result of a comprehensive study of the transportation infrastructure needs unique to municipalities.
Mr. Neff stated that we have been without a City Treasurer since the end of February. We have 5 to 45 days in which to appoint a new Treasurer by the Central Committee. I haven’t received any notice that anyone is interested in filling this position. However when I walked in this evening I was informed that we have two persons interested but I have not been approached. If you know of these two folks please have them contact Clifford Walker, Pam Thomas, Kelly Cox or myself so I can inform the Chairman of the Central Committee in Marietta so we can have a meeting and appoint a new treasurer. They will only serve until the end of this year.
Mr. Neff stated that he has a contract on his house and if he doesn’t find a place to live in Belpre within the next 90 days you might find yourself looking for a new Council President.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit reported that her committee will meeting on April 8, 2019 at 7:15 pm for the purpose of a brief overview of the two pieces of legislation being added this evening ODOT Salt Contract and Management to the Belpre Senior Center.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report.
Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer reported that there are grants out there that are way beyond our means and beyond matching ability and for what we are looking for sidewalks are not in existence at the moment. We will continue looking.
Mr. Gant Utilities Committee had no report. Mr. Gant announced that he has a website and phone number for the AEP Aggregate Program. Ms. Abdella asked that the website and phone number for the AEP Aggregation be put on the cities website.
Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report. Mr. Shutts called a meeting for Parks and Recreation for April 3rd, 2019 at 6PM for the purpose of discussing the status of the pool. The pool will be open this year but we will need to find the means to operate the pool next year.
Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that the committee would meet on Thursday at 6PM.
Ms. Riffle had no report for the Rules Committee.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: –
Ms. Abdella brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AUTHORIZED MANPOWER FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2019. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved this be Ordinance 13, 2018-2019 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second reading ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2019. Discussion followed regarding medical supplies and over spending of our budget and how to increase our revenue. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved to suspend the rule of council on three differed days to allow for the third reading of ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2019. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for third reading ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2019. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved this be Ordinance 14, 2018-2019 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. We need the most current attachments to this Ordinance. We will also need a supplemental for the two items that we discussed.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY FOR DOG WARDEN SERVICES. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mr. Campbell brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO A COMMUNITY HOUSING IMPACT AND PRESERVATION PROGRAM PARTNER AGREEMENT WITH THE WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Campbell moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second reading of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO A COMMUNITY HOUSING IMPACT AND PRESERVATION PROGRAM PARTNER AGREEMENT WITH THE WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Campbell brought before council for second reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO A COMMUNITY HOUSING IMPACT AND PRESERVATION PROGRAM PARTNER AGREEMENT WITH THE WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Ms. Abdella 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. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PARTICIPATION IN THE ODOT ROAD SALT CONTRACTS AWARDED IN 2019. Brief discussion regarding the pricing followed. 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:
Steve McDougle 125 ½ Walnut Street addressed the issue of delivery trucks backing in to a Private Drive on Hamilton Court and also the speed bump. Mr. McDougle thanked the street department for fixing the pot holes on Hamilton Court. He verified the date of April 1st as being the deadline for sidewalk. He was informed that it also depended on contractor availability.
Penne Riffle reported that she had been informed that the gas problem on Rockland and Mary Street had been resolved. Ms. Riffle asked if there had been any progress on the sink holes. Mayor Lorentz stated not at this time. Are there any updates on the Health Department merge? Ms. Riffle stated that she came in one day and there were no nurses on site. She was informed by Mr. Webster that three nurses had been hired at the last meeting.
Bill Locke 726 Tuttle Street stated that he was in agreement with Mr. Campbell that we need to be proactive and look at the needs of the city prior to passing next year’s budget.
Mayor Lorentz stated that he had received a call from the Lieutenant Governor’s Office regarding the gas tax. He stated that State Representative Jay Edwards was on board. He encouraged council to contact Senator Hoagland regarding this topic.
Mayor Lorentz also reminded council of a spot in Belpre or close to Belpre for a satellite facility for the Humane Society.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to adjourn. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.