Council President Mr. Martin called the June 14, 2021 meeting to order at 7:30 PM. If you aren’t a member of council and are on ZOOM please mute your computer so it will cut down the background noise. The roll was called with the following members present: Mrs. Drake, Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Gant, Mr. Locke, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell, City Law Director Mr. Webster, City Treasurer Mrs. Copeland and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the June 14, 2021 meeting was City Auditor Miss Pittenger.
Council President Mr. Martin asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mrs. Drake gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
A motion was made by Ms. Riffle to by-pass the reading of the May 24, 2021 minutes and accept as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials:
Mayor Lorentz reported that the Service Director and I have been assisting a potential Eagle Scout with his service project. This young man will be installing two Pickle Ball courts just east and adjacent to the pool. The blacktop is completely re-done to better accept this activity.
Blennerhassett Avenue should be complete as of this writing. Hopefully, everyone appreciates this and takes care not to damage.
Our City Pool is open but, the weather so far is not cooperating. Hopefully, the sunshine will draw better crowds. This past Saturday was a great day according to the manager.
June 3rd the Sr. Center re-opened for lunch provided by Rockland Ridge. This is the new nursing home on Washington Boulevard for those who have not noticed.
The American Legion, Belpre Area Veterans and the French Consulate bestowed a great honor on one of our city residents. Roy Sees at the age of 102 received the French Legion of Honor award. The Service Director my wife and I were in attendance.
On June 5th I was asked to greet the American Legion Auxiliary at their Summer Conference.
With the retirement of a street department employee, we offered employment to Alan Smith. Alan started today. If you see these new guys, please introduce yourself.
The street foreman, Service Director and I met with contractors to start estimates for Civitan Park Pond repairs last Thursday. Hopefully, bids come back favorable. I am also working with the ODNR looking for grant opportunities.
With us tonight is Jeff Greenley our Belpre City Schools Superintendent. Jeff would like a moment of your time this evening.
Mr. Greenley announced that he was pleased to announce that we were able to complete five days a week for our children. Three week summer school will complete this week. Our staff did what they needed to do to put our children first.
I have distributed to all members of council the Belpre Golden Eagles Portrait of a Graduate along with the Eagle Flight Plan. We tried to incorporate the cities seal. The Portrait of a Graduate is what we want. The Eagle Flight Plan is the start of getting it to happen. This is for you to understand and analyze the steps we are taking.
We are very pleased with our Cross Country Team this year. Eli Fullerton was a 2 time State Champion last week in the 1600 and 3200. He is the first since 1996. Congratulations to Eli and the Coaching Staff for a job well done.
Our Golf Team also did well this year.
We have used some of our COVID monies to increase staffing in the upcoming year. We have hired an additional Science and Math teacher as well as a Gifted and Talented Teacher. When looking across the board this year there was some decline in Science and Math. With students being at home it was hard to do Science experiments and logical thinking in Math. This is where we identified the largest GAPS in learning. This will also help to reduce sizes of classroom students in both Science and Math. We are going to offer Calculus, Physics and Journalism classes. COVID impacted all of our students.
We have also hired a new Football Coach Jimmy Bell. He comes to us from Ohio State University. He is 6’6”, 350 plus pounds. He has a big heart. He knows kids, loves kids and helps kids. We are very excited to have him.
We have had some Service Projects this year.
We appreciate all the work from Jesse Rauch and council.
Finally this is our 150th Anniversary of Belpre City Schools. We will have some events planned. In September we are going to have a Community Meeting. Belpre City Schools have not had much work on their facilities for some time. We will have three or four of these meetings. We want to talk about our facilities and can we have a 21st Century Facility. We want voices heard. I would ask that council appoint at least one person to be a part of the Community Meeting. However you all are invited.
Mr. Locke asked Mr. Greenley when the School Board meets. He said that it is the third Monday of each month at 5:00 PM. I believe this month the meeting will be held June 23, 2021. This is because our fiscal year ends and extra time is needed to get everything completed.
Ms. Riffle asked where Belpre stands in CRT. Mr. Greenley stated that we recently had a meeting on this to talk about. I believe the controversy revolves around the State Level.
Mrs. Miller was appointed to be a part of the committee as well as Council President Mr. Martin.
If anyone has any questions after reviewing the material don’t hesitate in getting a hold of me to discuss.
Safety-Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell reported that she met with Jeff Carte to discuss the water and sewer projects.
Signed an agreement for a Mass Texting App that the public needs to sign up for. This will go live June 29th, 2021.
