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. Marshall, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Law and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, City Law Director Mr. Webster, City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the June 12, 2017 meeting was Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, and City Auditor Miss Pittenger.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise 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 May 22, 2017 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 prepared his report and was presented by Council President Mr. Neff. His report is as follows:
Hopefully all enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. We joined the Legion Post at Leavitt’s for the community service. These Belpre Veterans did a very good job relating some of the more significant historical facts for the attendees.
June 1st we joined the Chamber of Commerce at BB’s Hair Salon with a ribbon cutting. Belpre is truly blessed with the new businesses coming to town.
Council as you know I had a request for a zoning change on Richmiller Lane. The entire span is commercial with the exception of the 4 plots in question. They are R-1. Everyone has been notified and I ask council to approve tonight so progress can continue. We meet in the am for a pre-construction meeting here.
Good news if you haven’t already heard. The Dry Cleaners is re-opening under new management, and the coin laundry may go to 24-hour service.
Since our last meeting I have met with Tim Thomas of the MOVTA and Mayors from Parkersburg, Vienna, along with representatives from Williamstown and Marietta. Mr. Thomas is trying to develop a transit system that will benefit all cities in our area and assist with economic development. As we discuss this and try to find a solution I will keep all council in the loop. Any ideas feel free to contact me.
Chief Williams and I conducted another interview for a part time dispatcher. The S.D. already asked the manpower sheets reflect 2 part time positions instead of the one.
Our interviews for a police officer did not produce a viable candidate for us. The Civil Service Commission and I are going to advertise on Facebook etc., and allow the tests to be taken as applicants apply. Chief Williams has however started the process of a vehicle purchase for the department.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week was Cub Scout Camp at our Civitan Park. All went well.
Thursday June 8th the Chamber and I joined the Belpre Kroger in a media event for their company. The new pick-list option is a very good idea for those who may not get around well or has limited transportation options.
On Friday June 9th I travelled to Somerset, Ohio with the Economic Development team to view some of the improvements and see their progress in revitalization of buildings and sidewalk improvements. Their Mayor cleared his calendar to accommodate our visit and is very good at finding the funding opportunities needed.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross was absent. No report was given in his absence.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger was absent. No report was given for the Auditor’s Office.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that with him this evening is the two pieces of legislation that he had promised for the last meeting of council. The new parking ordinance was changed to Section 733, Business Licensing that was requested by Mrs. Drake. I wanted to notify you that a lawsuit has been filed involving Belpre City Schools and the City of Belpre. It involves a gentleman who broke his angle during a school event. They did not understand that the school drive is not a city street. I have sent a request for an involuntary dismissal of the city because it is not on a city street. We have referred this to our insurance carrier who is Stacy Paulic and this has been checked out that it is not a city street.
Mr. Webster informed Mrs. Drake that he has checked with the Ohio Municipal League as well as the Ohio Ethics Commissions in regard to Code of Ethic and Conduct. Both advised stating they didn’t think it was permitted under Ohio Law. I still don’t have a response back from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. I have 2 saying no but that doesn’t mean that the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will say the same thing. As soon as I have an answer on the ethics stuff I will get back with you.
I also had conversation today with the Athens City Law Director in regards to false alarms. There false alarm systems reflect the type of call, the number of calls and then they issue a Civil Penalty to the person. They had a problem with someone who was literally insane that called twenty times and they charged him however he pleads insane and charges were dropped. That was the Criminal Part of the Code. One issue of concern was if you start doing the penalties and someone really has an emergency but is afraid to call because they had already called in the past. The problems we have here in the city are basically someone needing to talk to him or her rather than to transport them. I have other calls in regarding the alarm system and their approach as far as resolving the issue. Mrs. Miller stated that she understood the Chief to say something about Burglar Alarms. Mr. Webster stated that they don’t have that. This is not part of their code.
