The Regular Meeting of the Council of the City ofBelpre,Ohiowas called to order by Council President Mr. Neff at7:30 p.m.with Mr. Neff welcoming everyone to this evening’s meeting. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Martin, Mr. Newberry, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Sinnett, and Mr. Wallace present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mr. McAfee and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the meeting was Council person Mrs. Marshall.
At this time, Mr. Neff asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. The invocation was given by Mr. Neff.
A motion was made by Mr. Sinnett to accept the minutes ofApril 08, 2013as presented and by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials
Mayor Lorentz presented his report:
If you received my e-mails it is obvious much is happening in a short period of time. Safe Routes to Schools have started alongRockland Avenue. AEPis removing and or replacing poles all over town. They are now working onHocking Road,Popular StreetandClement Avenue.
Thank goodness for a working relationship withAEP. As you know the pole that holds the lights atMiddle Streetbroke. If not forAEPwe would have had a long wait on a pole and electrician. The repairman even came back two days later and helped install proper guide wires to stabilize the poles.
ODOT, along with the owners of the nursing home have met along with our various department heads to discuss the next step for construction. As of now they are planning to break ground before June 1st. The roadway is not as much a concern as water lines and or water pressure for sprinkler systems. We are aggressively working through these issues to not hinder progress.
On April 11th, I signed the last papers needed for the bid process on Farson to begin. All the environmental reports came back positive for the Toll Compaction site. Preliminary date to announce bids is June 6th, with construction to start in July. We will have one piece of legislation to approve before finalizing. Traffic plans have been sent to the hospital,Speedway, our fire department as well as Toll Compaction.
An application is in the Commissioners hands for CDBG funds. Although we do not automatically receive monies we did apply. Items in the grant are a new set of laws for the fire department, and a new set of defibrillator leads for the squad. This is very competitive process now for our city not automatic as it has been in the past. Thanks to Leonard Wiggins it was turned in on time.
On April 11th we held a groundbreaking for the new expansion at the historical society museum. There is a lot of excitement over the added space to showcase the heritage of our area.
Thanks to the Auditor all the United Way Grants are in and the initial walkthrough and interviews were completed by me and Susie Casto. Today I met with delegates to discuss the recreation portion.
After our visit last meeting from a resident of Drag Strip Road, I contacted an engineer to assess the problem. We will meet on the 24th to discuss options. According to the Extension Office our only help may be OPWC, or the city bearing the cost. Hopefully something will pop up before we completely lose the roadway.
May 13th at our meeting Fred Holmes would like to address council about some of the issues we are experiencing with the aggregation and our bills. At that time it may be brought up to include gas bills as well. Do your research so that questions can be addressed while you have his attention.
Interviews start tomorrow afternoon for Street Department employees.
Council I have received numerous letters from our Belpre Students in reference to recycling. Is there an interest on council to pursue this? If so, this will need to go to committee for discussion before I spend a lot of time with estimates, etc.
Mr. President I would like to submit Zachary Davis’s name to be added to the roles at the fire department. Mr. Davis has been through the interview process and accepted by our volunteers.
Last week I sent a note to all council asking for your attendance at the next meeting. ODOT is awaiting the last contract for Farson and we will need to fast track it so to not hold up the start date. Please know that some of the grant money is in jeopardy should we be the cause of a holdup.
Today I received an invitation to the press conference stating the purpose of Marietta Memorial’s newest building and the groundbreaking for the next one. It would be nice if some members of council could attend. This event kicks off at10:30this Thursday morning.
Also today, I received notice that a Resource Officers Grant is re-opening and is due in May. I would like to submit a grant so to provide our schools with this officer. 75% will be paid by the grant, and we could use another officer at all times.
