Acting President of Council Ms. Abdella called the Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio, to order at 7:30p.m. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Drake, Mr. Gant, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Ms. Carpenter, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.
Ms. Abdella asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Gant gave the invocation.
Ms. Riffle made a motion to accept the minutes of June 10, 2019 meeting as presented and to by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials:
Mayor Lorentz introduced Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director and Pastor Schwartz in regards to Great Futures Start Here. This is a Boys & Girls Club of Washington County. Ms. Johnson spoke to council regarding a Belpre Site Proposal. Their Mission is to enable all young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Their GOAL is to establish an after school club in Belpre to serve up to 30 Belpre Elementary School students the first year. Continue and expand the program in years 2-5 and to maintain the program into the future. The location will be at the Belpre Church of the Nazarene, 1301 Putnam Howe Drive, Belpre with hours of operation projected for after school to 6:00 p.m. We have been in contact with Belpre City Schools and they are willing to transport students to the club. The programs will consist of Power Hour, DIY-STEM, Smart Girls and Passport to Manhood. The fee structure is $3 each day in attendance. Scholarships will be available to help those less fortunate.
Mayor Lorentz announced that on June 13th we attended the Mid-Ohio Valley Airport open house and a presentation for their new carrier Contour air. This event was hosted by the Marietta, Parkersburg, and Belpre Chambers. The new hanger and future plans were also discussed during the presentation. Our area is fast becoming a destination point.
Jun 15th we held a Ribbon Cutting at the new Dollar Tree store. The addition to this area is much needed and seems to be very well stocked.
June 15th was also the Chamber of Commerce 90 year celebration and concert in the park. The Church of Christ had a family night and with the concert all at the same time filled our gazebo area at Civitan with many smiling faces. Thanks to Karen Waller and Abbey Tanner at the chamber for all their efforts.
June 17th Boxers Bed & Biscuits received the Spark Award from the Small Business Administration. This is a big deal as I believe it was the first one presented in this area. The representatives are planning on returning and hold a town hall style meeting here. I offered to find the venue for this when a date is set.
The Recreation Commission met on June 20th. As always we have questions as to what the city is responsible for and what is the baseball commission responsible for. Mr. Shutts and I will try and develop this set of rules or a plan for council to approve so everyone knows what is what. The volunteers also brought up issues with bikes being on the fields as well as people running their dogs in the playing area of the fields and not cleaning up. Signs will be posted for both infractions to stop.
The process of eliminating bottle necks for the Dominion Gas issues is under way. We met with Dominion representative June 20th to discuss right-of-ways and routes for a line to help our shortages. As more transpires I will keep council posted.
June 21st was the Day of Action with the Mid-Ohio Valley United Way volunteers. The volunteers all came from Camden Clark Hospital and all came to work. We cleaned an entire dump truck of weeds and old plants from the large bed at the Memorial Bridge area. Then added about 8 tons of good dirt and replanted the entire bed. Another group weeded and mulched the Chamber area and in front of the city building. Many thanks to Camden Clark employees and the United Way for including Belpre.
The new bucket truck is in and seems like it will fit our needs very nicely. Our old one was used when purchased and is continually in need of attention. The supervisor also believes the new dump truck is also at the dealership but not delivered to us yet.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross announced that we are receiving bids for the slip on Farson Street. The bids are coming in very well. We will be selecting a bidder for that. Also ODOT is in the final stages of design for the Farson, Braun, Lee Street traffic signals. This project should probably begin sometime in September.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger announced that she received a letter today from RITA. The allocation of 2018 costs for income tax collections has been computed. Our municipality’s percentage of cost of collections in 2018 was 2.14%. This means for every $100 of taxes collected for your municipality, only $2.14 went to the administrative cost of collections, registration, auditing, compliance, record retention, etc. leaving the balance for your fire department, police, street repairs, recreational expenses and other community expenditures. Our collections, cost and percentage cost of collections are summarized as follows: Collections $1,624,385, cost $34,828 and the percentage cost of collections was 2.14%. We received a refund amount of $12,853 this year. I also received the Annual Tax Budget from the County Auditor’s and I will be in contact with Mr. Webster as this will need to be on the agenda for the next meeting.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report. Mr. Webster thanked City Prosecutor Andrew Webster for being here.
Treasurer Ms. Carpenter had no report.
Communications and Petitions:
Ms. Abdella assigned Acquest to Planning and Zoning and Economic Development Committee. The company is a real estate advisor company. I believe this is more of an advertisement for their company.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit Committee had no report.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report. Ms. Miller addressed the contractual error regarding the fire truck. Mr. Webster told Ms. Miller that the truck was paid for before delivery. He doesn’t see that we owe them anything. Ms. Pittenger stated that we have the truck, title and it is paid in full. What more do we need.
Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mr. Gant Utilities Committee had no report. Mr. Gant stated that he did get a ride in the new bucket truck.
Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report. Mr. Shutts stated that there are some issues at the pool and Depot Park ladies room.
Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee had no report. Mrs. Drake addressed Ordinance 9, 2018-2019 that was passed October 8, 2018. The title of the Ordinance is AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 557 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. Mrs. Drake stated that she would like all members of council to review this piece of legislation to see if any other amendments need to be done on this ordinance before she has the corrections made.
Ms. Riffle, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: – None
NEW BUSINESS: None
PERSONS APPEARING BEFORE COUNCIL:
Bill Locke 726 Tuttle Street addressed the sidewalk on Walnut Street. According to Mr. Cross due to the wet weather the contractor has been held up on other projects. Mayor Lorentz and Ms. Abdella also echoed his answer. Mr. Locke also asked the status of the property owned by Mr. Eddy. According to Mr. Cross, Mr. Eddy is still unable to comply at this time.
Karen Locke 726 Tuttle Street addressed the flowers that is near the fire hydrant on Putnam Howe Drive. She wanted to know if that is ok. According to the Mayor it was.
Mr. Shutts addressed the huge pot hole on Pomeroy Pike. He thought that there should be a cone placed by the hole so someone didn’t drop a tire in it. Mayor Lorentz stated that they are working on patching these pot holes.
Ms. Riffle made a motion to adjourn at 7:54 p.m. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.