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. 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 City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid.  Absent from the September 25, 2017 meeting was Councilperson Mrs. Marshall and Clerk of Council Mrs. Meredith.

Mr. Neff asked that everyone please rise 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 September 11, 2017 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 September 14th Karen Waller and I were invited to the New Citizens Bank to get a sneak peak at the inside. This will be an amazing addition to our city. Please watch for the Grand Opening notice and plan to attend if possible.

On the 19th K-Love Radio interviewed me. About a year ago they asked me for an interview and now a follow up on our progress and economic development in Belpre. I will notify you all when it airs.

We have been diligently looking for new owners for the Middleton Doll Building. As of now the work has started on renovations and plans for Boxers Bed and Biscuits to move to this location. The property is listed now as M-1 and needs council blessing to change the zoning to C-2. If I could get a voice vote on record then we can proceed in the process. Letters have been sent to all neighbors within 150ft. and advertisement of it is taking place per ordinance. We have also sent letters out in the Farson Street area for a height variance for a billboard from 30 ft. to 32ft. This is the large sign just behind Bob Rauch’s property.

Tomorrow you will see police cars from all over the valley congregating in our city. The Columbus Bomb Squad and Home Land security will be presenting a class for our officers. We have Parkersburg, Vienna, Beverly, Washington County, Marietta College, and Belpre in attendance.

We are blessed to have a Habitat House being constructed in Belpre. The Darwin Mayle family donated the property for the home and it is my understanding a ground breaking will take place in October.

We meet again on Wednesday to discuss the development of the property adjacent to the park and city building. Mr. Eddy has modified his plan to more comply with the city.

Engineers are working on Dragstrip Road as we speak. This may be a process taking up to 6 months. Residents in that area need to be patient, as we want this corrected quickly but correctly.

Mr. Neff announced a Public Hearing for Monday, October 9, 2017 at 7:30 PM for the purpose of discussing the properties listed in the Mayor’s Report.

Safety-Service Director Mr. Cross had no report.

City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that the City Building has received numerous calls from citizens regarding their water bills.  We explained to them that they would have an additional two weeks to pay as we have moved into a new cycle.

City Law Director Mr. Webster reported that he has prepared legislation giving the Mayor the authorization to join a coalition of municipalities being formed for the purpose of initiating litigations to challenge the constitutionality of amendments to Chapter 718 of the Ohio Revised Code contained in HB 5 and HB49 and retain the law firm of Frost Brown Todd LLC as special counsel for the coalition of municipalities.

City Treasurer Mrs. Kincaid had no report.

Communications and Petitions:

Mr. Neff assigned to the Finance/Audit Committee AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO JOIN A COALITION OF MUNICIPALITIES RETAINING SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR PURPOSES OF INITIATING LITIGATION TO CHALLENGE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 718 OF THE OHIO REVISED CODE RELATING TO MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.

 We did receive notice from the Safety-Service Director for a Public Hearing on October 9, 2017 at 7:30 for two parcels mentioned in the Mayor’s Report.

We also received a nice thank you card from Mrs. Miller that I will pass around.

Report of Standing Committee:

Ms. Abdella Finance Audit Committee announced that she would like to by pass committee and add to tonight’s agenda for first reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO JOIN A COALITION OF MUNICIPALITIES RETAINING SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR PURPOSES OF INITIATING LITIGATION TO CHALLENGE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 718 OF THE OHIO REVISED CODE RELATING TO MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella stated that she had received a phone call today from the Fire Chief regarding their needs for equipment.  Ms. Abdella called a Finance/Audit Committee meeting for October 9, 2017 at 7:15 PM for the purpose of discussing re-allocation from the Capital Fund for fire equipment.

Mrs. Miller, Police and Fire Committee had no report.

Mr. Colvin, Streets, Sidewalk and Storm Sewer had no report.

Mrs. Marshall, Utilities Committee was absent.  No report was given in her absence.

Mr. Law, Parks and Recreation Committee reported that his committee met prior to this evenings meeting to discuss Save the Kitty, Feral Cats Program.  Discussed was what these individuals do for these cats.  We are going to try and get some signs up keeping individuals from feeding these cats.

Ms. Abdella reported for Mrs. Drake Planning and Zoning Committee.  Topic of discussion was to discuss monetary changes to Ordinance 1313 regarding rentals & inspections and how to implement. One goal is to make things better for the Police Department. We also need to make dollar amounts applicable to date.

Following a good discussion on the ordinance we found it is not and will not be an easy fix/solution and that several factors came forth.

We discussed how and when inspections should be done, who would do them and just where the Health Department would be involved. We need more information from the Health Department.

We need to know just how many apartment rentals are in the City, who owns them, and apartment owners need to report to the City on tenants as to support the City Income Tax.

It was determined we need a cost analysis on how to manage all issues of the ordinance and would it warrant utilizing the entire ordinance or portions thereof.

It was discussed if one of the colleges might provide an intern to do a case study on rentals.

The ordinance needs more reviewing and just how we apply it or use as needed when applicable.

Discussion concluded to hold another special committee meeting in two weeks with the time and date at Council this coming Monday.

Adjourned 5:00 p.m.

Mrs. Drake, Economic Development Committee had no report.

Mr. Shutts, Rules Committee had no report.

Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only.

None

Unfinished Business:

Ms. Abdella brought before council for third 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.

Ms. Abdella moved this be Resolution 35, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Neff informed council that they must sign the legislation regarding the tax levy before leaving this evening.

New Business

Ms. Abdella brought before council for first reading AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO JOIN A COALITION OF MUNICIPALITIES RETAINING SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR PURPOSES OF INITIATING LITIGATION TO CHALLENGE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 718 OF THE OHIO REVISED CODE RELATING TO MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  Discussion followed.  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 AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO JOIN A COALITION OF MUNICIPALITIES RETAINING SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR PURPOSES OF INITIATING LITIGATION TO CHALLENGE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 718 OF THE OHIO REVISED CODE RELATING TO MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella brought before council for second and third readings AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO JOIN A COALITION OF MUNICIPALITIES RETAINING SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR PURPOSES OF INITIATING LITIGATION TO CHALLENGE THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 718 OF THE OHIO REVISED CODE RELATING TO MUNICIPAL INCOME TAX AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Ms. Abdella moved this be Ordinance 22, 2016-2017 and duly passed.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Persons Appearing Before Council:

Linda Shutts, 813 Walnut Street addressed council with her concerns of grass at the Underpass of Depot Street and Walnut Street.  Mr. Neff stated that the property is owned by CSX and it is almost impossible to get them to do anything with their property.  Mayor Lorentz to get in contact with CSX.

Chief Toni Cronin reminded council of the meeting tomorrow night at the Bingo Hall at 6:30 PM.  This is a Town/Fire Department meeting to help get the levy passed that will be on the ballot.

Chief Williams stated that the next three days he would be in a firearms simulation training session.  There are a few spaces opened if anyone is interested.

Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse Mrs. Marshall from this evenings meeting.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.

Mr. Neff reminded each member of council that they must sign the piece of legislation of legislation passed this evening regarding the tax levies.

Adjourn:

Mr. Shutts made a motion to adjourn at 8:00 PM.  A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.