Council President Mr. Martin called the September 30, 2020 Special Council meeting to order at 3:17 PM. If you aren’t a member of council please mute your computer so it will cut down the background noise. Due to COVID-19 our council meetings are being conducted through ZOOM.  The roll was called with the following members present: Mrs. Drake, Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Gant, Mr. Locke, Mrs. Miller, Ms. Riffle, and Mr. Shutts present.  Also present was Mayor Lorentz, Safety Service Director Mrs. Hoblitzell, and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.  Absent from the September 30th, 2020 meeting was City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster and City Treasurer Mrs. Copeland.

Council President Mr. Martin asked that everyone please rise for the Prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mayor Lorentz gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.

President of Council Mr. Martin announced that there are two pieces of legislation that appears under New Business:  They are as follows:

First Reading:  AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE SOPEC ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM, FOR THE PURPOSE OF JOINTLY ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING AN ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM AND DECLARING AND EMERGENCY.

First Reading:  AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY TO ENTER INTO THE SOUTHEAST OHIO PUBLIC ENERGY COUNCIL (SOPEC) AND THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF THE AGREEMENT ESTABLIHSING SOPEC AND APPROVING THE BYLAWS OF SOPEC, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.

Luke Sulfridge, Representative for SOPEC was present to answer any questions that were asked.  Also discussed was the pricing of AEP Energy which is .04892 through May 2021.  There will be new pricing available in June.  Also discussed was how you enroll in the aggregation program if you weren’t already a member.   You are not automatically placed in the aggregation.  You will get a letter stating how you can enroll in the program if you need to enroll. If you are already in the program it will show on your bill that you are enrolled in the aggregate program.  If you are not under contract you will automatically go in.  If you are under contract you must fulfill that contract and opt in if you haven’t shopped. Mr. Sulfridge explained everything thoroughly. There are two government groups doing this effectively.  One is Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council and we are the Southeast Ohio Public Energy.  We are the local group.  There are seven other counties within our group.  There are other brokers in the State of Ohio.

Mrs. Miller asked how the Grants are divided up.  According to Mr. Sulfridge it is based on the number of meters participating in the Grant program.  The Grant will be divided in portions. The City of Belpre will be receiving $5,000 of the Grant.

Mr. Cassidy stated that on his bill there is a price to compare in kilowatts per hour.           The price you are looking at goes to September 30. 2020 per Mr. Sulfridge.  Prices go up beginning October 1, 2020 to .5004.  This goes though the Public Utility Commission to change the price.  Mr. Cassidy asked again what the aggregate cost is.  Mr. Sulfridge stated that it is .04892.

Mrs. Miller asked if you are in but you don’t want to be can you opt out.  According to Mr. Sulfridge you can opt out at no cost.

Mrs. Drake asked if we would have to go through this again next year.  According to Mr. Sulfridge the answer is no.  The Regional Council of Government is part of the process and we will be working with the administration to let everyone know what is happening with the fair price built in.

NEW BUSINESS: 

Mrs. Drake brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE SOPEC ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM, FOR THE PURPOSE OF JOINTLY ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING AN ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM AND DECLARING AND EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE SOPEC ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM, FOR THE PURPOSE OF JOINTLY ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING AN ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM AND DECLARING AND EMERGENCY.  Discussion followed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except for Mrs. Miller whom voted nay.

Mrs. Drake brought before council for the second and third readings of AN ORDINANCE APPROVING THE PLAN OF OPERATION AND GOVERNANCE FOR THE SOPEC ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM, FOR THE PURPOSE OF JOINTLY ESTABLISHING AND IMPLEMENTING AN ELECTRICITY AGGREGATION PROGRAM AND DECLARING AND EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except for Mrs. Miller whom voted nay.

Mrs. Drake moved this be Ordinance #8, 2020-2021 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY TO ENTER INTO THE SOUTHEAST OHIO PUBLIC ENERGY COUNCIL (SOPEC) AND THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF THE AGREEMENT ESTABLIHSING SOPEC AND APPROVING THE BYLAWS OF SOPEC, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake moved to suspend the rule of council on three different days to allow for the second and third readings of AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY TO ENTER INTO THE SOUTHEAST OHIO PUBLIC ENERGY COUNCIL (SOPEC) AND THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF THE AGREEMENT ESTABLIHSING SOPEC AND APPROVING THE BYLAWS OF SOPEC, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye except for Mrs. Miller whom voted nay.

Mrs. Drake brought before council for second and third reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY TO ENTER INTO THE SOUTHEAST OHIO PUBLIC ENERGY COUNCIL (SOPEC) AND THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF THE AGREEMENT ESTABLIHSING SOPEC AND APPROVING THE BYLAWS OF SOPEC, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mrs. Drake moved this be Ordinance #9, 2020-2021 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

ADJOURN: 

Mr. Ferguson made a motion to adjourn at 3:50 PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.