Council President Mr. Neff called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:31 p.m.  The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry, and Mr. Robinson present.  Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Law Director Mr. Webster and Treasurer Miss Martin.  Absent from the May 11, 2015 meeting was City Auditor Miss Pittenger and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.

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.

Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of April 27, 2015 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 as of May 5th the ARC Grant Profiles are complete for Farson Street water line improvements and for the Waste Water Plant Generator.  Both grants are a 50/50 but the improvements are much needed if we are to grow or remain compliant with the EPA.

At a Chamber function last week a couple residents approached me and county employees who wanted the city to know what a fine police force we have.  These folks were in a CIT Class with our officers and were impressed with their actions.  It is nice to know our officers are professional and courteous.

Council you questioned the meth bust in our city and asked when the EPA would inspect.  After speaking with the Sheriff’s Department I found the EPA was only interested in how the cleanup was performed NOT the dwelling.  This liability goes back on the owner and occupant.

Belpre celebrated Arbor Day on April 30th.  Hopefully you got to read the article and saw the pictures of the students that helped.  The day prior we travelled to Athens for Tree City USA awards.  Belpre was recognized for 19 years as a Tree City.

May 2nd was opening day for baseball.  This year I again was fortunate enough to get the first pitch across the plate without being embarrassed.

May 6th I met with the Jr. Chamber to explain the recycle program.  These young folks are planning a workday to clean up certain areas of town.  They also are very excited to start curbside recycle.

May 7th was National Day of Prayer observed at the Courthouse in Marietta.  There was quite a nice crowd in attendance.

Mr. Ferguson and I met with the stakeholders for the Rt. 7 North Sewer Line.  The project engineering is moving along and should be 90% complete in late June.  Today I met with EDA to discuss grants.  (Economic Development Administration)

May 7th was our date to interview for the Sr. United Way Grant as well as the Recreation Grant.  At this time I am in the process of writing a COPS Grant for an officer’s position in Belpre.  The optimum position in this round is a public relations trained officer or a resource officer for schools.

On May 8th I was asked to be part of a panel to field questions from guests invited by Nonprofit’s LEAD.  It was an interesting morning with some 20 people asking for our input on the oil boom, and business climate in the region.

Our officers are here tonight as today has been set aside as Peace Officers Memorial Day.  The week of May 15th is National Peace Officers week.  In honor of this I have prepared a proclamation to mark this event.  Mayor Lorentz read the proclamation.

Becky Henson is with us tonight.  Becky has been our O’Neill Center backup for Susie Casto for about 8 years.  With Susie retiring Becky will now be our new director.  If you wish I will have Becky introduce herself and take questions if necessary.  Becky introduced herself to the community.

Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson reported at the last meeting there was a question about a piece of property on Blennerhassett Avenue.  That issue has been resolved.

Last year we passed Senate Bill 106 into law, which created a fine for operating a motor vehicle, and causing an incident that requires rescuing.  A sign was designed to use for roads that are temporarily covered by a rise in water level, in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.714. The Standard Sign Design says ROAD CLOSED HIGH WATER MAX FINE $2,000.

Mr. Ferguson called a Public Hearing for May 25th, 2015 at 7:00 PM for the purpose of discussing a request to rezone variance on the height regulations as per Ordinance 1149.02 located at 1451 Boulevard Drive.

On your desk this evening you will find a letter from the Kimble Recycling & Disposal, Inc. regarding upcoming changes to our trash and recycling pick-up.

At this time I would like to allow time for a presentation from Mr. Fred Holmes.  Mr. Holmes presented Mr. Robinson with a check for $4,327.88 from our Electric Aggregation for Community Reinvestment.  Later on we should be receiving a refund check from the Gas Aggregation.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent.  Mr. Neff stated that Miss Pittenger sent him an email regarding a message she received from the State Auditors.  The following did not attend Record Training for their term:  Mr. Martin, Mrs. Marshall, and Mr. Neff.  Those attended were Mr. Robinson, Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry and Ms. Abdella.

City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that he is currently working with the Safety-Service Director on the final changes with the Kimball Contract.  Hopefully we will have all corrections made by the end of the week.  Copies will be distributed to council once complete.

Mr. Webster stated that it is great to work with our Police Department.

Treasurer Miss Martin had no report.

Communications and Petitions:  None

Report of Standing Committee:

Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report.  Ms. Abdella called a committee meeting for June 8 at 6:45 PM for the purpose of discussing Clandestine Drug Labs and Boulevard Sands right away.

I would also like to thank Mrs. Locke for providing me information on the Everbridge Communication System.  That information has been passed on to the Mayor.

Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee called a Committee Meeting for May 25th at 6:45 PM for the purpose of discussing Golf Cars.

Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.  Mr. Martin asked Ms. Abdella about what we were discussing at this meeting.  He wants to be sure that homes being used for these Meth Labs be addressed.

Mr. Robinson, Utilities Committee had no report.

Mrs. Marshall, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.

Mr. Newberry had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee.

Mr. Newberry had no report for Economic Development Committee.  Mr. Newberry stated that he did meet with Mr. Wiggins regarding items on his assignment list.

Mrs. Miller, Rules Committee reported that she attended the Chamber meeting with the Mayor.  The Jr. Chamber is very excited about recycling.  Mrs. Miller stated that she attended the meeting that was on her assignment list.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None

Unfinished Business:  None

New Business:  None

Persons Appearing Before Council-

Victoria Higgins addressed council regarding selling property at the end of Boulevard Sands.

Mrs. Higgins also addressed the city streets in the development.

Mr. Neff asked if there would be an issue with I & I drainage.

Mr. Webster asked that Mrs. Higgins have her attorney call him about the sub-division.

Motion was made by to cancel the meeting of May 25th, 2015 due to Memorial Day.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Gilbert cancelled his May 25th, 2015 committee meeting.


Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:15.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.