Mrs. Miller asked if he had any information on the Housing of Prisoners and how much it was going to cost. According to Mr. Webster he still hasn’t received any information. So far they are taking our prisoners however there may come a time that they don’t and we need to be ready when that happens.
City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid had no report for the Treasurer’s Office.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff announced that he had received a request for a Public Hearing that was held this evening at 7:30 PM to allow property owners within 150 feet of this property to comment on the proposed change. The property owner of parcel number 080039185004, 0802039186002, 080039186001, 080039185002 located at 2354 Richmiller Lane, is requesting a zoning change from R-1 to C-2. No one appeared in regards to the change.
Mr. Neff assigned the following to committee:
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 351.03 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES TO ADD ADDITIONAL PARKING VIOLATIONS – Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 733, BUSINESS OCCUPATION PERMITS, AND FINE FOR VIOLATION – Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee reported that her committee met last Wednesday night to discuss the needs of the fire department. The funds are currently available for their needs in their current budget. It was recommended that they place their purchase order to the Safety-Service Director and that they comeback if additional funds are needed. Ms. Abdella called a committee meeting for Monday June 18th at 6PM for the purpose of discussing Revenue Generation. There will be more on that when the Mayor arrives.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee reported that her committee met this evening in regards to the drug dog and the type of dog we will be getting. We also discussed future plans of the dog. Mrs. Miller called a meeting for June 26, 2017 at 7 PM for the purpose of discussing nuisance and domestic calls and false alarms.
Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee had no report.
Mr. Law, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reminded council of the June 22, 2017, Town Hall meeting that will be held at the Belpre Senior Center at 7PM.
Mr. Shutts, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: – None
New Business – None
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Mark Eaton Executor Director of the Belpre Area Ministries addressed the pledges for the Drug Dog. Letters will be sent out notifying those who pledged that it is time to send in your pledges. Make all checks payable to the Belpre Foundation noting that the money is for the drug dog. There will be a 30-day deadline from the date of the letter added. Copy of the letter is on file in Council Chambers. Pastor Eaton was wanting confirmation from the Council. Ms. Abdella informed Pastor Eaton that the vehicle had been ordered for the dog so she thought it was okay to send out the letters requesting the money.
Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street addressed the part-time dispatcher. The position will be as needed employee with no set hours and a fill in for vacation. Ms. Abdella stated that she was going to ask the Mayor for a definition of an Employees part time. They would need qualifications. They would require 2 substitutes to fill positions instead of the one that was originally requested.
Ms. Abdella spoke briefly about a conversation that she recently had with the fire chief regarding parking in fire lanes. What options does the fire chief have? According to the fire chief he had been in contact with Steve Shaw, Vienna Fire Chief who has been given the authority to write tickets.
Rita Lowe 315 Maple Street asked if this is stated in our ordinance. Mr. Webster stated that there are no provisions in the ordinance.
Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street stated that she feels that people park in the fire lane at Kroger’s due to the Red Box Video. She was wondering if the Red Box could be moved.
Tim Gant 1426 Boulevard Drive asked about having no parking signs in front of any business.
Ms. Abdella also addresses the revenue of the city and the end of year carryovers. We need to know the sources of revenue for the city. Ms. Abdella asked that Miss Pittenger prepare a Financial Projection for 2018. We may be in the red at the beginning of 2018. One suggestion may be to increase the City of Belpre Income Tax or find other ways to generate revenue. We need to know where we need to go so that if we need to increase city tax a formal request will be needed to place on the ballot. We will need legislation for the next meeting in the event that we need to move forward with this.
Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street is in favor of raising the tax. This way you will get the money.
Mrs. Drake addressed Garage Sale sign 741.02. Ordinance 29. Mr. Webster explained the numbering and the portion of the code that it belonged with.
Mayor Lorentz arrived and Ms. Abdella informed him of the meeting called for next Monday evening.
Also addressed was all the construction that was going on within the city. Very impressive!
Ms. Abdella made a motion to adjourn at 8:17 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.