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, 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, Treasurer Mr. Smith and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the April 9, 2018 meeting was Council person Mrs. Drake.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the minutes of March 26, 2018 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 deferred some of his time to our Superintendent Tony Dunn and Lance so that they could present before council the importance of why we need to pass this 10 year, 8.226 mil Emergency Operating Levy for Belpre City Schools. The conclusion is that we have a revenue problem, not a spending problem. Our district expenses increase slightly every year due to regular inflation – the same holds true for other districts, companies and family households. The fact is that the state no longer provides us with the revenues we need to keep the district operating in its current configuration, making this a survival levy. There is simply no way the state will allow us to continue to operate past the 2019-2020 school year unless we pass a levy. Without a levy we start a painfully process of state takeover.
Mayor Lorentz reported that a core group from the Economic development Team met with different entities in an effort to develop a master plan for infrastructure needs in our city. Hopefully a plan like this will not only show our areas of concern but, give us an outline of where future growth would best fit. At this time we are working to find a funding source for this project.
On Monday April 2nd I met with Steven Altmiller the new CEO of Camden Clark Hospital. Steve seems excited to be here and is looking forward to working with our community. Mr. Altmiller is planning to attend our Mayor’s Dinner here in July.
April 3rd I met with the Civitan Club to discuss our lease. They feel the lease agreement with the city has expired or is close to expiring for the lower part that was to be developed through the corp. Mr. Shutts and I are calling a meeting with the Recreation Committee to discuss the 2018 year and issues that need resolved. As of now the time is Wednesday April 11 at 4 PM here at the city building. This committee is made up by the following, Bill & Karen Locke, Zach Carte, Terry Mullen, Lee Shutts, Mike Lorentz, Ron Cross.
The Beverly Muskingum Valley Chamber held its recognition luncheon on April 4th in Beverly. During these meetings our area 1st responders are recognized for their outstanding service. Our recipient of the Officer of the year for Belpre this year was Officer Kerry Nichols. Officer Nichols working as our detective has been responsible for solving numerous criminal cases this past year. He has been quite an asset.
April 5th Officer Whittington and Officer Broski and I attended the Women’s Club meeting to explain how our newest officer was doing. Broski performed very well and I spent a few minutes answering questions after Superintendent Dunn finished his presentation.
On Friday April 6th I was able to swear in Scott Spiker as an auxiliary officer for our department. Some of you may remember Scott was an officer for Belpre a few years ago.
The Right Path of Washington County held its annual Righditerod in Belpre this past Saturday. It looked as if all was going well as I visited the exercise. The hope is to hold it here again next year.
Tomorrow night is the Ribbon Cutting and opening for Ohio Home Health’s new location on Washington Blvd. I encourage all to attend at 5-pm and wish them well at their new location
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross had no report.
Miss Pittenger reported that before you this evening is the Adjustment Report that needs approved by council. Copies appear on-line and on the back table. I would like approval by council this evening, Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Miss Pittenger announced before council that the presentation that Mr. Dunn presented tonight is the same discussion that the city is having about the city’s budget. It is not a problem with spending, it’s a problem with revenue.
Mr. Neff announced that he has signed off on the bank reconciliation.
City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that he received a letter from the County Prosecuting office regarding the Prisoner Contract. I met with the sheriff and they are no longer going to have us enter into a jail contract. They have agreed to continue to house our prisoners.
I have also received the information regarding the purchasing cooperative. I talked with the fire chief this evening regarding the actual cost of the fire truck. I will have the initial part of that legislation for our next council meeting.
I want to make a comment about something the Treasurer said regarding the amount of citizens in the City of Belpre that are over 65 and how much income tax that takes away from the city. The City of Belpre suffers from the Income Tax issue and that’s going to be a continuing saga as the Mayor and I continue to age.
City Treasurer Mr. Smith reported that a copy of the March Treasurer’s Report is before you this evening. The report appears on-line with copies placed on the table in the back. Also a signed copy has been given to the clerk. I would like to have council’s approval this evening. Mr. Campbell made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented. Ms. Abdella asked about the $430,000 that appears in the General Fund and whether or not the $250,000 would come out of the $430,000 that we are short this year. According to the City Auditor it would have to come out. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Communications and Petitions: none
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit Committee announced that the committee meeting that had been scheduled for this evening at 7PM regarding the contract with ProCare had been cancelled because all the business had been conducted with the EMS Contract,
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING A PROGRAM TO CHARGE USER FEES FOR THE DEPLOYMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES RENDERED BY THE CITY OF BELPRE FOR MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS AND RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL STRUCTURE FIRES. Discussion followed regarding the rates and billing. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Mrs. Miller called a Police and Fire committee meeting for April 23, 2018 at 7PM for the purpose of further discussing Section A of this Ordinance.
Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer announced that he had been made aware by the Safety-Service Director that we have been approved for funding from ODOT for a traffic safety program in which ODOT will pay for most of the project that we will undertake. We will hear more about that project as details become more available. This probably won’t happen before 2019. If you have questions please see Mr. Cross.
Mr. Gant Utilities Committee reported the water department had their water check for impurities and there was no Gen X in the water system in Belpre. That is good news. There was a water line break in front of the Coffee Cup Restaurant. They went in and notified the owner of the Coffee Cup Restaurant, repaired the leak and the owner wanted me to thank the water department for such a quick response.
Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee announced that as of now the Recreation Commission will meet on Wednesday April 11 at 4PM here at the city building to discuss the 2018 year and the issues that need resolved.
Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Ms. Riffle Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: –
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second 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 aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second 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.
Mrs. Miller brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING A PROGRAM TO CHARGE USER FEES FOR THE DEPLOYMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES RENDERED BY THE CITY OF BELPRE FOR MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS AND RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL STRUCTURE FIRES. 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:
Alice Stewart 214 Putnam Avenue, Marietta appeared before council to address the Foster Placement Levy “Safe homes for children who have none.” The Foster Placement Levy will appear on the Levy on May 8, 2018.
Mr. Stewart, Council person for the City of Marietta stated that we all are facing similar situations within our cities. We are all trying to figure our way out of this together.
Ron Eddy, builder addressed the status on the housing development across from the city building. I turned in paperwork in February to Mr. Cross and I thought you had 30 days to get back with me and I haven’t heard anything and was wanting to know the status. Mr. Cross stated that he has not received a response. Mr. Webster stated that there was an issue regarding the use of a drywell. Mr. Eddy stated that this has been going on for a year and I would like some help to get this project going. The engineers have to verify the storm waters and where they will flow. As soon as this is taken care of we will be in contact with you whether they approve or disapprove of your engineers findings.
Susan Eddy, builders wife addressed the time frame that it would take Burgess and Niples to approve or disapprove the development. According to Mr. Webster there is not a time frame.
Mrs. Miller added the purchasing of the fire truck in the April 23, 2018 meeting.
Mr. Shutts asked if the fire truck was going to be paid for in the 5-years of the levy. Miss Pittenger stated that you have to remember that the Supplemental Appropriations will have to be adjusted when we get the final numbers. Miss Pittenger stated that this will be discussed in a committee meeting.
Mr. Campbell made a motion to excuse Mrs. Drake from this evenings meeting. Mr. Neff stated that she contacted him that she would be out of town on a much needed vacation. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn at 8:35 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting.