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: Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Drake, Mr. Gant, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Mayor Lorentz, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mr. Smith and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the May 28, 2018 meeting was Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Auditor Miss Pittenger and Council person Ms. Abdella.

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 May 14, 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 May 15th I attended the Chamber Luncheon at Rockland Church.  Our Chamber is really taking off under the leadership of Karen Waller.

On May 16th Belpre hosted the quarterly meeting for WWW.  It seems the projects Belpre has on the backlog is still on schedule.

May 17th Habitat for Humanity held the dedication on home 101 in the City of Belpre.

On May 18th I was able to attend the Awards Assembly and banquet for our seniors.  We also kicked off the Relay for Life in our Civitan Park.

May 19th Boxers Bed & Biscuits held their grand opening.  This was quite a success with around 300 attending and just about as many dogs.

May 24th Karen Waller and I attended the 10 year anniversary for Ohio Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center.  In 10 years they have performed 44,440 surgeries at this facility.

Today I joined our American Legion in Celebrating Memorial at Leavitt’s Funeral Home.  They had a very good program for all who attended.

Background checks are being completed in hopes of finding a police officer.  More to report later hopefully.

We received a letter from an employee stating his retirement in late June.  I contacted the Civil Service board to start the process of testing.  This position will be at the waste water plant.

The officers report two different incidents of vandalism at Depot Park. They advised that they did not open the bathrooms due to the filth.  After consulting with the Chief I agreed.  Bathrooms locked.  If the vandalism continues the park will be posted NO TRESPASSING.

Mrs. Miller asked the Mayor when the vandalism is happening.  According to Mayor Lorentz it is happening in the evening.

Ms. Riffle asked what WWW stood for.  Mr. Neff stated that is stands for Wood, Washington and Wirt Counties.

Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross was absent.  No report was given in his absence.

Miss Pittenger was absent.  No report was given in her absence.

City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that the Mayor, Dr. Brockett, Law Director in Marietta and myself have been working on the Joint Health District that needs to be passed by both councils.  This is pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code Section 3709.051 and 3709.052 to enter into a contract establishing a Joint Consolidated City Health District for the delivery of Public Health Services to both the City of Belpre and the City of Marietta.

We will then need to abolish Chapter 155 – Board of Health and to enact a New Chapter 155 – creating a Joint Health District with the City of Marietta.

There must be a contract between the 2 cities and has to be approved by the Board of Health by the 1st of July to qualify for funds for an approved Health Board system.

I received a call on Friday that the City of Marietta was going to enter into a contract this Thursday night.

We have to pass the same contract that they pass.  We are probably going to have a Special Meeting to approve.  I will let you know within the next couple of days.

Mr. Webster informed the Mayor that one thing that hasn’t been worked out is the apportionment of cost between the two cities.  Hopefully it will be what we are paying now.  With the City of Marietta being a little larger they may have to pay a little more.

Mr. Webster stated that we still need to discuss the soft billing issue.  I was told that Cambridge had a provision to their soft billing.  When I searched the internet I was unable to find anything but I will get back to Mrs. Miller on this.  I did call the Ohio Municipal League and they are to get back with me as to who uses this type of billing.  The homeowners insurance would have a provision for paying for the fire services.

The fire truck purchase has not yet been finalized.  The legislation can’t be prepared until I find out who we are borrowing from, the amount we are borrowing, the interest rate, etc.

We do have one piece of legislation for the Police and Fire Committee that we have not yet passed.  Mrs. Miller stated that last year it had been decided that we didn’t need to pass.  According to Mr. Webster it must be passed.

Tonight we will have the second reading on the Garage Sale legislation.

Mr. Webster addressed the Civitan Park issue.  There will be a meeting sometime in June in regards to what is going to happen to the Civitan Property.  If they go out of business they want to know if the city wanted to own the property.  This property is a 99 year lease that the Civitan Club had with the Recreation Commission in the City of Belpre.  Anything in relation to Civitan International may require that the property be liquidated and the funds would go to someone else.  Mr. Webster has requested a copy of the by-laws so that he can review.  Mr. Webster stated that there are 2 deeds; one with a reversion clause and one without a reversion clause.

I have also been discussing storm water issues with Kathy Davis and the Ohio EPA with some repairs that need to be made.

We do have an issue on Walnut Street where a sidewalk was removed.  At this point we are still trying to decide who is going to replace the sidewalk.

Mr. Campbell addressed the storm water issue and asked if we would need ordinances and resolutions put in place. According to Mr. Webster we would not.

Mr. Shutts addressed a hollow tree on Sixth Street.

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.  Mr. Campbell 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:  none

Report of Standing Committee:

Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit Committee was absent.  No report was given in her absence.

Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee stated that she knows someone on the Cambridge Fire Department that she might be able to get some information regarding soft billing.

Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.

Mr. Gant Utilities had no report.

Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation thanked the Mayor and city employees for the clean-up that was done at the parks and boat ramps prior to the Relay for Life.  Mr. Neff stated that he had received a lot of positive feedback.

Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning reported that she really didn’t have anything to report other than she did attend the Ohio Municipal League Conference on May 18th, held at Athens and found it very informative with updates to State Regulations and good information for municipalities to implement to enhance and improve communities and their service.

Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that the committee met May 24th, with a representative of Pickering Associates, and the Director of SE Port Authority present.  Economic Development continues to look and search for ways to expand and develop business in all ways for our area.  Not only to grow business but develop business.  This is what it takes to generate municipal revenue and impact the community.

Ms. Riffle Rules Committee had no report.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.


Unfinished Business:

Mrs. Drake brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 741 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE REGARDING YARD OR GARAGE SALES. Discussion followed regarding the amount of yard sales and if you have any more than three sales you must obtain a Business License.  Mr. Smith addressed ongoing sales in area apartments.  According to Mr. Webster this would be considered commercial.  The legislation that we are working with now pertains to residential properties. 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.



Ms. Riffle spoke briefly about the Grand Opening of Boxers Bed and Biscuits.  She stated that she was amazed of all the work that has been put into the business.

Mr. Campbell asked Mr. Neff if he would assign him an Exploratory Committee for the purpose of changing the City of Belpre’s form of government to a Charter City.

Mr. Campbell made a motion to excuse Ms. Abdella from this evenings meeting.  Mr. Neff stated that Ms. Abdella had followed the rule of council and that she had an excusable absence.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Smith said he also attended the Grand Opening of Boxers, Bed and Biscuits and that the building is a beautiful asset to a run-down business.

Mrs. Drake asked if the lights are being turned off now at Civitan Park Basketball Court.  She was informed that the lights have still been left on.

Mr. Smith asked if there was any way that they could get the lights to go off at the same time.  According to the Mayor it is not possible at this time.

Mr. Neff assigned a Special Exploratory Committee to Mr. Campbell.  The purpose of the committee is to explore changing the City of Belpre to a Charter City.  Also assigned to the committee was Mrs. Drake and Ms. Riffle.

Mr. Campbell called a Special Exploratory Committee meeting for Mondy June 11, 2018 at 6:30 PM for the purpose of discussing changing the City of Belpre to a Charter City.

Mr. Webster announced that we may need to have a Special Meeting on June 4th at 6:30PM for the purpose of creating a Joint Health District with the City of Marietta.  Mr. Webster to inform the Council and the Clerk of Council if this meeting is to happen.


Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn at 8:08 PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.