Council President Mr. Neff called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:30 p.m. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Colvin, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Miller, and Mrs. Sinnett present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the April 24, 2017 meeting was City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mrs. Marshall gave the invocation.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the minutes of April 10, 2017 meeting 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 reported that Volunteer Energy dropped off our community investment checks on Friday. Both Gas and Electric totaled just over $5,000.
Mr. Wiggins informed me that a lien has been placed on the Maple Street home we had removed after the fire.
Our emergency responders have been invited to take part in a training exercise with the Franklin County Bomb Squad. As dates are finalized I will communicate with you all.
Much is happening in our little city. Hopefully you have noticed all the commercial sites either under construction or surveyors in the process of starting. May 6th is the Ribbon Cutting at Bob’s Market at 11 AM, May 10th ribbon cutting at HHI Tire Center at 1PM and, at 4PM we will break ground at the new site for First Settlement on Rich Miller. Sometime near the end of this month the newest building at the Marietta Campus will open.
I was informed late this evening that the gentleman passed his test for the Water Department so we will be offering him a job.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross had no report.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that her office has had a successful income tax season. Lisa and I were very busy from the 10th on with citizens that had issues with filing their city income tax. We are in the process of collecting delinquent taxes and that is going very well also.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.
City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that we currently have a vacancy on council and after this evenings meeting we will have another vacancy. The two parties are vacating two seats. A Republican is vacating council at large and a Democrat is vacating the 3rd Ward Council seat. Every time we replace someone on council there is a totally new procedure. I found out this past week that the way we have done it before is not the way it should be done. If you resign from any elected office you are required to notify the Board of Elections in writing. Secondly you notify the party for which you belong within five days and no longer then forty-five days to meet in a public meeting and have to be posted 48 hours in advance so that anyone wanting to attend that meeting can attend and listen to the deliberations. After that time the Central Committee members of that party that are within the political sub-division that is presided over by the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the party that you are affiliated with and then if you can get a majority vote out of that body then the Chairman once approved can be sworn in whatever date is deemed appropriate. The Central Committee for the Republican Party to fill Mr. Turrill’s Council at-large position will be meeting on May 1, 2017 at 3PM in this room at which time we will appoint the successor to fill that seat. I will let my good friends from the other party fill the seat for the 3rd Ward Council seat that Mrs. Sinnett will relinquish after this evenings meeting. They can tell you what their game plan is for filling the seat.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella had no report for the Finance Audit Committee.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee reported that her committee met prior to this evenings meeting to discuss parking on city streets. Mrs. Miller called a Police and Fire Committee meeting for May 8, 2017 at 7PM for the purpose of discussing street parking, nuisance calls and false alarms in the city. Ms. Abdella asked that the Chief be present at the meeting.
Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee reported that her committee met for the purpose of discussing AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 939.01 (d). We discussed how this change would affect the citizens. This should only effect the month of the change. This would also give the meter readers 3 days to work on other jobs that need done. The meters can be read in about 2 days if done weekly instead of once a month. Mrs. Marshall made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for 1st reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 939.01 (d). A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Sinnett, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report. Mrs. Sinnett did address a complaint that had been brought to her attention by the Belpre Police Department by a Braun Road resident. The complaint involved two residents: Carol (Bud) and Sandy Pickerill, 937 Braun Road, Belpre and Jennifer Fought, Phil Custer of 930 Belrock Avenue, Belpre. The residents of 930 Belrock Avenue moved a survey stake and moved their driveway down to the other citizen’s property and are parking two junk cars near the property making it difficult for the Pickerill’s to get out of their driveway. Mr. Pickerill tried to address the issue with the citizens of 930 Belrock Avenue however the gentleman got irate and the police department had to be called. Mrs. Sinnett presented each member of council with pictures of the property that are on file in council chambers. Mrs. Sinnett asked that the administration do something to help Mr. and Mrs. Pickerill.
Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that the Economic Development Committee met prior to this evenings meeting. She informed council that Ohio University has a plan in place for the city. They will be meeting next week and will be scheduling a Town Hall meeting sometime around the middle of May. Mrs. Drake also reported that Washington State Community College would be giving a course in Excel. The cost will be $65 per person and there will be four sessions.
Mrs. Drake called a Rules Committee meeting for May 3rd at 6:45PM for the purpose of discussing a Code of Ethics for our city. Each member of Council has received a copy of the Code of Ethics from another city.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: – None
Mrs. Marshall brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES, SECTION 939.01 (d). Discussion followed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except for Mrs. Miller whom voted nay. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Norman Allen, 601 Barclay Street, Lot 7, Belpre addressed council as to why ordinances aren’t being enforced in parks dealing with cleanup of feces. Mr. Allen stated that he has contacted the landlord and is not receiving any call back from him. He has gone to the State level and is not getting any response. Mr. Allen also addressed the issue of maintaining your animals. Mr. Allen was informed to file a complaint with the police department if he is being threatened. Mr. Webster stated that it is difficult to enforce on private property. Mr. Webster also asked if he had tried to contact his State Representative. Mr. Allen also stated that there was a smell of sewer gas in his house.
Mayor Lorentz stated that a couple of years ago there was a problem with the Sanitary Sewer but had been corrected. Mayor Lorentz stated that he would have someone to take a look at it.
Mr. Neff told Mrs. Sinnett that he was sad to see her go.
Mr. Neff informed Mrs. Sinnett that she is still required to file her 2016 financial disclosure statement by May 15, 2017 and will also be required to file a 2017 statement next year as well because she served in 2017. She will also be required to file a 2017 FDS in the year 2018.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to adjourn. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.