Council President Mr. Martin called the April 13, 2020 meeting to order at 7:41PM. Our meeting is being conducted through ZOOM due to the COVID-19 virus.  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 Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Treasurer Linda Copeland City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Council Clerk Mrs. Meredith.

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.

Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the minutes of March 18, 2020 meeting as presented and by-pass the reading.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Reports of City Officials:

City Council President Mr. Martin announced that all reports of the city officials appears on the cities website.  A motion to approve these reports was done by voice vote by all voting members of council.  The roll was called with all members of council present voting aye.

Mayor Lorentz report appears on the cities website.  His report is as follows:  Over the past few weeks, the O.U. team and the Tree Commission has decided to postpone the construction of our wetland until fall.  At this point nobody knows when we can be together to work on the project.

The contract with AFSCME is complete and being reviewed by both sides of the table.  Although we had few changes, we finally came together in the best interest of all.

Our maintenance crews are working an altered schedule to assure all stay safe.  Nobody has the need to share a vehicle, eat lunch or take breaks without keeping the social distance guidelines.  Our water department has repaired numerous leaks throughout the town but, seem to be able to maintain a safe distance from one another.

Emergency equipment and PPE still remains a concern for all departments.  As they are distributed throughout the county it seems Belpre is at the bottom of the list.  Our department heads are continually trying to find and purchase the needed materials.

This being the 2nd week of April places some doubt as to opening the city pool.  Mike Bishman and I are talking and believe that if the order is lifted by May 4th, we can still open, our dates may need to slide but at least we can have some summer.  As more information comes available, I will keep everyone up to date.

Don’t forget to apply for your ballot in the upcoming election and also go on-line and fill out your 2020 Census form.  Both are extremely important to all.

Safety-Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that she hopes everyone is staying well. The past couple of weeks has been challenging.  I have been working from home, but have gotten an awful lot of things accomplished.  I have completed Job Descriptions and evaluation forms for employees.   I have also updated the handbook and it is ready to give to each employee.  The department heads have been adjusting well to scanning documents, sending them to me for signature or approval and forwarding to the proper destination.  Technology is great once you work out the kinks.  The mayor has apprised you on the altered schedules.  It seems to be working well.  I have spent a lot of time trying to get video conferencing set up for the council meeting……we will be using Zoom, but may change to Google Hangouts.  I sent the renewal in for the electric aggregation.  I have sent more information to FEMA for the payment we are supposed to get.  Laura turned it over to another person and he is asking for the information all over again.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger report appears on-line however it will not be given verbally until the next in-person session of council.

 

City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that he has reviewed all the pending legislation and I will be sending you an email tomorrow regarding whether we need to take action or reviewed by council.  I sent everyone an email regarding the legislation on AN EMERGENCY RESOLUTION DECLARING THAT A LOCAL EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE CITY OF BELPRE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, OHIO, and DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  The reason this came about was because last Friday the Ohio Municipal League sent out a letter to everybody telling us that it would be beneficial as far as contingent future funding to take care of COVID-19 due to losses or grants we might have.  I have prepared that and sent out to everyone.  Mr. Webster confirmed that everyone had received the legislation.  This is something for you all to consider.  I know that the City of Marietta is considering one and the Village of Beverly is also considering.  This doesn’t have to be done tonight as I realize it hasn’t been assigned to committee or you haven’t had time to read and consider.  This is entirely up to you all.  I have been involved in the ZOOM Joint Health meeting that was held on Saturday.  There will be an additional regular meeting held this Friday at 10AM which will be held as a ZOOM meeting and anyone can attend.  The issue that is being considered at this meeting is provision of PHI which is Personal Health Information.  If you have any questions please feel free to give me a call.

Ms. Riffle had a question for Mayor Lorentz regarding city employees driving city vehicles home.  Mayor Lorentz stated that this was not a past practice.  Ms. Riffle stated that there has been a city vehicle at a home near her mother’s house for over a week now.  The vehicle is there both during the day and in the evening.  Mayor Lorentz said this may have been set up and he is not aware of it however he will check it out with the department head.

Mrs. Copeland’s reports also appears on-line but will not be given verbally until the next in-session meeting of council.