Safe Routes to Schools is under way. Mr. Betz tells that a couple of our hydrants are unable to close for the contractor to continue. The safest way out is to install an insert valve like we have done in other places throughout town. This will allow the hospital and surrounding neighborhoods to continue flow. Most of the issue is due to valve failures on theMary Streetreservoir. This will come at a cost of approximately $5,000.00. Council should know that the repairs on the reservoir could be as much as $15,000.00 in parts.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to approve Zachary Davis to the fire department. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
At this time, Mr. Brian Mills and Tim Hinson from SMC Communications spoke before council explaining who they are and what that they do. SMC is a full service independent telecommunication consultant corporation that is committed to helping businesses reduce costs and increase profits. Through there alliances with the nations top fiber optic carriers they are able to negotiate or renegotiate the best rates available. They currently represent and maintain millions of dollars of monthly billing for our clients. SMC is located at200 Putnam StreetinMariettaand have been in business for 18 years.
Mr. Neff assigned SMC Communication to the Utilities Committee, Mr. Robinson Chairman.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson was absent. No report was given.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that the Auditor’s Office has completed another successful and busy tax season. Letters are being sent out for those who have not filed their taxes for 2011.
I am going to send around a 2012 exit form for you to sign if you are planning on attending the exit conference with our auditor’s.
Beginning May 1st, 2013 if you pay your Utility Bill by credit card there will be a $2.50 Convenient Fee charge. This is an attempt to break even with the bank for their charges.
Arbor Day is this Friday. We will be planting a Tulip Tree at11:30 AMat theBelpreElementary School. The Mayor will be in attendance to read a Proclamation.
This is your last chance to sponsor a basket or banner for Belpre in Bloom.
The Mayor has asked me to announce that grass needs to be cut by May 1st, 2013 per our City Ordinance.
We will begin selling pool passes on May 1st. A family of five will be $150.00 with each additional person being $20.00. All single passes will be $85.00. Prices did not change from last year.
Beginning May 1st, 2013, we will begin taking applications for the Federal Poverty Grant for persons needing assistance for pool passes.
Also before you tonight is the City ofBelpre’s, Budgetary Compliance Worksheet. If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact me.
The City ofBelpre, Utility Adjustment Report for the month of March is also before you this evening and needs council approval. At this time, Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Adjustment Report for the Month of March. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that the cases in Municipal Court and Mayor’s Court continue to grow.
Opening Day at the ball park is Saturday,10:00 am. The Civitan Club will again be holding their Pancake Breakfast that day beginning at7:00 am.
Treasurer Mr. McAfee had no report.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that you should have received an invitation for the 80th Birthday Celebration of Keith Stott’s, onMay 11, 2013 at theOhioValleyUniversity.
Just a reminder that if you have not sent in your Ethic’s Commission Questionnaire you must do so byMay 7, 2013.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report. Ms. Abdella called a committee meeting for May 13th, 2013 for the purpose of discussing Indigent Burials.
Mr. Sinnett, Police and Fire Committee had no report. Mr. Sinnett stated that he has had calls from several concerned citizens regarding an access road for the Hill Street Project.
Mr. Wallace, Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer reported that his committee met to discuss the naming of the right-of-way fromWashington BoulevardtoBlennerhassett Avenueafter the two late gentlemen that owned the land, Bernard and Beryl Moore. According to the law director this doesn’t require council approval.
Mr. Robinson had no report for the Utilities Committee.
Mr. Martin, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report. Mr. Martin did ask about the status of theBowRange. According to Mayor Lorentz there have been three emails sent to the ODNR regarding the bow range and at this time there has been no response. Mr. Ruble’s boat has been removed as of today.
Mrs. Marshall, Planning and Zoning Committee, was absent. No report given.
Mrs. Marshall, Economic Development Committee was absent. No report given.
Mr. Newberry had no report for the Rules Committee.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: None
New Business: none
Persons Appearing Before Council: none
Mr. Neff went over the committee assignments.
Reminder: Resource Officer – Grant Funded Position that was mentioned in the Mayor’s Report is due in May. This is needed for our schools.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse Mrs. Marshall from this evenings meeting. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Neff stated that we need 100% attendance at the May 13th, 2013 meeting. It was noted that we will not have 100% attendance. Mr. Sinnett will be working.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at8:25 p.m. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.