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 whom was late in attendance, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mr. Newberry, Mr. Robinson, 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 Mr. Sinnett.
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 Mrs. Marshall to accept the minutes ofApril 22, 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:
Interviews for street department positions are complete. Mr. Ferguson, David Shaffer and I conducted the interviews and are confident we have two good employees for the city. One started today and the other will start at the end of May.
On April 25th the Marietta Memorial Health Systems announced the next phase of their Farson Street facility. Belpre will soon be the home to the first free standing emergency in Washington County. This addition will provide approximately 100 jobs in our city. On May 6th we also received the first preliminary plans for the Farson Street Fire Department. The process will require some tweaking but, we are on the way.
On April 26th we celebrated Arbor Day by planting a tree at the elementary school with the help of the environmental group 6th graders. Jon Neff from Bob’s Market explained the importance of trees to our existence and I prepared and read a proclamation noting the date and purpose of Arbor Day.
May 2nd I attended the Day of Prayer service inMarietta at the Court House. Later that day I joined other Mayors in the ribbon cutting and grand opening of Wharton Cadillac inParkersburg.
Don Brookhart, Belpre’s oldest living member of our fire department passed on April 30th. Don was an instrumental part of our volunteer department being the last original member. Don joined in 1934 and retired in 2002. Belpre is a better place because of Don’s loyalty and commitment. Our current members honored Don with the placing of the antique truck at the funeral home and with a guard during visitation. Thank you, Chief Frank and officers, for honoring the family with your time and respect. The Governor’s Office gave me the approval to lower the city flags On Saturday for Don.
The Washington County 911 Committee needs a council member from Belpre orMariettato be a member. We also need a citizen of Belpre to sit in on the group. If anyone is interested I ask that you please address this tonight.
The Leo Club is volunteering to paint and clean the underpass at the football field. Our fire department will pressure wash the sides so to accept paint and I have intention of closing the roadway on the 26th so to protect the students while they clean and paint. The Leo Club also planted two trees at the High School in memory of Emily Spencer and Alex Joy. The family was present along with WTAP to capture the event.
On May 7th I gave the oath of office to three new officers for our fire department. Eric Sinnett is now Assistant Chief, Tony Cronin is a Captain, and Pat Taylor is a Lieutenant and Safety Officer for the department.
May 21st there will be a public meeting in our chambers to discuss the feasibility of the baseball team inParkersburg. The meeting will start promptly at6 PM.
Representative Debbie Phillips will hold a roundtable discussion at Look-OutParkMay 20th at 1-PM.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson announced that Jeff Meredith began his new job today with the Street Department and as the Mayor stated we are confident we have two good employees for the city.
On your desk this evening is a copy of a letter from members of the Board of Zoning Appeals regarding a variance request for the property onParkersburg Avenue.
The lease for the golf course atCivitanParkwill expire in July. I will be sending a letter to the person leasing the property that we are not interested in renewing the lease.
With us tonight are Fred Holmes and Chris Munn who would like to speak at some point tonight on Gas Aggregation.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that before you tonight is the April 2013 Adjustment Report that needs council approval.
Also on your desk is a two sided form that looks like a water bill. The Auditor’s Office employees found a company that will start doing our water bills and will save the city money in billing. The first billing will be in June. The bill will have a perforation that you can tear off and place in an envelope provided. This new system will save the city roughly $.06 in mailing per bill. It shouldn’t cost anymore for going to this system. Shut Off notices are very noticeable. You will have the same billing cycle.
In our Budget for 2013 we have money allocated to transfer to different funds. I am going to verbally ask to have $51,000 transferred from the General Fund to the Parks Fund. We will do another one in the next quarter.
Belpre in Bloom is having a fund raiser at Wendy’s for Belpre in Bloom onMay 16, 2013at1215 Washington Boulevard,Belpre,Ohiofrom5:00 PMuntil9:00 PM. Come by and grab a Wendy’s dinner. Belpre in Bloom will receive 10% from food purchases. We will also be having a Community Yard Sale for anyone wishing to donate. Give me a call and we can have someone pick it up.
Mr. Neff recognized Ms. Abdella in attendance.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the April’s Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to transfer $51,000 from the General Fund to the Parks Department which is half of the appropriations. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report. Mr. Webster asked if the new water bill is contracted and if his office should take a look at it. Miss Pittenger stated that a copy would be in his office for review tomorrow.
Treasurer Mr. McAfee reported that a copy of the April 2013 Treasurer’s Report is before you tonight awaiting council approval. A signed copy of the report has been presented to the council clerk. Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the April 2013 Treasurer’s Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff assigned the following to committee:
An Ordinance changing Section 521.12 of the Codified Ordinances to Mr. Newberry’s Committee.
Farson Street Turn Lanes is being assigned to Finance/Audit Committee. This must be ran all three readings this evening.
Supplemental Appropriations was assigned to Finance/Audit Committee.
Plan of Operation Governing Gas Aggregation was assigned to the Utilities Committee.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report. Ms. Abdella apologized for canceling the committee meetings for this evening however there was a meeting she had to attend at work. Ms. Abdella rescheduled her two meetings for our next meeting at6:15 p.m.for the purpose of discussing Indigent Burials and Supplemental Appropriations.
Mr. Ferguson pointed out the two Public Hearings scheduled for June 10th and June 24th at7:00 PM for the purpose of discussing Gas Aggregation.
Mr. Sinnett, Police and Fire Committee was absent. No report was given in his absence.
Mr. Wallace, Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mr. Robinson had no report for the Utilities Committee. Mr. Robinson requested the removal of SMC Communications from his list of committee assignments.
Mr. Martin, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Economic Development Committee had no report. Mrs. Marshall called a committee meeting forJune 24, 2013at6:30 p.m.for the purpose of discussing Landscaping and Abandoned Vehicles.
Mr. Newberry had no report for the Rules Committee. Mr. Newberry passed around an article on Oil and Water Conservation District.
Ms. Abdella moved to by-pass committee and add to tonight’s agenda for first reading ODOT Final Resolution Regarding Farson Street Turn Lane. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: None
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading ODOT Final Resolution Regarding Farson Street Turn Lane. Miss Pittenger pointed out the Escrow Agreement. She stated that they don’t want the Escrow Agreement. Mr. Webster stated that the legislation would have to be amended by deletion. Mr. Robinson made a motion to amend the legislation by deleting the Escrow Agreement. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
The roll was called on the 1st reading as amended. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of ODOT Final Resolution Regarding Farson Street Turn Lane. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second and third readings ODOT Final Resolution Regarding Farson Street Turn Lane. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved this be Ordinance 24, 2012-2013 and passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Fred Holmes and Chris Munn spoke before council regarding Gas Aggregation. Miss Pittenger showed concern that this may not go as well as they might think. Incorrect information was given for the Electric Aggregation and citizens were upset.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to correct the number assigned to ODOT Final Resolution Regarding Farson Street Turn Lane from Ordinance 24, 2012-2013 to Resolution 27, 2012-2013. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to cancel the second meeting in May due to a holiday. After consideration it was recommended to reschedule the last meeting in May toMay 20, 2012-2013. The Finance/Audit Committee meeting that had been scheduled was rescheduled untilMay 20, 2013at7:00 PMfor indigent burials and supplemental appropriations.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to excuse Mr. Sinnett from this evening’s meeting. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Mr. Neff stated that Mr. Sinnett announced at the last meeting of council that he would be working.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at8:30 p.m. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.