Communications and Petitions:

President of Council Mr. Martin assigned the following to committee: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A SALT CONTRACT WITH THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION was assigned to Finance/Audit Committee, Mr. Ferguson Chairman; AN ORDINANCE TO ALLOW THE EXTRUSHEET SIGN REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE PROJECT ON STATE ROUTE 7 IN THE CITY OF BELPRE was assigned to Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer, Ms. Riffle Chairperson; AN EMERGENCY RESOLUTION DECLARING THAT A LOCAL EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE CITY OF BELPRE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY was assigned to the Finance/Audit Committee, Mr. Ferguson Chairman.

Report of Standing Committee: 

Mr. Ferguson Finance/ Audit Committee made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN EMERGENCY RESOLUTION DECLARING THAT A LOCAL EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE CITY OF BELPRE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.  Mr. Ferguson stated that he will hold a future meeting on both the Manpower and Senior Center legislation.

Mr. Gant, Police and Fire Committee reported that the Census for Ohio is 51.8%, Belpre is now at 47.9%.  Mr. Gant stated that he had contacted Mrs. Hoblitzell regarding Mr. Webster’s question about the MCA report.  According to Mrs. Hoblitzell she said she has already sent the information.  I looked through my records and did see where she sent it to everyone on April 1, 2020.  I also have the spreadsheets from the BVF Association that itemizes the expenditures for purchases for the Fire Department in 2019 and year to date 2020.  The expenditures for purchases for 2019 was $27,711.17 and 2020 as of this date is $9,130.86.  I think we need to proceed with the bids for the ambulance service for Belpre.

Ms. Riffle Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.

Mrs. Drake Utilities Committee had no report.  Mrs. Drake announced that her committee meeting has been postponed until further notice.  She asked council members to review our ordinance for amendments and other cities ordinance such as Gallipolis, Portsmouth, Ironton, and Barberton so that we can more effectively cover issues. Many cities have covered water issues effectively and some even offer an insurance to cover these matters.

 

Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.  Mr. Shutts stated that he does have a copy of the Belpre City Civitan Park Athletic Facilities Memorandum of Understanding.  This Memorandum of Understanding is between the Belpre City School District and the City of Belpre regarding the use of the fields at Civitan Park.  We will need a meeting on this to discuss.

Mr. Locke Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.

Mr. Locke Economic Development Committee had no report.

Ms. Miller Rules Committee had no report.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.  None

Unfinished Business: – None

NEW BUSINESS: 

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A SALT CONTRACT WITH THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A SALT CONTRACT WITH THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for the second and third readings A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A SALT CONTRACT WITH THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson moved this be Resolution #1, 2020-2021 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Riffle brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCNE TO ALLOW THE EXTRUSHEET SIGN REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE PROJECT ON STATE ROUTE 7 IN THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Riffle moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of AN ORDINANCE TO ALLOW THE EXTRUSHEET SIGN REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE PROJECT ON STATE ROUTE 7 IN THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Riffle brought before council for the second and third readings of AN ORDINANCE TO ALLOW THE EXTRUSHEET SIGN REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE PROJECT ON STATE ROUTE 7 IN THE CITY OF BELPRE.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Riffle moved this be Ordinance 4, 2020-2021 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for first reading AN EMERGENCY RESOLUTION DECLARING THAT A LOCAL EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE CITY OF BELPRE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except for Mr. Locke whom voted nay.

Mr. Ferguson moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of AN EMERGENCY RESOLUTION DECLARING THAT A LOCAL EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE CITY OF BELPRE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Ferguson brought before council for second and third readings AN EMERGENCY RESOLUTION DECLARING THAT A LOCAL EMERGENCY EXISTS IN THE CITY OF BELPRE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except for Mr. Locke whom voted nay.

Mr. Ferguson moved this be Resolution #2, 2020-2021 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

PERSONS APPEARING BEFORE COUNCIL:  None

President of Council Mr. Martin thanked Mrs. Hoblitzell for her hard work in getting the ZOOM application up and running and the learning process.

Ms. Riffle asked if this is the plan for the next meeting of council.  According to President of Council Mr. Martin it probably would be.

It was stated in the meeting that there was no hurry on the Local EMS versus Pro Care.

ADJOURN:

Mr. Ferguson made a motion to adjourn at 8:24PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.