Council President Mr. Neff called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Neff called the roll with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry and Mr. Robinson present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, Treasurer Miss Martin and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the March 10, 2014 meeting was City Law Director Mr. Webster.
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 24, 2014, 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’s Report:
The Washington County Commissioners have asked that we assume some of the costs for our Dog Warden. At present the officer does respond in a timely manner at all times of the day. Marietta has agreed to the charge and the commissioners ask that Belpre assume some $200.00 per month as our portion. Mr. President I ask that this go to committee for consideration. Washington County does realize our budget is set for this year and charges would start at a later date. While in my office we did again start the conversation of sewer rates for the county. Hopefully we can meet soon and come to an agreement on new charges.
Mr. Wiggins is working with representatives from Community Action to raze a couple houses on Main St. It seems that the grant funding for this was not completely used in 2013 and we can again go to the well. Belpre could acquire funding for both.
Late last week I met with the new owner of the Old Kentucky Fried Chicken Building. The remodeling is started and the owner is excited to bring his New Mexican Style restaurant to Belpre.
Mr. Ferguson and I met with the contracting group that will be installing the new gas line to Kraton. It appears at first glance they have everything covered. Our biggest concern is that they will work from both ends and may run our water department employees from one end to another quite often.
Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson spoke briefly about the installation of the gas line. There will be four different groups working. The first group will begin and Kraton, second group will begin at Rockland and Mary Street and work toward Kraton, the third group will begin at Blue Knob which is the other side of Catfish Paradise and the fourth group will begin at Joe Skinner Road and work toward Blue Know. I know that Farson Street residents probably feel like we are picking on them with the addition of the sidewalk, AEP and now Dominion. We truly are not picking on them.
I talked to a gentleman from Verizon Wireless and they want to place a 100- foot tower in the center of town. There are two locations that were mentioned: one is by the Belpre Fire Station and the other one is on High School Property. It will be the decision of council as to whether or not they want this in town. There will be some kind of Financial Agreement. I would suggest that this be assigned to committee this evening. Mrs. Miller asked what the urgency was regarding this. Mr. Ferguson stated that it had something to do with the coverage of 4G.
Tonight on the agenda is AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM. With council approval, I would like to have this piece ran for all three readings this evening.
On your desk this evening is a Manpower List. One of our police officers has chosen a new employer. His last day with the city is March 26th. There is a slot open to be filled. Our police department is going to a 12- hour shift. We have one officer on duty however we need more officers for domestic cases.
Mayor Lorentz stated that The Washington County Job Services would begin their Summer Youth Program in the near future. If you know of anyone interested please let him or her know.
Also there is a need for an Executive Session at the end of tonight’s meeting.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger announced that if anyone would like to view the agenda or minutes on line you can do so my going to City of Belpre.com. Also posted on line is our Tax Authority Dash Board where you can see a comparison collected in 2014 verses 2013 and 2012. Last but not least we have our February Utility Adjustment Report, which is awaiting approval. Please note that during the months of December and January we have had lots of leaks. We are also cleaning up where folks have moved. Ms. Abdella asked if there were any trends in the leaks. According to Miss Pittenger the leaks are all over. Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the February Utility Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster was absent. No report was given in his absence.
Treasurer Miss Martin reported that her Cash Report is on line as well. A signed copy of her report is on the clerk’s desk. At this time 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.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff assigned the following to committee: Part-Time Sanitarian to Finance/Audit Committee, Ms. Abdella; Manpower for new police officer to Police and Fire Committee, Mr. Gilbert; and Verizon Wireless Tower to Utilities Committee, Mr. Robinson; and the Dog Warden Contract to Finance/Audit Committee, Ms. Abdella. I was contacted by the law director this evening and was informed that he would not be present at this evening’s meeting. Mr. Webster passed on legislation to me that he would like to have assigned to committee. The legislation reads A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF FUNDS AS THE CITY’S SHARE OF WASHINGTON COUNTY DIGITAL MAPPING PROJECT. Mr. Neff wasn’t sure why this needed assigned as he felt this was part of the appropriations. However, Mr. Neff assigned it to the Finance/Audit Committee, Ms. Abdella.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee reported that her committee met on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 to discuss Annual Appropriations. It was the decision of the committee to make modifications to the fire department. We will have the first reading this evening. Ms. Abdella stated that she would like to call a committee meeting for Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 6PM to discuss Part-time Sanitarian, Dog Warden Contract and Annual Appropriations modification.
Mr. Gilbert had no report for Police and Fire Committee. Mr. Gilbert called a committee meeting for 5:45PM on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 to discuss the addition to the Manpower Ordinance and Clandestine Drug Lab.
Mr. Martin had no report 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
Unfinished Business: none
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2014. Discussion followed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mr. Robinson brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM. Discussion followed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Robinson moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of AN ORDIANCNE TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Robinson brought before council for second and third readings AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Robinson moved this be Ordinance 3, 2014-2015 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Sonya Grimm appeared before council regarding the paving of Township Road 97 from the Interstate to the Bridge. Ms. Grimm was informed the paving was scheduled for this year. She also discussed the slip that was repaired. Ms. Grimm stated that the repair didn’t seem to be holding.
Fire Chief Eric Sinnett, 927 Belrock Avenue; Belpre announced that there would be a celebration this year at the fire station for 50 years for Squad Run Services and 80 years for the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department in the City of Belpre. Mr. Sinnett also announced that they are collecting canned food and monetary donations to purchase canned food to send to our soldiers in Afghanistan at the fire station.
A motion was made to go into Executive Session at 8:20 PM for the purpose of discussing Pending Litigation against the city. There will be no further discussion at tonight’s meeting. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:30PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.