The Regular Meeting of the Council of the City ofBelpre,Ohiowas called to order by Council President Mr. Neff at7:30 p.m.with Mr. Neff welcoming everyone to this evening’s meeting. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mr. Newberry, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Sinnett and Mr. Wallace present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, Treasurer Mr. McAfee and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.
At this time, Mr. Neff asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. The invocation was given by Mr. Neff.
A motion was made by Ms. Abdella to accept the minutes of August 12, 2013as presented and by-pass the reading. Mr. Robinson pointed out a correction to the minutes: Page 3, 4th paragraph from the bottom change Mr. Marshall to Mrs. Marshall. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Reports of City Officials
Mr. Neff presented Mayor Lorentz’s report.
The Allohak Council Executive Director met with me last week. They were very pleased with the Day Camp held in our park during June. With the close proximity to most of the cub scouts they have asked to again hold it here again next year. Dates for 2014 are June 11 through June 14th.
Traffic issues onFarson Streethave diminished since the initial road construction began. Most of the issues are coming from impatient drivers that want to ignore clear instructions.
As I reported last meeting our engineer is helping us acquire emergency funds through Ohio Public Works. If we are successful our portion will be approximately $21,000.00 for all repairs to the slip on Dragstrip that is getting increasingly worse.
Mr. Ferguson and I met with the Belpre Fire Department Officers again last Tuesday evening to discuss the future of squad runs and coverage. With the loss of bingo revenue at the fire department they are unable to continue payingEMT’s. Our suggestion for council is to drop our contract with MCA and have the Fire Department contract with them for billing. The city will not have the burden of added employees but will still be able to continue the professional services our residents are used to. Instead of an 80% city and 20% fire department it will reverse so to coverEMT’s and medical supplies at the fire house as well as equipment needed to operate safely. The 20% will cover the new squad loan and assist us with maintaining our property investments. With the resignation of Bruce Cowdery as Interim Chief, Mr. Eric Sinnett will serve as Interim Chief for the City ofBelpreas a volunteer.
Hopefully you noticed the new cruiser in the lot tonight as well as our dump truck. The street department has repaired all the brake lines as well as the framework on the truck to accept a new stainless bed. Two trucks will be refurbished at a total cost of approximately $25,000.00 instead of replacements at a cost of over $60,000.00 each. The cruiser is the first of two, council has appropriated money for.
Tonight we have a great group of young people that volunteered to paint and cleanup the railroad tunnel at the ball field. They not only painted the walls they also provided a mural that compliments the entire area. At this time, Mayor Lorentz recognized the Belpre LEO Club for their efforts. Diane Smith stated that it took them 155 hours to redo the tunnel. There were eight students who worked on this project. We will begin our next project by painting the bars of the playground equipment at theElementaryBuildingacross from theLawtonBuilding. Each member received a certificate from the City ofBelprefor their service to our city.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson reported that Roger Flowers had contacted him regarding purchasing some property located at 715 6th Street. Mr. Flowers lives at 714 5th Street. The property he wants to purchase is located directly behind his home. Mr. Flowers would like for the city to appropriate funds to extend the road. Mr. Ferguson stated that the two concerns he has is that one, the funds are not available and secondly the extension would get real close to the storm drainage ditch.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger had no report.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report.
Treasurer Mr. McAfee had no report.
Communications and Petitions: None
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella, Finance Audit Committee had no report.
Mr. Sinnett, Police and Fire Committee had no report.
Mr. Wallace, Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mr. Robinson had no report for the Utilities Committee.
Mr. Martin, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Economic Development Committee reported that her committee met onAugust 26, 2013at7:00 PMto discuss abandoned vehicles. They discussed how to change the inoperable vehicles from private property, roadways and alleyways. It was recommended to revise Section 1313.12B of the Ordinance already in place. This topic will be revisited in the near future.
Mr. Newberry had no report for the Rules Committee.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Mr. Newberry brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE EDITION AND INCLUSION OF CERTAIN ORDINACNES 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:
David Dye,807 Westview Drive, Belpre appeared before council with a request to change city tax codes on city taxes. Mr. Dye would like to pay his taxes one time a year and not quarterly. According to the law director this would need to be assigned to the Rules Committee for an amendment to the legislation.
Mr. Dye also asked why we still have a four way stop atRocklandandMiddle Street. He didn’t feel the need because there are no students at Stone Elementary. He was informed that there are still students in theStoneElementaryBuilding.
According to Karen Locke,726 Tuttle Street, Bus Driver for the Belpre City School System stated that they would like the four way stop to remain as we still have students walking to Middle School and there is Pre-School at Stone Elementary.
Eric Sinnett told council that he had four calls today regarding the cities water bill and why they had been contracted out. According toMiss.Pittenger it was a money savings issue. There was nothing that needed to be voted on. Employees brought this suggestion to Miss Pittenger. According to Miss Pittenger it cost .40 cents to send out the water bill now it cost .25 cents. It also contains more information.
Mr. Robinson addressed the new water line going in onFarson Streetand the confusion it is causing. According to Mayor Lorentz traffic issues on Farson Street have diminished since the initial road construction began. Most of the issues are coming from impatient drivers that want to ignore clear instructions.
Mayor Lorentz addressed the slip onDrag Street. The cities portion to help fix the slip would be approximately $21,000.00. Mr. Robinson wasn’t sure of the location of the slip. Mayor Lorentz gave him the location.
Also discussed was the money that was back owed to our court system. According to Mr. Webster we can attempt to collect but we don’t have debtors’ prisons.
Mr. Robinson made a motion to adjourn at8:10. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.