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, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mr. Smith and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the May 14, 2018 meeting was Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross and Council person Mr. Gant.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Mrs. Drake made a motion to accept the minutes of April 23, 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 reported on April 26th I met with the owners of Burger King and project manager. It appears we will see activity after soccer tournaments the 26th of this month. The owners were quite sympathetic to the parking issues should they start now.
On April 27th we started the interviews for our patrolman vacancy. It looks like we have two good candidates but, will have to wait until graduations to bring our selection onboard.
May 1st I met with a representative from Pickering and Associates to discuss installing a charging station for electric vehicles at Civitan Park. Mr. Pickering was quite helpful during his visit as he was able to check out our solar panels. As it turns out they are working quite well and possibly better than he expected. We are also looking to add solar panels to another Belpre building possibly very soon. Mr. Webster and Mr. Gant have the legislation to start this process. Mr. Gant may want to call a committee meeting in the near future to better explain to council and field any questions.
May 2nd I assisted with scholarship interviews at the High School. We had quite a few stating that they wanted to return to Belpre and Teach or some wanting to return in the medical field.
May 3rd I was able to take part in the National Day of Prayer in Marietta. Many of our Belpre Pastors were in attendance as were some of our residents. Wonderful day.
Friday May 4th I took Toni Tiano an inside tour of our city. We discussed the many needs and are trying to prioritize but not miss any opportunity for grants.
On May 9th my wife and I took a group of Sr’s to Taco Bell for lunch. When it was announced that Taco Bell was coming they had me promise that I would buy lunch when it opened. As it turned out the day we set aside was a day I could not get the bus so, we had only 10 or 12 transported by cars.
There is some interest in allowing folks to launch their Kayaks from the lower Civitan area. (Old boat dock) As this moves forward I will contact Mr. Shutt’s for input.
This coming weekend is Relay for Life and also a Bass Tournament with over 100 boats on Saturday. 30 boats again on Sunday. Saturday is also the ribbon cutting and Grand Opening for Boxers Bed and Biscuits this is 2pm until 5pm for those who may want to attend.
Mr. Webster has legislation for our partnership with Marietta Health Board. Hopeful we can get this and get it approved before we lose this grant cycle.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross was absent. No report was given in his absence.
Miss Pittenger stated that you may remember that in February of this year you gave Mr. Smith and me approval to open a Star Ohio Account so that our investment was receiving the highest interest rate available on reserve funds for the city in 2018. Thru the end of April interested collected is $7,800.54 compared to $4,327.71 collected in 2017 during the same four month period. The account has only been open for 2 ½ months and we have almost doubled the interest collected. With your approval, Mr. Smith and I would like to open a Star Ohio Account for the EMS Levy funds so that this fund will continue to grow while the money is being collected. A motion was made by Ms. Abdella to allow Mr. Smith and Miss Pittenger the approval to open a Star Ohio Account for the EMS Levy Fund. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
The April Adjustment Report has been made available on the website and copies are on the information table at the back of the room. This report needs council’s approval. Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the Adjust Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Lastly, as part of the budget process council challenged the Belpre in Bloom volunteers to provide 100% of the funding for the floral displays throughout the city and the purchase of trees for the tree commission to plant as part of their mission statement. They need your help by sponsoring a basket, container, or tree to continue the hanging basket program at Civitan Park. Belpre in Bloom will be absorbing the cost of materials and labor for the planting and watering of baskets this year which has always been a budget line item for the city. To make this a success please consider becoming a sponsor. Thank you to those of you who have already stepped up to keep planting pride in our community.
Mr. Neff announced that he had signed off on the bank reconciliation for last month.
City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that he has been working with Dr. Brocket in regards to a Joint Health District. Dr. Brocket had stopped by my office on Friday and delivered a letter regarding those involved in the State of Ohio, and the accreditation process. Dr. Brocket would like for us to have something in place in the month of May.
Mr. Webster discussed details in regards to 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. Mr. Webster advised Chairman of the Police and Fire Committee to remove the legislation that was up for third reading this evening as the language needed to be revised.
The Safety-Service Director and I have been working on storm water issues within the city. There are three potential areas that we are looking at.
My office has received complaints regarding a camper being occupied on Florence Street that we are looking into. Mrs. Drake stated that there may be one also on Hocking Road. Mr. Webster asked that Mrs. Drake get him an address and they will look into the issue.
City Treasurer Mr. Smith reported that a copy of the April 2018 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. Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that if anyone needs to get in contact with him that you may do so by calling 740-889-1995 or by email at email@example.com.
