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, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry and Mr. Robinson present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the April 14, 2014 meeting was Councilperson Mr. Martin, Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson and Treasurer Miss Martin.
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 March 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:
Chief Clevenger, Officer Joe Kirby and I concluded the interviews for a new police officer. We were in total agreement and offered Derek Tewanger employment with the city. Derek was employed with the college as an officer.
March 27th I met with area Mayors, Trustees, and Commissioners to discuss a Road Usage agreement that will compliment the county as a whole. With the influx of heavy trucks I believe we should all be on the same page and not be working from numerous playbooks. Belpre should not be greatly affected but we do need to be involved. As we progress I will communicate with council.
On March 30th a group of volunteers assisted the Auditor, Ms. Abdella and I with planting some 50 trees at the Memorial Bridge entry area. We again will be working tomorrow evening at 6PM if you have some free time.
April 2nd I met with the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority and the CABL representatives to discuss the opportunity of having bus service in Belpre. If council and or the community believe this is doable there will be a charge. Before I spend a lot of time and money on research I would like to have your opinion.
With my schedule it was impossible to attend the MATAC Meeting on the proposed bike path through Belpre. Leonard Wiggins and Larry Lorentz volunteered to represent Belpre in this project. Not being a bicyclist at this point in my life makes it hard to try and develop a route through our city.
My reports over the last few months have mentioned the upcoming road projects through W.W.W., O.D.O.T. and Belpre. To obtain the safety funds to proceed we must commit approximately $75,000 for the year 2017. This amount takes care of both intersections at our downtown bridges, lights, signage, and markings. With this in mind we must now prepare for re-paving the 4-lane, Main Street, and Washington Blvd. I have maps and preliminary numbers for the committee to study so we can decide how much and when it can be completed. O.D.O.T. is assisting me now with locating a tar buggy so the street crew can begin correcting joints before paving begins.
My wife and I attended the Historical Society Dinner, The Mayor’s Association Dinner, and the Spaghetti Dinner for the Right Path of Washington County.
The construction company doing the gas lines through Belpre have decided to open dig the line up by the cemetery. What this means is that Belpre will have new sidewalks from Farson to the Church of Christ. With every inconvenience there is a bright spot if we look for one.
On April 11th I attended the Buckeye Sheriffs Association meeting with our County Sheriff Larry Mincks. Sheriff Mincks offered us cameras to help alleviate the trash issues that keep popping up. If you watched the news today, it looks like I will need them.
With us this evening is Chris Munn who is with Volunteer Energy (our Electric Supplier). It has been one year since we became your supplier. Tonight I have an investment check for the City of Belpre in the amount of $4,962.72.
Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson was absent. No report was given in his absence.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that before you tonight is the Utility Adjustment Report that I need approved. Copies of the report are in the back of the room and also posted on the cities website. The report is a total of 106 pages. In the last four years we have cleaned up a lot of things. Anyone that has moved out of a piece of property and still showed a balance and the balance was older then 2011 we wrote it off. We sent bills to about 25 residents for 2012 and have collected from 5 residents. The R.I.T.A. information forms are on the cities website. It gives very informative information as to how the tax collections are going for this year. Miss Pittenger informed the public as to how to access the cities website and informed them of information that you can find on the website. The old swing set that was rusty and splintery has been taken down. We are re-cycling the timbers and are using in our Landscape Project. At this time Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.
Treasurer Miss Martin was absent. No report was given.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that he had received a letter from John Lorentz regarding portable basketball hoops that are causing traffic issues.
Also received was the City of Belpre Budgetary Process for Calendar and fiscal year 2015.
We also received a letter from Nat’l Church Residency regarding the funding of Putnam Howe Village.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report. Ms. Abdella asked if the newly hired police officer was from Marietta College. Mr. Tewanger was formerly employed at Marietta College as an officer. Ms. Abdella asked if the bike path would be on city streets. The Mayor stated that he thought it would be. She informed the Mayor that somewhere there was a map that had to do with the bike path. The map dated back to 1997-1998.
Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee had no report. Mr. Gilbert made a motion to place on tonight’s agenda for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY FOR THE CARE AND SUSTENANCE OF PRISONERS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Martin was absent. No report was given 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. Mrs. Miller called a Rules Committee Meeting for April 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM for the purpose of reviewing our Sunshine Laws and for discussing Fracking and Social Media. Mrs. Miller requested Charts of Accounts and Performance Audit.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AUTHORIZED MANPOWER FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2014. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mr. Gilbert brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY FOR THE CARE AND SUSTENANCE OF PRISONERS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gilbert moved to suspend the rules of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY FOR THE CARE AND SUSTENANCE OF PRISONERS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gilbert brought before council for second and third readings A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY FOR THE CARE AND SUSTENANCE OF PRISONERS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gilbert moved this be Resolution 5, 2014-2015 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to excuse Mr. Martin from this evenings meeting. Mr. Martin contacted the President of Council and has an excusable absence. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Sonya Grimm, Ridgewood Heights appeared before council regarding the resurfacing of Township Road 97. Ms. Grimm wanted to know if Drag Strip would be resurfaced. The Mayor stated that the money is forthcoming. Drag Strip would be raised and fixed. Ms. Grimm asked if there was water under the street. Mayor Lorentz stated that he wasn’t aware of any water. We would love to see Right Path come to Belpre.
Mario Kuhn, 1111 Blennerhassett Avenue appeared before council regarding the possibility of sprucing up Main Street. Mr. Kuhn was told that through Community Action some of these run down properties were tore down. He was also informed that next month the building in front of Kroger would be torn down through CDBG monies. Mr. Kuhn wanted to know if they can help or is there any organization around town that could help. Mr. Neff encouraged him to get involved with some of these organizations around town that is already involved with the clean up.
Miss Pittenger reminded everyone about filing his or her taxes. If you haven’t filed your Ohio Ethics Financial Disclosure you must do so. If you haven’t filed your R.I.T.A. taxes please come see me tomorrow. They are receiving 100 hits per minute. There is no way that you will be able to file online.
Mr. Webster thanked the Senior Center for allowing the use of their facility for making Easter Eggs for the Belpre Jr. Baseball/Softball League.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:12 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.