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. with Mr. Neff welcoming everyone to this evening’s meeting.  The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Baker, Mrs. Boso, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Sinnett present.  Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Treasurer Mr. McAfee.  Absent from the meeting was Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.

At this time Mr. Neff asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Sinnett made a motion to amend the minutes of March 14, 2011 to reflect a change on Page 4; second paragraph should read Mr. Martin moved this be Resolution 20, 2010-2011 and duly passed instead of Ms. Abdella. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Reports of City Officials

Mayor Lorentz reported that after our meeting last month in Athens with Trustees, Commissioners, and the Partnership Mayor I was asked to draft a letter to Congress and Senate in opposition to a lot of the proposed cuts in all the budget bills.  The letter was adopted by the membership and sent.  Hopefully somebody in Columbus and Washington is listening to Appalachia.

March 3rd the Washington County Commissioners met in our council chambers to hold their monthly meeting.  A few people from our city attended and Mr. Martin from city council.

March 4th Mr. Ferguson and I met with the President of AEP to discuss upcoming rate increases.  It looks like there will be approximately a 4% increase in the future.

The Righditerod was a success although our team fell apart at the last minute.  I volunteered as a crossing guard for the twelve teams that participated and the Right Path gathered some $12,000 for local food pantries.  Even with the heavy rain everyone seemed to enjoy the experience.

The Middleton Doll building is now being handled by a new board of directors.  The CEO tells me that they plan on being much more aggressive in the sale of properties.  They will be listed with a local broker who may help us fill the building.

On Friday March 11, I held a meeting with approximately forty residents, business owners, educators, school board members and city council to discuss future plans for our city.  We are seeing some growth and progress in Belpre and I feel that a group of positive thinkers can be an asset to both schools and council.  A new superintendent will be named on the 14th of this month and this group can also be the nucleus to change the attitude toward our schools and city.  We need to define the areas for development and advertise the benefits of living or growing a business here.

On you desk you will find information on gas de-regulation and legislation being considered at this time.

Today I received a call from Buckeye Hills informing me that they were starting the grant for ARC funding to widen the Farson Street area.  Hopefully this will go through and I will be successfully obtaining the remainder of the cost with Issue II monies.

As you know I have been quite pleased and proud of our Police Department and their efforts to keep our city safe.  Tonight I have the pleasure of recognizing a couple young men for a job well done and present them with the Honorable Service Citation.  I will also ask them to accept the Department Unit Citation for their fellow officers and the dispatch dept.

At this time, Mayor Lorentz recognized Tyler Huddleston and Officer Stump for their successful investigation and arrest in a robbery.  Also recognized was the dispatcher.

Regardless what you read in the local Newspaper, This is still Belpre AND SPELLED WITH A CAPITAL B.

Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson spoke briefly about the Natural Gas and Electric Aggregation Program for the City of Belpre and what we must do to get it on the ballot if council so desires.  Secondly, he addressed the Proposal for Operation of the City of Belpre’s Summer Pool.  There is a provision with the contract with the Y.  I have addressed this with Mr. McCauley.  There is also concern about the chemicals purchased for the pool by the Y.  Mr. Ferguson recognized Suzy Zumwalde, CEO, who will serve as the primary contact for the proposal.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that at last months meeting we discussed delinquent taxes.  There were 171 delinquent tax letters sent out.  Twenty percent have responded, thirteen have paid in full and 21 have scheduled payment arrangements.  All others have until April 10th, 2011 to respond.  On the Treasurer’s Report if you compare the interest, the interest has almost doubled.

City Law Director Mr. Webster thanked the Safety-Service Director for taking care of Lake Tom at Civitan Park.

Treasurer Mr. McAfee reported that a copy of the February’s 2011 Treasurer’s Report was distributed prior to this evenings meeting and is awaiting council action.  At this time Mr. Robinson made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  Mr. McAfee also stated that he had distributed some information regarding the Sr. Levy.

Communications and Petitions

Mr. Neff announced that he received a couple pieces of mail for which they have been forwarded on to the Utilities Committee and the administration.

Report of Standing Committee:

Ms. Abdella had no report for the Finance/Audit Committee.

Mr. Baker, Police and Fire Committee had no report. Mr. Baker congratulated the Police Department for their accomplishments.

Mrs. Marshall had no report for Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewers.  Mrs. Marshall also thanked the Police Officers for a job well done.

Mr. Robinson reported that prior to this evenings meeting the Utilities Committee met for the purpose of discussing Sanitation Funds and Gas and Electric Aggregation.  Mr. Robinson called a committee meeting for March 28th, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of discussing energy aggregation.  Mr. Ferguson made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE REGARDING THE DEPOSIT OF RECEIPTS OF SANITATION REVENUE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Martin, Parks and Recreation Committee echoed the remarks regarding our Police Department and the outstanding job they are doing.  At this time, Mr. Martin made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO APPLY FOR GRANT FUNDING FROM THE UNITED WAY ALLIANCE OF THE MID-OHIO VALLEY FOR THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER AND FOR THE BELPRE RECREATION COMMISSION.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Boso reported that prior to this evenings meeting at 7:30 p.m. there was a Public Hearing held for the purpose of discussing the CHIP Program.  We will have the final reading this evening.

Mrs. Boso had no report for Economic Development Committee.

Mr. Sinnett, Rules Committee reported that the Rules Committee met prior to this evening’s meeting for the purpose of discussing noxious weeds, grass or other vegetation on property located within the city limits.  After discussion it was agreed by the committee to add this to the agenda for tonight’s meeting.  There was also discussion on an Ordinance regarding removal of litter from property located within city limits.  After discussion it was agreed by the committee to add this to tonight’s agenda.  At this time Mr. Sinnett made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE REGARDING NOXIOUS WEEDS, GRASS OR OTHER VEGETATION ON PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN CITY LIMITS and AN ORDINANCE REGARDING REMOVAL OF LITTER FROM PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN CITY LIMITS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  Mr. Sinnett announced that he would like the open burning regulation for the city of Belpre on the agenda for the next meeting.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None

Unfinished Business:

Mr. Martin brought before council for third reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AN APPLICATION FOR A COMMUNITY BOATING FACILITY GRANT. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Martin moved this be Resolution #31, 2010-2011 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Boso brought before council for third reading A RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE AND DIRECT THE MAYOR TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR A GRANT TO CONDUCT A COMMUNITY HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

Mrs. Boso moved this be Resolution #32, 2010-2011 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Martin brought before council for second reading ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR CALENDAR AND FISCAL YEAR 2011. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

New Business:

Mr. Martin brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO APPLY FOR GRANT FUNDING FROM THE UNITED WAY ALLIANCE OF THE MID-OHIO VALLEY FOR THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER AND FOR THE BELPRE RECREATION COMMISSION. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Martin made a motion to suspend the rule of council requiring reading of the resolution of three different days to allow the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO APPLY FOR GRANT FUNDING FROM THE UNITED WAY ALLIANCE OF THE MID-OHIO VALLEY FOR THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER AND FOR THE BELPRE RECREATION COMMISSION. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Martin brought before council for the second and third readings A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO APPLY FOR GRANT FUNDING FROM THE UNITED WAY ALLIANCE OF THE MID-OHIO VALLEY FOR THE BELPRE SENIOR CENTER AND FOR THE BELPRE RECREATION COMMISSION. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Martin moved this be Resolution 33, 2010-2011 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Robinson brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE REGARDING THE DEPOSIT OF RECEIPTS OF SANITATION REVENUE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

Mr. Sinnett brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE REGARDING NOXIOUS WEEDS, GRASS OR OTHER VEGETATION ON PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN CITY LIMITS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  This will lie over until the next meeting of council.

Mr. Sinnett brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE REGARDING REMOVAL OF LITTER FROM PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN CITY LIMITS. 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:

Mr. Baker and Mr. Robinson recognized the Police Department and their families.

Adjourn:

A motion was made my Mr. Robinson to adjourn.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.