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. 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, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith. Absent from the August 28, 2017 meeting was Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid.
Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Neff asked that we remember all those victims in Texas that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Mayor Lorentz gave the invocation.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of August 14, 2017 as presented and by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of the Special Meeting of Council on August 23, 2017, as presented and by-pass the reading. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except Mrs. Miller who abstained.
Reports of City Officials:
Mayor Lorentz reported that The Southeastern Ohio Port Authority met in our Chambers on August 22nd. Many of the group had not travelled to our city in a while. Many good comments were made about progress and cleanliness.
Stephanie McPeek the Tobacco Initiative Coordinator for Washington County ask that we adopt a no tobacco policy for Depot Park. Stephanie gave examples of just how much polluting was happening around our playground areas. After discussion we decided to make the playground areas No Tobacco areas and expand from there. Marietta has adopted a similar rule for their one park. The signs have been ordered and will be installed as soon as possible.
A letter has also gone out from my office in cooperation with the O’Neill Center to add a new class for our seniors. This is at no cost to us other than more use to the facility. Becky can now offer Tai Chi, A Matter of Balance and the Chi Walking class.
Mr. Cross and I continue to work with AEP on the road repairs at Dragstrip. This is going to take longer than expected but necessary if we are to keep the roadway in a safe state.
Trick or Treat this year will be Tuesday October 31st, from 6 until 7:30 PM. Vienna, Parkersburg and Williamstown are scheduled the same.
Ms. Abdella stated that she understands the policy statement for Depot Park however she wanted to know why we aren’t doing it at the other parks. According to Mayor Lorentz we are starting at Depot Park as a test to see how we do.
At this time members of the Odd fellows Lodge out of Marietta presented $500 to Chief Williams for the K-9 Program. Since a lot of our members are from Belpre we thought that it was only right to participate in the program.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross reported that AEP is about to finish up the high power voltage lines on Florence Street. We will begin repairs on Main Street so we ask folks to slow down and watch out for our city workers.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger presented her report regarding the Belpre Pool for this year. Miss Pittenger stated that the pool was closed for 11 days due to weather or when the pool was closed because of the pump. We collected $41,462.50. As of today we have spent $76,984.36 and we encumbered $36,792.65 totaling $113,777.01. The pool did about normal. As we all know the pool is a hole in the ground that we throw money into however it is needed for the youth and families of our community. Miss Pittenger stated that the only other thing she has this evening is the July Adjustment Report that needs approved. Copies of the report are on the back table and it has also been posted on the cities website. Ms. Abdella made a motion to accept the July Adjustment Report as presented. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that we made amendments to Chapter 1151 last week at our Special meeting. The corrections have been made to the legislation.
City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid was absent. No report was given in her absence.
Communications and Petitions:
Mr. Neff assigned to the Finance/Audit Committee 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.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee reminded everyone that there is a Finance Audit Committee meeting scheduled for September 11, 2017 at 7PM for the purpose of discussing the Sewer Project and the status and funding. Ms. Abdella made a motion to add to tonight’s agenda 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.
Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee reported that she is still working on some problems that the police chief gave her on nuisance complaints and false alarms. Mrs. Miller stated that there would be something forth coming on it. Mrs. Miller asked if the police dog has been ordered. Mayor Lorentz verified that the check has been written and it is on its way.
Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.
Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee had no report.
Mr. Law, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Planning and Zoning Committee had no report.
Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee reported that Economic Development met last Thursday evening on August 24th, 2017. An undisclosed developer is looking at out area and has asked the question as to what we would like to see become, to be in Belpre. Thoughts and ideas were put forth.
Forms of communications were discussed and how to get more information about Belpre to people outside the community. Following good discussion and a committee of three was formed to move forward with getting results. Communication forms discussed was: Facebook, Chat line, Twitter, and instant gram.
New businesses to open soon is Belaire Bistro & Catering, formerly the Churn, and Image Massage.
The new Director of Port Authority Andy Kuhn was present and certainly had many refreshing ideas for this area to be considered for growing and expanding. Looking to trends that would accommodate the younger generations while meeting needs of the local population.
The Taco Bell you have been hearing about is coming closer to being a reality. You just might get to enjoy a Taco Bell taco by the end of the year.
The new Citizens Bank will be featuring a Mural on the History of Belpre.
We are in hopes that other businesses will come on board and have a Historical Mural in their place of business.
State and Federal representation was present and helpful with topics discussed.
Next meeting is September 28th 6PM.
Mr. Shutts, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.
Steve Null, 2321 Washington Boulevard appeared before council with his concern that the City of Belpre needs to regulate commercial property as to the telecommunication tower. American Cancer Society says there is no alarm as to cell service as far as towers and phone service.
Josh Duley, Little Hocking, Ohio, President of the Fire Fighters Association announced that the Fire Fighters Association did not sign the contract and will due away with the potential contract. If anyone would like to help with the Fire Fighter Association please get in contact with us.
Marian Duvall extended her appreciation to the Fire Association. I would like all of us to come together here as a community to help the Fire Fighter Association.
Paula Sellers 1115 Blennerhassett Avenue also extended her appreciation to the Fire Fighters Association. Never at any time were we against them but we were against the telecommunication tower. We felt this was an idea that wasn’t good for Belpre. I will help and assist you anyway that I can.
Mr. Neff stated that he was glad that he works in a community that everyone comes together.
Unfinished Business: –
Mrs. Marshall brought before council for third 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.
Mrs. Marshall moved this be Ordinance 19, 2016-2017 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Drake brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE AMENDING BELPRE CODE OF ORDINANCES 1149.02 (B)(2) HEIGHT REGULATIONS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mrs. Drake moved this be Ordinance 20, 2016-2017 and duly passed. Mrs. Miller stated that there are a lot of areas outside the city to consider, also there is a township surrounding the city. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except Mrs. Miller whom voted nay.
Mrs. Drake brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING CHAPTER 1151 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF BELPRE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except Mrs. Miller whom voted nay.
Mrs. Drake moved this be Ordinance 21, 2016-2017 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. Mrs. Drake stated that the township surrounding the city guidelines for towers comes under the Ohio Revised Code. Mr. Webster stated that the township falls under the general county rules and regulations provided by the Ohio Revised Code as opposed to municipalities.
New Business –
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:
Richard Thorn 513 Barclay Street addressed smut that was painted on the underpass near Barclay Street. Both the left wing and left side has been destroyed. Mr. Neff stated that there is an ordinance in the books regarding defacing public property. Mr. Thorn stated that the Chief is aware of the problem.
Chief Williams addressed the concern. We are aware of the problem but no one has been charged.
Mr. Webster stated that we don’t discuss ongoing charges in public meetings.
Jim George Assistant Fire Chief lives in Little Hocking but has been part of the city and raised in the City of Belpre his whole life. He would like to see everyone step forward and help the association.
Mr. Shutts stated that he was pretty hard on the President of the Association because he didn’t understand the difference between the association and the fire department. Now that he understands he stated that he would be glad to help them.
Mrs. Marshall stated that she was the councilperson for the Barclay Street area and that she was not aware of the problem nor did she get any calls or emails addressing the problem. Had she received calls or an email she would have addressed the problem.
Miss Pittenger was looking for the sign in sheet. She stated that she was sure some of the ones at the front table would love to help.
Mrs. Drake called a Committee Meeting regarding Ordinance 1313 on September 11 at 6:45PM.
Ms. Abdella stated that she is proud of the fire chief and the association for coming together. I think by coming up with a Citizens Auxiliary will help the citizens understand and come together to help.
Ms. Abdella made a motion to adjourn at 8:15 PM. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.