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. Miller, Mrs. Sinnett, and Mr. Turrill present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz; Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the May 23, 2016 meeting was City Auditor Miss Pittenger and Councilperson Mrs. Marshall.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the minutes of May 9, 2016 and May 16, 2016 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 Relay for Life is done and gone for another year. Our local volunteers are without a doubt miracle workers to endure the weather and all that goes with the weekend with a smile. Hats off to the entire group of wonderful people.
Officer Whittington, Chief Williams and I attended the Police Officers Memorial Service in Marietta May 16th. Everyone involved did a very nice job in remembering the fallen officers of our region. All branches of law enforcement was in involved.
Tonight we have Brett Alphin from Buckeye Hills here to explain the next step and grant process for the Rt. 7 Sewer Line. Legislation is on your desk tonight for you to add to the agenda. We ask that if possible to have one reading tonight so we can stay within schedule.
Leonard Wiggins is in attendance tonight to give a quick report on the code issues he works each week for the city.
Brett Alphin addressed council regarding where we were at on the Sewer Line Project. Mr. Alphin stated that Buckeye Hills are in partnership with the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority. The legislation that appears on your desk this evening is part of the application from the Economic Development Administration – Chicago Regional Office inviting the City of Belpre to apply for Public Works Grant funds in the amount of $1,500,000 (47%) as part of a one year project with an estimated total project cost of $3,212,500. Matching funds are in the amount of $1,713,500 and are readily available and unencumbered to be committed to the project by the City of Belpre. Mayor Lorentz through cooperation with Belpre City Council and other internal staff, is authorized to complete, sign, and submit an application for funding to the Economic Development Administration in the amount of $1,500,000 as part of the Public Works Grant program for the purpose of completing a sewer line project known as the City of Belpre SR7 Sewer Project. There is a discussion for a break down of funding that is due by the 15th of next month. Brett handed out his business cards and told council to contact him if you have any questions regarding the project.
Leonard Wiggins II, Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Belpre presented the following to council: There have been a total of 38 building permits issued; 4 water tap permits; 1 demolition permit for the Blue Moon. On May 2nd and May 6th I sent out 38 letters informing property owners that their lawns needed mowed. Out of the 38, 31 complied. On May 11th, I sent out 20 certified letters on 15 properties, all but 4 complied. May 18th and 19th the city mowed the lots that did not comply. The cost of mowing will be applied to property taxes per Ordinance 557.03. On May 17 there were an additional 11 letters sent out of properties needing mowed. I have been working with Jack Pepper and Charles Hammer on condemnation of 3 properties. I have been assisting property owner of 2115 Washington Boulevard on starting up a business. Jack Mason wants to start up a concession trailer. I have also been assisting Jack Pepper on 2 properties that possibly have black mold. There was a complaint of cockroaches on Lockwood Street that I also assisted Mr. Jack Pepper with. From time to time I assist the Senior Citizens, replacing guts in toilets, gas in bus, take bus to mechanic, etc. I have assisted the owner of 604 Washington Boulevard with new construction. The new business is Freed Chiropractic and is being built where the Blue Moon existed. I have assisted the new owner of 220 Main Street with guidance on questions they had. This location is where Spencer Funeral Home was. I have sent out two letters to 2 apartment complex owners regarding setting trash out early and storing to close to road. Mr. Wiggins informed council that the Ordinance on file needed to be revised. Ms. Abdella asked if a dumpster could be placed at the site since it was a business. According to Mr. Wiggins it could not. Ms. Abdella asked for a copy of the legislation to be reviewed. I have assisted property owner of 2513 Washington Boulevard and 1600 Hill Street with new construction questions. An interested business has asked questions regarding zoning on Old Main Street School property. I have assisted property owners of 712 Ohio Avenue on questions of needed variance. It appears that they are short 6 to 8 feet variance. During the course of the day I assist on squad runs. Last but not least I receive daily various complaints regarding fence questions, property line issues, neighbors dog pooping in my yard, trash in street, dirt/mud in street, vegetation growing into street, etc. I would also ask council to review the Ordinance regarding grass mowing. Mr. Wiggins was asked to check the status of fences around pools on Ann Street and Ames Street. Mrs. Drake and Ms. Abdella showed concern regarding fences around pools. If anyone has questions for me please call me. If I can’t get with you at that time leave a message and I will return your call. Ms. Abdella asked for a copy of Mr. Wiggins report.
Safety Service Director Mr. Cross informed council that the ODOT paperwork was submitted May 26, 2016. If you all notice a drone flying around town there is a group in town that is doing a project on rivers. Also on Blennerhassett Avenue, the Core of Engineer is finishing putting in a dock. Good news, the Belpre Pool is expected to open on time. This Saturday, weather permitting.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent. No report was given in her absence.
City Law Director Mr. Webster stated that his surgery went great. He is due back to work the week of May 30th. If you have any questions between now and then please direct them to Delores or Carol. You can also call me at home.
City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid had no report. Mr. Neff requested a signed copy of the Cash Report for the next meeting. We need to get the Cash Report approved.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff thanked Ms. Abdella for filling in for him when he was out of commission. Mr. Neff assigned EDA Public Works Grant to the Finance/Audit Committee. Mr. Neff stated that there was a letter on his desk titled Ridiculous disregard for public safety. He wasn’t sure who placed it there. Also assigned to Police and Fire Committee was the agreement with Ambulance Staffing Contract, MEM, LLC. Mr. Neff asked the clerk to add Vacating an Alley to the agenda of the next meeting under Unfinished Business. Mr. Neff addressed prompt actions to complaints.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee had no report. Ms. Abdella made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda under New Business, A RESOLUTION GRANTING PERMISSION TO APPLY FOR AN EDA PUBLIC WORKS GRANT. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Ms. Abdella called a committee meeting for June 13, 2016 at 7:00PM for the purpose of discussing funding structure for EDA. Ms. Abdella also called a committee meeting for Tuesday May 31, 2016 at 6:00 PM for the purpose of discussing all options for emergency services. Ms. Abdella requested that all members of council be present for the meeting.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report.
Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer addressed the cars that are unlicensed on Hill Street and Walnut Street. Mr. Colvin asked Chief Terry Williams what could be done about the problems. Chief Williams stated that officers could write a ticket, give a warning, and tow the vehicles. Bill Locke addressed the unexpired tags at 217 Walnut Street.
Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Mrs. Sinnett, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that the Mayor, Donna Miller and I attended a meeting this evening. Guest speaker was Mr. Freeman who addressed the future of our city.
Mr. Turrill, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: None
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION GRANTING PERMISSION TO APPLY FOR AN EDA PUBLIC WORKS GRANT. 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: None
Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse Mrs. Marshall from this evenings meeting. Mrs. Marshall is out of town. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to adjourn at 8:15 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.