Our new website will go live approximately June 19th, 2021.
Burgess and Niples is preparing bids for the Water Street Project.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent. No report was given in her absence.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that council has received a new piece of legislation and there will be at least two more for the next agenda. We are now getting stuff off the table so council can discuss with the public. Mr. Webster stated that today is Flag Day. Mr. Webster also announced why he wears his mask at all times. It is not that he is afraid of you but being in the Court House and around many people I don’t want to take the chance of being asymptomatic and passing the virus.
City Treasurer Mrs. Copeland reported that the May Treasurer’s Report is on line and is awaiting approval by council. Mr. Locke made a motion to accept the May 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:
Mr. Ferguson Finance/Audit Committee announced that his committee met this evening at 6:45 PM to discuss the Tax Budget. This legislation is nothing more than we are saying that we will have a balanced Tax Budget in 2022. At 7PM we discussed the Supplemental Appropriations. The Supplemental Appropriations consisted of; Fund 202-17 Street, 3170 repairs $25,000; 206-17 State Highway, 3170 repairs $15,000; 214 Rec Improvement Fund, 3163 small equipment $7,576.44; 218-10 EMS Levy Funds, 4565 Equipment Fire Dept. $30,000 and 402 Marina, 3163 Small Equipment 2,292.29. Total of the supplemental was $79,868.73. At this time Mr. Ferguson made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING YEAR 2021 APPROPRIATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gant, Police and Fire Committee had no report.
Ms. Riffle Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mrs. Drake Utilities Committee had no report.
Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mr. Locke Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mr. Locke Economic Development Committee reported that on May 27, 2021 Belpre Area Development Committee met. In attendance was the Law firm Brickler & Ekler. The topic of discussion was the formation of a “CIC”. The legal implications of forming a CIC was explained to the group. There were 15 Community leaders in attendance. A “CIC” is “Community Improvement Corporation. Many small municipalities use this. It will take some time to organize this and put a governing board together. The Board will consist of 40% elected officials. The rest will be comprised of Local leaders. At this time I would like to give time to Jesse Rauch who is the Executive Director of the Port Authority. Jesse began by stating that he feels that Mr. Locke did a good job explaining. Strategy 1 is where do we want to go, purpose it is meant to serve and the best steps to move forward. Do we want to form a new organization or bring back one that has been dormant or closed down? If we are going to form this board it will consist of 40% elected officials, new representatives from Council, It will be a recruiting endeavor. We have to have 11 people that is committed to this Board. After forming this Board we need to look for an Executive Director (possibly SIXMO).
Mr. Locke stated that this is part of the Burton Plan that the city was part ownership of. There is part of the Burton Plan that we want to implement. Now is the prime time for the city and it inhabitance to step out and make a change.
Mrs. Miller Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Mr. Ferguson brought before council for third reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BELPRE TO ENTER INTO A FRANCHISE AGREEMENT WITH OHIO POWER COMPANY. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Ferguson moved this be Resolution 24, 2020-2021 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Locke brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING RULES, REGULATIONS, AND REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS RELATIVE TO THE OPERATION OF GOLF CARTS WITHIN THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. I would like to remove from the agenda as it had been tabled. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Locke made a motion to bring back to the agenda for second reading AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING RULES, REGULATIONS, AND REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS RELATIVE TO THE OPERATION OF GOLF CARTS WITHIN THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO.
Mr. Webster stated at the time the legislation was tabled there was some discussion regarding the legislation. If you have your original legislation we will go through the amendments to the legislation. In Section I, #2 Operator should be designee. Under Section II, #5, there will be a new #5, Rt. 7 and Rt. 50 within the Belpre City Limits you can’t operate golf carts on four lanes or State Routes. Number 5 now will become Number 6. Number 6 now says operator may not drive on state highways but may cross a state highway. It will change that they may cross Washington Boulevard at Stone Road as well as Main Street at Fifth Street. In Section III, second line designee. In Section IV the first sentence remains the same. Second sentence should read all golf carts must be inspected annually. The next sentence should read the annual fee for inspection shall be $40. At the end no inspection sticker may be transferred from one golf cart to another owned by the same individual. Any new golf carts purchased by any permit holder must be inspected before permits can be issued. No permit can be transferred to a non-permit holder. You have to get your own permit and your own inspection. There may be additional amendments prior to the third reading. It will not be read on the third reading tonight. These amendments will be typed up and be made available to the public. Mr. Webster stated that we needed a motion on the amended legislation.
