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. Gilbert, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Newberry, and Mr. Robinson present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the August 24, 2015 meeting was Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Before the Invocation was given Mr. Neff had a moment of silence for Mr. Scott Miller who passed away this past week.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of August 10, 2015 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 on the 11th of August I met with the stakeholders in the sewer line on Rt. 7 North. OPWC Grants are being prepared for the September deadline as reported. The grants are getting very competitive and requiring a lot more effort to be successful. We are lucky to have Buckeye Hills on our side.
The fire department is struggling keeping volunteers on our emergency squad. Since January the numbers have dropped with school, work schedules etc. Our percentage of answered runs has also dropped from 98% to 66% over this period. Our volunteers are even advertising for EMT’s to hire. Only 1 has answered. Classes cost $1,170 and require 6 months at one night a week.
On Saturday I attended the celebration for the 1-year anniversary for the new Emergency Room. The hospital tells that they are in line to serve around 26,000 in the past year. This seems amazing and also a blessing to our community.
Our police department along with representatives from Mike DeWine’s office held a town hall type meeting to address the drug issues we all face. Since that time I have been in contact with DeWine’s office and plan more information and training sessions for city officials along with teachers and Pastors that want to join.
Representatives from the Sheriff’s Department and Dispatch met to discuss the upcoming next generation 911. The total cost of this change is astronomical depending on the program Washington County chooses.
Mr. Ferguson and I attended the Sheriff’s Association Luncheon on Friday August 21st. It was interesting to meet so many law enforcement agencies in one setting and realize how many of those used to work for Belpre.
Interviews for a new Police Officer started today. Chief Williams, Mr. Ferguson and I conducted the interviews. Hopefully by September we can introduce a new recruit.
Council, we have an opportunity to lock in 2015 prices for cruisers we purchase next year. As you know vehicles never go down so I am informing you tonight before the September 15th cut-off. As stated to me this is just a commitment to buy, vehicles do not need paid for until arrival.
Jeff Rafferty is here tonight and has agreed to serve as our Assistant Chief for the fire department. At this time I would like to swear Jeff in as our new Assistant. Chief Sinnett assisted in the swearing in of Mr. Rafferty. Assistant Chief Rafferty joined the department in 1984. He has been on the department for a total of 18 years.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson congratulated Jeff on his new assignment. Mr. Ferguson stated that he had worked with him several years.
I have spoke with several folks about the Bicycle Path through the city. The actual path will circle around the City of Belpre. There will be three-bike fix its throughout the city. One at the high school, one at Howe’s Grove Park and one near the Rite Aid parking lot. These fix its have been well thought out and are a very nice design.
Wirt Street will remain closed until we hear from CSX however the bridge will be accessible to bicycle traffic.
It was also mentioned that they would add stone from Washington Boulevard to the train tresses.
The schools have talked to the Kimble Company about recycling. Kimble Company will collect recycled material on a weekly base.
I am pleased to announce that there has been 47 ½ tons of recycled material collected. This is 47 ½ tons that has not been put in our landfills.
On your desk this evening is a list of 8 demolitions permits thus far in 2015 along with yards that we continue to mow with the bill being sent to the County Auditor at the end of the season. There is also a list of ongoing problems with properties within the city. No fines have been issued at this time.
Mr. Ferguson passed along to council a report that was requested by Mr. Colvin regarding sewer lines and storm sewers from the Metropolitan Group.
Gravel has been located in our Sanitary Sewer lines in the 800 block (not sure of area) and also on Ayers Boulevard.
Also on your desk this evening is a Status Report of Service Calls for the Belpre Police Department. From 08/17/15 to 08/24/15 there were a total of 144 calls. Also is a break down of telephone calls for the Police Department. They include 27, 911 calls, 266 General Police Calls, 49 General Fire/EMS Calls and 5 Sewer/Water/City Building Calls.
We have located three local ministers that would like to become Chaplin’s for the City of Belpre Police Department.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that the Auditor’s Office is continuing to assist citizens that need help with their 2013 taxes.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that there is three pieces of legislation that need acted upon. They are as follows: Codified Ordinances, Public Depository for Active, Inactive, and Interim Funds of the City of Belpre, Ohio and the Tax numbers from the County Auditor. They will be ready for the next meeting of council.
Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff had no new Communications or Petitions. Mr. Neff stated that he had given each member of council ideas for planning for the 2016 year. I gave this assignment as a way to help better finances for the City of Belpre in 2016. When you give your report this evening please report on anything you may have regarding this assignment.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report at this time. Ms. Abdella reported that going through the list of opportunities instead of saving money she has found ways to spend money. She will discuss with the Mayor and the Safety-Service Director.
Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee reported that his committee met prior to this evenings meeting to discuss Nuisance Police Calls. Some information was on alarm activation, barking dogs, etc. Further discussion will follow on this topic. Spoke with the sheriff’s department regarding our 911 systems. Before they will talk to us we need to provide them with specific information over a period of time for dispatched calls versus remote calling. Also was the cost efficiency of our city prosecutor during Mayor’s Court. The Mayor is the judicating official and you have to have someone to handle the questions asked by the defendant.
Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report. Mr. Martin mentioned that there are 6-8 storm sewers that are in dyer need of repair. We will ask for a list from the administration. They will take them as they come. Mr. Martin also asked about whether or not we have moved on with the Clandestine Drug Labs. At this time no action has been taken. The law director is to take a look at the information provided by Ms. Abdella.
Mr. Robinson, Utilities Committee had no report. Mr. Robinson to review his list.
Mrs. Marshall, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report. Mrs. Marshall recommended that we make it known that our pool, our Senior Building and our park shelters are available for rent.
Mr. Newberry had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee. Mr. Newberry thought we could help the city by increasing the plumbing license and building permits
Mr. Newberry, Economic Development Committee reported that the
Chamber members that attended our last meeting enjoyed their visit and invited us to attend the Chamber meeting on August 31st, 2015 at 6PM. If anyone has any questions or ideas, this would be a good time to discuss.
Mr. Webster stated that the OEDA grants could also be discussed.
Mrs. Miller, Rules Committee discussed the State Auditor’s Meeting. Also I have asked for a performance audit for the past four months. I am not accusing anyone of anything however I would like to see a breakdown of funds within the administration. I was told that I could come down and look at the records on the Auditor’s computer. I really don’t want to do that. I feel that I should be able to get a copy of the report.
Miss Pittenger stated that the performance audit is on the cities website. She is welcome to come and look at it.
Discussion followed by members of council regarding the breakdown.
Mr. Neff suggested that Mrs. Miller come to the Auditor’s Office and look at the report.
Mrs. Miller also stated that she didn’t like contracting services outside the City of Belpre.
Miss Pittenger reported that the State Treasurers office is doing an Open Check Book. Soon you will be able to view this on Open Check Book.com
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda for first reading A RESOLUTION DESIGNATING THE PUBLIC DEPOSITORY FOR ACTIVE, INACTIVE, AND INTERIM FUNDS OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION DESIGNATING THE PUBLIC DEPOSITORY FOR ACTIVE, INACTIVE, AND INTERIM FUNDS OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. Discussion followed. This is merely who will be the bank for the city. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of A RESOLUTION DESIGNATING THE PUBLIC DEPOSITORY FOR ACTIVE, INACTIVE, AND INTERIM FUNDS OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for second and third readings A RESOLUTION DESIGNATING THE PUBLIC DEPOSITORY FOR ACTIVE, INACTIVE, AND INTERIM FUNDS OF THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella moved this be Resolution 22, 2014-2015 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Miss Pittenger asked that the Supplemental Appropriations be added to tonight’s agenda.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING 2015 APPROPRIATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING 2015 APPROPRIATIONS. 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-
Chief Sinnett stated that the fire department is against taking dispatch away from the city. Chief Sinnett also asked that Mr. Gilbert have a meeting before the next meeting to discuss a new vehicle for the department.
Mr. Gilbert called a Police and Fire Committee meeting for September 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM for the purpose of discussing a new vehicle,
Mr. Ferguson stated that we only have two weeks to commit to receive 2015 prices. This will be in the 2016 Appropriations.
Ms. Abdella called a Finance/Audit Committee for September 2, 2015 at 5:30 PM for the purpose of discussing Capital Purchases for 2016. Ms. Abdella also asked for a list of capital assets.
Mr. Newberry asked if we still have enough volunteers to help with the squad runs. Mr. Sinnett reported that we still have enough people just less available. We are trying to figure out what we need to do.
Mr. Newberry also congratulated Assistant Chief Rafferty. Mr. Newberry wished him the best of luck.
Mr. Gilbert spoke about the drainage problem on Hill Street. The street is a lot cleaner. Mr. Gilbert talked about the one drain that was mudded over.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:40 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.