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 25, 2014 meeting was City Treasurer Miss Martin.
At this time, Mr. Neff asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff gave the invocation.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the minutes of August 11, 2014, 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 presented his report:
Since our last meeting we have started the discussion with Solid Waste Haulers for not only trash pickup but also, recycle. Our current contract runs out in July of 2015 and I would like to be ready to go day 1 regardless of carrier.
Mr. Ferguson and I put together a proposal for a water line project to submit to OPWC. The project scored in the upper 200’s, which is almost 200 short of funding. At this point we do not have paving to compete with northern projects.
CSX Railroad is complete with all the crossings except the Belrock Crossing. They propose finishing this one next month. Although we did experience some inconveniences the end product was worth it.
Food for Thought is now open in the old Belrock location. Hopefully our residents will frequent the new business and welcome them to Belpre.
David Shaffer and Mr. Ferguson completed interviews for the street department. After interviews, testing and background checks they offered employment to their candidate.
I will be out a couple days next week because my wife has returned home. As always I will be as close as a phone call but she needs a few days with my help to acclimate back to our home. Thank you all for the prayers and concern over the past six weeks as we dealt with her illness.
Tonight we have a couple volunteer firemen that have proven leadership and will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. At this time I would like to swear in Jim George and Jeff Rafferty as Lieutenants to the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department. Charlene Sinnett was awarded the Mayor’s Metal for her actions within the city on July 23, 2014 when she noticed that her neighbors’ house was on fire. The occupied house could have been a loss if it hadn’t been for Charlene’s quick action.
Safety Service Director Mr. Ferguson congratulated Jim and Jeff on their promotion to lieutenants. Also I was at the emergency that Charlene saved the life of Mrs. Cole. If it hadn’t been for Charlene noticing smoke coming out at the time in which she did within 20 minutes it would have been dark and someone may have not noticed it. I truly appreciate her quick response.
In the minutes of the last meeting I was to get back with council after talking with someone from Civil Service regarding the hiring of a retired police officer. The response came back after Civil Service contacted the folks in Columbus. To be on the safe side the retired officer should test like everyone else. I can’t disagree as much as I would like to. I do appreciate council addressing the 10th Police Officer ASAP.
Also we have discussed making a change to the Manpower. I would like to have someone put this back on the to do list. This change would be from the Parks to the Street Department.
I have had discussion with AEP Representatives regarding replacing new telephone poles now referred to as AEP poles. These are Class 1 poles. This project will probably not be completed until December 2015. Once completed, your electricity grid will be much more secured.
I attended a meeting this past week with Triple W regarding bike route through the City of Belpre. There are people really excited about connecting to the Athens trail. Discussion followed regarding attaching the trail from Coolville to the Belpre Bridge and Route 7 to Marietta.
Numerous pamphlets are being sent out regarding Pet Waste at no charge to the city.
I would like council to look at the ordinance dealing with inoperable motor vehicles, motor homes, RV’s, boats and trailers. Under the current legislation they cause a safety hazard. Currently you are allowed to have one inoperable vehicle.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that the letter that Mr. Ferguson was talking about regarding Pet Waste would only go out to those who have their pets registered.
The heating and air conditioning in this building has been taped together for the last five years that I have been her. I ran some numbers today to see the amount we pay on a monthly basis. I spoke to HVAC Contractor last week and they are working up a bid for us. We are past the point of no return. This should have been replaced five years ago. If we do it on a lease the interest rate is low and the equipment is under warranty for the full time of the lease. Sometime soon I will be asking the law director to draft legislation so that we can sign a lease for new heating and air conditioning.
Tonight I have the Adjustment Report that needs approval by council. Please note that there is a large adjustment. There was a leak that was so bad that it rolled over and charged the customer $7 million dollars.
Posted on the website is the 2015 Tax Budget and the Supplemental Appropriations. When we get started we will need to transfer $10,000 from the General Fund to the Street Department.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster announced that we continue to work with the City, Port Authority and Buckeye Hills regarding the sewer project north of the city. Also, I do want to apologize for not wearing my tie this evening however it is T-Ball Season.
Treasurer Miss Martin was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff assigned to Finance/Audit Committee the 2nd Supplemental Appropriations for 2014, 2015 Tax Budget and the Manpower Shift.
Mr. Neff assigned Inoperable Vehicles to Rules Committee.
Mr. Gilbert has presented each member of council with a letter regarding Clandestine Drug Labs. At a later time we will further discuss.
You have been provided with some Census Data (what group you fit into) that is pretty interesting.
Mr. Ferguson wanted to be sure that the generator at the sewer plant is appropriated for.
I would like to remind everyone of the Budgetary Process for 2015 that I presented to you about six months ago.
I also like to remind the City Administration that they need to be working with the department heads regarding their needs for the upcoming year.
I have signed off on the bank reconciliation for our last accounting period per request by our State Auditor’s.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report. Ms. Abdella called a meeting for September 8, 2014 at 6:30 PM for the purpose of discussing Supplemental Appropriations, Shift in Manpower, and the discussion of the 10th Officer. I would like to by-pass committee and add two pieces of legislation to tonight’s agenda. The legislation is as follows: A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING YEAR 2014 APPROPRIATIONS and RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE AMOUNTS AND RATES AS DETERMINED BY THE BUDGET COMMISSION AND AUTHORIZING THE NECESSARY TAX LEVIES AND CERTIFYING THEM TO THE COUNTY AUDITOR. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Gilbert, Police and Fire Committee reported that his committee met this evening at 6:30 PM for the purpose of discussing Clandestine Drug Lab and Golf Carts in the city. It was the recommendation of the committee to add Golf Carts to the next meetings agenda. I would also like council to review the letter regarding Clandestine Drug Lab for discussion at a later time.
Mr. Martin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer Committee had no report.
Mr. Robinson, Utilities Committee had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mr. Newberry had no report for Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mr. Newberry had no report for the Economic Development Committee.
Mrs. Miller reported that the Rules Committee met prior to and after the last meeting of council to discuss social media. We have decided that we already have a policy in place that covers this. I would ask that this be removed from my list of assignments.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Unfinished Business: none
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading A RESOLUTION SUPPLEMENTING YEAR 2014 APPROPRIATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie until the next meeting of council.
Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE AMOUNTS AND RATES AS DETERMINED BY THE BUDGET COMMISSION AND AUTHORIZING THE NECESSARY TAX LEVIES AND CERTIFYING THEM TO THE COUNTY AUDITOR. 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-
Tim Gant, 1426 Boulevard Drive, Belpre appeared before council regarding the work on the railroad tracks, rail cars being parked in the city, time that the rail cars will be switching and whether or not these parked rail cars contain hazardous material. He was also concerned whether or not our fire department was able to take care of these hazardous materials in case of a fie.
Edward Benson, 746 Ruble Avenue, Belpre also addressed his concern of hazardous materials in the rail cars.
Mr. Newberry reminded council that if they haven’t already done so you still have time to register for the Open Government Seminar at Washington State Community College.
Mr. Neff asked for continued prayers for the Mayor and Safety-Service Director’s wives.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at 8:15. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.