Mr. Locke made a motion to accept as amended AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING RULES, REGULATIONS, AND REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS RELATIVE TO THE OPERATION OF GOLF CARTS WITHIN THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. Discussion followed. Those participating in the discussion was Mr. William Cassidy 824 Belrock Avenue, Belpre, Ohio; Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street, Belpre, Ohio; Jesse Wonycott 805 Main Street, Belpre, Ohio; Mario Coon 1111 Blennerhassett Avenue, Belpre, Ohio; Chief Williams, Sgt. Fields, Sgt. Kirby, Kelly Coon 1111 Blennerhassett Avenue Belpre, Ohio; Ms. Riffle, Mr. Locke all voiced their opinion about the golf carts. There were both pros and cons. Mrs. Drake was in favor of voting for the legislation. If it doesn’t work, revisit and make it work with stricter laws. Mr. Cassidy thanked Mr. Locke for the time he has spent working on this legislation as well as the Chief. A vote was taken on the amended legislation. All members of council voted aye.
A motion was made by Mr. Locke on the second reading of AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING RULES, REGULATIONS, AND REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS RELATIVE TO THE OPERATION OF GOLF CARTS WITHIN THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO as amended. A vote was taken with Mrs. Drake, Mr. Locke, and Mrs. Miller and Mr. Shutts voting aye, Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Gant and Ms. Riffle voted nay. The vote was 4 to 3. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mayor Lorentz asked that the amended copy get to the administration ASAP so it can be placed on the cities website.
Mr. Ferguson brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE TAX BUDGET FOR THE YEAR 2022. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council. Mr. Webster stated that this would need to go for two readings at the next meeting.
Mr. Locke brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BLEPRE TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE APPALCHIA REGIONAL COMMISSION/GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF APPALACHIA PROGRAM(S) AND TO EXECUTE CONTRACTS AS REQURIED. Discussion followed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Locke moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BLEPRE TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE APPALCHIA REGIONAL COMMISSION/GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF APPALACHIA PROGRAM(S) AND TO EXECUTE CONTRACTS AS REQURIED. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Locke brought before council for second and third readings of A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BLEPRE TO PREPARE AND SUBMIT AN APPLICATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE APPALCHIA REGIONAL COMMISSION/GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF APPALACHIA PROGRAM(S) AND TO EXECUTE CONTRACTS AS REQURIED. Mr. Locke stated that this allows us to apply for grants for the water and sewer on Farson Street. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Locke moved this be Resolution 25, 2020-2021 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Ferguson brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING YEAR 2021 APPROPRIATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
President of Council Mr. Martin stated that he appreciated the public being in attendance for our first meeting back in session.
Council President Mr. Martin reminded council of their committee assignments. The assignments will not carry over to a new council. If you are unable to address your assignments please see me regarding this.
PERSONS APPEARING BEFORE COUNCIL:
Jesse Wonycott 805 Main Street, Belpre stated that she would like to see the ZOOM meetings continue as there are citizens that are unable to attend. She would like to see everyone have access.
Ms. Riffle inquired about the paving on Blennerhassett Avenue and how far the paving would go. She was informed it would be paved from Washington Boulevard down Blennerhassett Avenue to Stone Road. They will be stripping to Main Street.
Ms. Riffle also asked about the line stripping on Washington Boulevard. She said that at night it was very hard to see any of the lines. Ms. Riffle was informed that it would take place just as soon as they have the manpower to do so.
Ms. Riffle addressed the repairs on Rockland Avenue and Ann Street where they fixed the gas line. She was informed they may have to redo.
Ms. Riffle addressed the sale at the Impound Lot. She was informed that everything sold but they didn’t know the amount that was taken in. The city auditor was absent and unavailable to respond.
Mr. Cassidy asked about the fund report since the Corona virus. It shows we have a month end balance of $99,000. Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that it had to be spent or encumbered by the end of this year.
Mr. Locke acknowledged the lighting in the parking lot looks good, and the paving looks good. Mr. Locke asked about the EMS contract. Mrs. Hoblitzell informed Mr. Locke that Belpre would get the contract.
Mr. Coon asked about the bike route. He was informed that it would be on the river side of Blennerhassett Avenue.
Mr. Locke addressed the Pickle Ball Court. He noticed that it has been paved. Mrs. Hoblitzell stated that mid-July it should be complete.
Mr. Locke stated that things are happening in Belpre. They are good things. I would like to see us expand on this.
Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn at 9:11 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.