Also Mr. Neff wanted to make it known that if anyone saw the news caption at the bottom of your screen on WTAP regarding Mr. Gant it is not true. Our 3rd Ward Council person is not resigning from council and we are not looking for someone to replace him.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit Committee had no report.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee announced that due to the language of 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, Section A of this Ordinance we will be removing from the agenda this evening.
Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer announced that our Street Department has been working very hard to fix all the pot holes in our streets. They have been doing an outstanding job.
Mr. Gant Utilities Committee was absent however he had a report that was presented by Mr. Neff. His report is as follows: On Tuesday April 23, 2018, I had breakfast with Eddy Smith from SOPEK about the gas aggregation for the City of Belpre. He gave me a lot of information about how their company would work with our city.
After that meeting I went over and talked to the Mayor and Safety-Service Director Ron Cross and shared all the information that Mr. Smith had given me.
Wednesday April 25, 2018 I had a meeting with City Council about what SOPEK was offering. There were two areas of discussion that I didn’t like. One, Mr. Smith indicated that we were about to do things illegal. He said we were out of compliance, of which we are not. Another thing was his company has a variable rate and we wanted a fixed rate.
Thursday at 3PM Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Ron Cross, and I had a meeting with AEP Mitch Dutton and Chris to give me more information about what their program had to offer. Mayor Lorentz and Safety-Service Director Ron Cross had already had several meetings with AEP and was very impressed and after I talked with them they did have a better program. They are going to help us with a 60-day extinction with PUCO, (no extra cost), they will provide the city with a fixed rate. On Tuesday the letter was sent to PUCO for a 60 day extinction.
The city already has the electric aggregation through AEP.
I also talked to Ron about street lights staying on during the daytime. He informed me of proper procedure to take care of them. The city pays for the electric for the lights.
On Tuesday, May 1st, I went to a meeting with Leslie, Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Ron Cross, Chip Pickering and Nick Arnold from Pickering Electric. The meeting was an informational meeting about installing a vehicle charging station and installing solar panels. They are considering installing these at Civitan Park. They also checked out our existing solar panels on the roof of the city building. It was determined that they were in good working order.
I attended the Business Expo at Boxers Bed and Biscuit Monday. It was very impressive and well attended.
I also called AEP and notified them of two street lights that stay on during the day time hours. This costs the city unnecessary extra power usage and cost. Anyone noticing this can call AEP with the pole number and the street name and they will take care of it.
Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation reported that he has received complaints about our parks not being mowed and the shelters being full of bird feces. With the Relay for Life coming up this weekend I would like to see the parks looking presentable. Mayor Lorentz stated that they had one person on vacation, one hurt, and two to do the job of four people.
Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning reported that her committee met on May 1, 2018 at 6:30 PM for the purpose of discussing Ordinance 741 Regarding Yard or Garage Sales. Present for the meeting was Josh Campbell and Judy Drake.
Legislation had been tabled for additional discussion on content before another reading being presented.
We went over the Ordinance as in place and compared it with the amended version and decided to leave the amended version as written as a benefit to the city.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that on April 26. This Committee strives to serve the Community by helping in Economic Development Growth from all aspects.
The Belpre Chamber of Commerce Business Expo held April 30th at Boxers, Bed & Biscuits was a great success and well attended and appreciated.
Boxers, Bed & Biscuits will hold their Open House on May 19th.
The addition that was in the Sunday paper on April 29th should make all aware of what the Chamber and Economic Development works hard at, and explained many accomplishments. I hope each of you took the time to read it.
In front of you is a Press Release by the Chamber on ‘2018 Buy Belpre”. I hope you each will take time to be a part of this and get a decal. We need to support these activities.
Ms. Riffle Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.
Unfinished Business: –
Mr. Campbell brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM. Discussion followed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Campbell moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the third reading of AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Campbell brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except Mrs. Miller who voted nay.
Mr. Campbell moved this be Ordinance 4, 2018-2019 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except Mrs. Miller who voted nay.
Mrs. Drake brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 741 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE REGARDING YARD OR GARAGE SALES. 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:
Derrick Hadfield 1580 Lois Street addressed Council about an existing Kayak ramp. For safety issues he would like to see changes made. He was asked to get a cost estimate and a written explanation as to what he would like to do for approval by Mr. Cross. Mr. Hadfield stated that the existing foundation is already there.
Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street addressed the lights being left on in our parks by the basketball court. Mrs. Locke also addressed the Garage and Yard Sale legislation.
Mr. Campbell addressed the feces in the shelters in our parks.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse from tonight’s meeting Mr. Gant. Mr. Neff stated that Mr. Gant had followed the rule of council. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Campbell made a motion to adjourn at 8:27 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting.