Mr. Neff 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 Mr. Smith and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.
Mr. Neff 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 August 13, 2018 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 reported that the week of August 13th Mr. Cross and I assisted department heads with interviews for the water department as well as the waste water plant. As of now we are awaiting physical results. That will for now put us at full employment in those two departments. All involved feel very good about this group of applicants.
Chief Williams and I offered employment to one officer on Tuesday last week. We are awaiting the test results for another. If everything goes well, the police department will be at full strength by mid-September for the first time in two years.
We received a very good compliment from the prosecutor’s office stating that we were the best police department bringing cases to the grand jury. Our department is always prepared and ready to testify. We are well above all others in being preparation and testimony.
On August 18th it was nice to see so many in attendance at the High School. Our city needs more events like this to keep our youth excited and involved.
Thanks to Darien Lorentz and the Street Department our new Impound Yard will soon be in operation. The fence is up with a new electric remote controlled gate for easy access for officers and or towing operators. The department heads and I are working on the rules we would like to see in the legislation. As soon as we get a draft I will communicate to Ms. Miller for her committee to then bring forward at council.
The electric car charging stations will soon be under construction at Civitan Park. Again Darien has agreed to be our electrician and assist with this grant project.
The Auditor and I attended the picnic and Silver Award Pinning for Kaitlyn Stewart. Kaitlyn’s project was the planting and stationary game boards that are now in Howe’s Grove Park. To achieve the award the planning and execution takes at least 50 hours. This project was just over 90 hours to complete. Hopefully you can meet Kaitlyn at our next scheduled meeting.
Main Street is near completion with few incidents as of now. Be aware that the traffic pattern have changed. One lane north- One south, with the center being a turn lane.
Mr. Webster asked the Mayor how long it would be before we get the turn signal arrows. Mayor Lorentz stated that he is in hopes that it is soon.
Mr. Neff asked if any of the two police officers are going to be a Probationary Officer. The first one to start will be a patrolman and the second one would be a Probationary Officer.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross announced that on Saturday, September 15, 2018 there will be an Inaugural Cross Country Invitational located at Belpre’s beautiful Civitan Park. The spectator-friendly course begins on the fields of the Belpre Soccer Club complex and ends at scenic Civitan Park which is located along the Ohio River at 1600 Blennerhassett Avenue. The Open Race begins at 8AM for (5,000 meters) and is not for high school runners. There may be a total of 400-500 runners. Ms. Riffle informed council that they are looking for volunteers to help with that many people. If interested contact Jen at the High School.
Mr. Cross also reported that he has received a request for a zoning change at the corner of Braun Road and Hocking Road. I believe there is four lots on that corner.
Mr. Neff asked if we still get the quarterly recycling reports. Mr. Cross stated that we do get the quarterly report and that he would get that to Mr. Neff. I was just wondering because time is running out before we will have to have rebids.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger had no report.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.
City Treasurer Mr. Smith had no report.
Communications and Petitions: None
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance/Audit Committee had no report.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report.
Mr. Campbell, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mr. Gant Utilities Committee reported that letters regarding the Gas Aggregation was sent out today. If you want to opt out you must send letter back by September 17, 2018. If you wish to remain in the program you don’t have to do anything. The gas aggregation price is $3.39 per MCF 1000 cubic feet for a period of 24 months.
We have a new back hoe that has been ordered with the trailer. It should be in by the end of next month. We also have a bucket truck that should be here by the end of the year. With the new bucket truck this should make us in compliance.
We have had three water main breaks: one by Save-A-Lot, one on Braun Road, and one on George and Gene Street intersection. The only one that has not yet been completed is the one on Braun Road.
There has been new gas line upgrades on Hocking Road to Clement Avenue. They are doing away with the steel piping and going with the plastic pipe. This will be quite a safety issue.
I also have an outline by Mr. Betz on all the work that the city is doing. Anyone wishing to see it I will be glad to share with you.
I asked the Mayor about the solar panels and he is going to have a meeting with the gentleman Thursday. We will have more information about that in the near future. I talked to Mr. Webster regarding the legislation and told him that we would need legislation as soon as the panels come in.
The Bureau of Worker’s compensation announced that it will grant local law enforcement agencies up to $40,000 to purchase body armor provided the municipality has a 25% match. The match will be provided through the BWC’s Safety Intervention Grant Program. Miss Pittenger informed Mr. Gant that she had also received notice in which she forwarded on to the Chief so that he could add it into the budget for next year.
Ms. Riffle asked Mr. Gant about the new equipment. She wanted to know if the equipment was new to us or it was actually new equipment. According to Mr. Gant it will be new equipment.
Ms. Abdella asked Mr. Cross what we would do with the two trucks that we have on the books now. According to Mr. Cross we would probably have to decommission the trucks or auction them off.
Mrs. Miller asked where the solar panels are coming from. She was informed that they are coming from Pinkerington.
Mr. Shutts, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that the committee met on August 23 at 6:00 p.m. Council members present were Josh Campbell, Penne Riffle, and Judy Drake
The committee brought forth much discussion about the City of Belpre and its direction. Many great topics were placed on the table regarding the committee and its impact on the City. We continue to strive for ways to improve and better the community. Much energy and enthusiasm were shown through the discussed topics.
Ms. Riffle had no report for the Rules Committee.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: – None
Ms. Riffle brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE EDITION AND INCLUSION OF CERTAIN ORDINANCES AS PARTS OF THE VARIOUS COMPONENT CODES OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF BELPRE, OHIO. 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:
Lin Nelson 503 Stone Road asked about the arrows on Main Street. Once again the Mayor stated that he is in hopes that they are here ASAP. Mr. Nelson stated that someone went buzzing by him and he was in fear of an accident.
Ms. Riffle asked about the clumps of asphalt up by the Memorial Bridge. Mayor Lorentz stated that there was a call made today about having it removed.
Mr. Webster showed concern about the traffic arrow. When traffic patterns change they need to have an arrow to avoid an accident.
Mr. Shutts addressed a Dead End sign at the end of Walnut Street.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to adjourn at 7:58PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.