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: Mr. Colvin, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Law and Mr. Shutts present. Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the July 24, 2017 meeting was Councilperson Ms. Abdella.
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 June 26, 2017 and July 10, 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 reported that the Chamber of Commerce and city officials took part in the official ground breaking for Miller Orthotics on July 18th.
Oakview Dermatology is now officially open as of last week. The improvement to the building and grounds is amazing. Welcome and Thank You.
Mayor Tom Joyce called to advise us that the Memorial Bridge will now, NOT be allowing the heavy trucks to cross. This will mean more truck traffic on Main and Washington Blvd. They are communicating with our David Shaffer for sign needs and placement.
The contract with Pro-Care is working very well at this point. No Complaints. We are however seeing a drop in calls, which could be a result of poor service in the past. Once people get used to the fact we are adequately staffed all should be back to normal.
On the 12th Belpre hosted the Mid-Ohio Valley Mayor’s Association. We had approximately 80 in attendance and had the opportunity to showcase some of our improvements as well as business growth.
Homecoming starts in two weeks. If you want to be part of the opening let Karen Waller know very soon. Not all will be given time to speak or we will be there all night but, all are welcome.
August 22nd, The South Eastern Ohio Port Authority will meet in Belpre here in Council Chambers.
Civil Service reports that we have four candidates for police officer. Cross your fingers.
Over the weekend and today I have received many complaints and concerns over ground water during storms. Please if called let your constituents know that we have just 5 people addressing issues as fast as possible. Our lines are under sized and our folks are doing all they can do at this point.
Mr. Neff asked the Mayor if the storm waters issues are confined to any certain area. According to the Mayor they are not.
Mr. Neff also asked if they had established a weight limit on the Memorial Bridge. Mayor Lorentz replied that the weight limit is10 ton.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross reported that each member of council should have before them a copy of the aggregation contract and opt out option letter. Mr. Cross also reported that we have a lot of construction going on in town. There are high voltage towers being put in on Florence Street with completion date around the end of August.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger announced that she had missed the last meeting due to a cookout for the America in Bloom judges. We were in a heavy downpour. I had put out a letter from the Regional Income Tax Agency stating that every year they charge the City of Belpre three-percent of what they collect from City Income Tax. They are non-profit so they can’t make a profit. The cost of their collection last year was 2.33% so the City of Belpre received a refund of $7,318. Every year that we have been involved with RITA we have received a refund. Also on the website is a letter from our State Auditor Dave Yost. Once again this year there were no findings. We did have two noncompliant findings that provides in part that a written internal control policy be adopted for monies received from the clerk of courts from all mandatory fine monies received from contraband. The other finding was we didn’t have council’s approval where we transferred funds from the General Fund to the Street Department in October. The notice about once a month billing on utilities has started going out. In October everyone will pay on the third Monday. Last reading will be done on the last week in August and a reading again in September. There will be a total of three cycles. In a two-month period they are only going to be charged for one month of trash. Their bills should go down dramatically. Last but not least the Adjustment Report for June needs approval by council. Copies are on the table in the back and it can also be found on the website. Mrs. Marshal made a motion to accept the June Utility Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that after passing the legislation at the last meeting of council all the certification on the levy proposal has been filed with the Board of Elections. They will notify me if there is any additional information needed. There is no charge for placing this on the ballot. Also there is still no Prisoner Contract. We continue to pay for our prisoners under the local ordinance and not the State Code. Mr. Neff asked Mr. Webster about the proposed Verizon tower in the City of Belpre. I was in contact last meeting with Mr. Marshall from Verizon. I requested an opinion letter from the law firm in regard to usage of the tower. Whether it fits under a radio or TV tower, which is acceptable in the sub-division as far as the height. We also looked at the FCC rules and regulations that allow it to fall under the radio system. It appears that based on Federal FCC rules that under the current ordinance we have it will apply for radio and TV towers. Mrs. Drake stated that she had done some research on the topic and according to the Ohio Revised Code any residents that are within 100 ft. should receive a written notice regarding any stipulations that might occur. Mr. Webster stated that it is not the cities or council’s responsibility to do that. This is strictly a State Statute.
City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid reported that a copy of the May and June Cash Report is before you this evening and is awaiting approval by council. Signed copies have been given to the Clerk and copies have been placed on the table in the back of council chambers. Mrs. Miller made a motion to accept the May and June Cash Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff assigned AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE WITH AEP ENERGY FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE ELECTRIC GOVERNMENTAL AGGREGATION PROGRAM to Mrs. Marshalls Utility Committee. I’m also assigning the Codified Ordinance legislation to Mr. Shutt’s Rules Committee. I also received a letter regarding Blessings in a Backpack that Mr. Neff forwarded on to Mayor Lorentz.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee reported that her committee met on June 24, 2017 at 6:30 PM for the purpose of discussing Nuisance calls and false alarms. Mrs. Miller called another meeting for July 31st at 6PM to work on ordinances to address with the police department. Everyone is invited to attend.
Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report. Mr. Colvin stated that he received calls regarding the tower.
Mr. Neff stated that he had been complimented on the departments working together.
Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee had no report. Mrs. Marshall made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE WITH AEP ENERGY FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE ELECTRIC GOVERNMENTAL AGGREGATION PROGRAM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Law, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee had no report. Mrs. Drake stated that Economic Development would meet next Monday at 6PM at the Belpre Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Shutts, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: –
Mrs. Drake brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 733, BUSINESS OCCUPATION PERMITS, AND FINE FOR VIOLATION. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Drake moved this be Ordinance 15, 2016-2017 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Miller brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 351.03 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCE TO ADD ADDITIONAL PARKING VIOLATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Miller moved this be Ordinance 16, 2016-2017 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
New Business –
Mrs. Marshall brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO APPROVE THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE WITH AEP ENERGY FOR THE CITY OF BELPRE ELECTRIC GOVERNMENTAL AGGREGATION PROGRAM. Mr. Cross stated that this is 20% lower then the city is paying. 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:
Jesse Wonycott 805 Main Street expressed her concern of the additional trucks on Main Street. She would like to see Main Street fixed before her house and others shakes apart.
Norman Allen, Barclay Street addressed problems with stray cats and burning near Barclay. He also addressed the trailer park issue and small children out late at night.
Mr. Neff asked if we could get the property owners of the park to appear before council to see why these issues aren’t being addressed. Mayor Lorentz stated that he would try and contact them again regarding the issue.
Mrs. Sellers 1115 Blennerhassett Avenue addressed her concern regarding the cellphone tower.
Mr. Neff assigned Telecommunication Tower to the Planning & Zoning Committee.
Mrs. Locke 726 Tuttle Street stated that the property that the cell tower was going to be placed on is private property and is owned by the Belpre Fire Department Association and not the property of the city.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to Adjourn. Mrs. Marshall withdrew her motion.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to excuse Ms. Abdella from this evenings meeting. Mr. Neff stated that Ms. Abdella has an excusable absence. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to adjourn at 8:47 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.