The Regular Meeting of the Council of the City of Belpre, Ohio was called to order by Council President Mr. Neff at 7:30 p.m. with Mr. Neff welcoming everyone to this evening’s meeting. The roll was called with the following members present: Ms. Abdella, Mr. Baker, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Martin, Mr. Robinson and Mr. Sinnett present. Also present were Mayor Lorentz, Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson, City Auditor Miss Pittenger, City Law Director Mr. Webster, and Treasurer Mr. McAfee. Absent from the meeting was Council person Mrs. Boso.
At this time Mr. Neff asked that everyone please stand for the prayer and remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mrs. Marshall made a motion to accept the minutes of March 28, 2011 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 since we last met I did get the CDBG Grant turned in to the Commissioners. Funding may be cut somewhat this next round so I continued to pursue better sidewalks in our busier areas.
ODOT announced on Thursday April 7th that we were successful in obtaining $280,000 for our Safe Routes to Schools Grant.
Thanks to the people at ODOD we were granted an extension for the appropriations to the Riverfront project. Everything is on hold due to budget issues both state and federal. We need to make a draw on this by July 2012.
On the 30th I met with the CEO of Middleton Doll to discuss the sale of this property. It is my opinion that they will be very aggressive in finding a buyer and in turn this will create jobs for our citizens.
April 6th, I attended the utility committee for gas aggregation at the city building. Mr. Robinson, Mr. Ferguson and I were the only attendees.
April 8th, the City of Parkersburg invited me and the two chiefs to test their new driving simulator. If this had been any more life like we would owe them for two Chevy Tahoe’s.
April 9th, I participated in the 2nd annual Easter Parade in Parkersburg. Kiki Angelos does a wonderful job organizing this event.
My campaign to clean-up the city as well as move some properties has gained some support. Over the past couple weeks I have had a scout troop ask to adopt the Howe’s Grove Park. Another group is excited to make repairs and improvements to our schools and yet another is interested in holding an old fashioned 4th of July Celebration in our park to gain some level of excitement. Set up for service groups would be free as well as businesses that would want a booth. Our churches and local singing groups will offer entertainment for the day.
The Belpre Tree Commission is sponsoring a work day to clean up in the parks and the gateway project on the west end. We welcome all the help you can provide this Friday April 15th. We will start at 9:00 on the west end just across from the Church of Christ, and then move to Civitan Park to trim trees etc.
Please let the residents in your wards know that there is no burning allowed within the city limits of Belpre. This is not all our making, the Ohio EPA bans all burning within municipalities throughout the state. Please go online and look at Ohio Burning Laws. You will find it pretty self explanatory. Information is available at your desk and extra copies on the back table.
Mr. President I would like to swear in a new volunteer for our Fire Department EMT ranks at this time however the volunteer is not in attendance and I will need to do it at another time.
Safety-Service Director Mr. Ferguson announced that he had sent everyone on council an email regarding the purchase of a Massey Ferguson 1020 tractor. The cost of the tractor is $6,500. We now have a wheel horse that was handed down from the Street Department to the Parks Department after it was dropped off the back of a truck. I would certainly appreciate the support of council to purchase.
The boat docks will be installed this week in preparation for the Bass Tournament.
We recently had three officers nab a person coming out of an establishment. This is just another situation that our officers were at the right place at the right time.
City Auditor Miss Pittenger reported that before you tonight everyone should have the first quarter report of our operating funds through 03/31/2011. The total amount of tax collected for 2011 is $276,782.43. We also have a break down of 2011 Expenses vs. Revenue for the first quarter. Each member of council should have received an Adjustment Report for utilities for council approval. At this time, Mr. Robinson made a motion to accept the Utilities Adjustment Report for the Month of March. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
City Law Director Mr. Webster had no report. Mr. Webster did state that the Mayor’s Court time is expanding.
Treasurer Mr. McAfee had no report for the Treasurer’s Office. Mr. McAfee stated that the Belpre Alumni Association now had a new website. Mr. McAfee also congratulated Mr. Webster for being the Chairman of the Sr. Levy.
Communications and Petitions
Mr. Neff announced that on your desk tonight is an article regarding exterior maintenance improvements that could involve new paint, signage, awnings, and/or physical improvements providing for the continuing stability and safe utilization of properties by patrons. More than 50 commercial properties could be eligible for grants if the Finance Committee and City Council give the go ahead signal.
Also on Saturday, April 30th, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., there will me a Medication Disposal Event held at the Belpre Senior Center. Anyone having old medication around the home can dispose of your unwanted, unused or expired medications.
Mr. Neff stated that there is a list of payouts for March 2011 for all of council to see. This is for Mayor’s Court.
Mr. Neff stated that he received a letter from Auditor of State in regards to Cost Indexing.
Report of Standing Committee:
Ms. Abdella had no report for the Finance/Audit Committee.
Mr. Baker, Police and Fire Committee had no report for his committee. Mr. Baker was in support of the purchase of a tractor. He suggested that council recess to take a look at the tractor. There was discussion on the purchase of the tractor and how to purchase it.
Mrs. Marshall had no report for Streets, Sidewalks and Storm Sewers.
Mr. Robinson reported that the Utilities Committee met April 6th, 2011 for the purpose of discussing Gas and Electric Aggregation. Mr. Robinson stated that it seems to be a good asset for the Citizens of Belpre. This will have to be voted on in November. I think we need to have a Town Meeting prior to placing it on the ballot.
Mr. Martin, Parks and Recreation Committee had no report.
Mrs. Boso was absent. No report was given for Planning and Zoning Committee.
Mrs. Boso was absent. No report was given for Economic Development Committee.
Mr. Sinnett, Rules Committee had no report.
Persons Appearing Before Council – Agenda items only. None
Mr. Robinson brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE REGARDING THE DEPOSIT OF RECEIPTS OF SANITATION REVENUE. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Robinson moved this be Ordinance 23, 2010-2011 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Sinnett brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE REGARDING NOXIOUS WEEDS, GRASS OR OTHER VEGETATION ON PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN CITY LIMITS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Sinnett moved this be Ordinance 24, 2010-2011 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Sinnett brought before council for third reading AN ORDINANCE REGARDING REMOVAL OF LITTER FROM PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN CITY LIMITS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Sinnett moved this be Ordinance 25, 2010-2011 and duly passed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Mr. Sinnett brought before council for second reading AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING OPEN BURNING REGULATIONS WITHIN THE CITY OF BELPRE, OHIO. Mr. Sinnett stated that he would like to change the wording to include the Safety-Service Director. After discussion it was decided that it could not be changed. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
Mr. Baker brought before council for second reading A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND THE CHIEF OF POLICE TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY FOR THE CARE AND SUSTENANCE OF PRISONERS. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye. This will lie over until the next meeting of council.
There was a picture of the Massey Ferguson tractor being circulated to members of council. Mr. Neff called for a five minute recess.
Persons Appearing Before Council:
Ms. Abdella made a motion to excuse Mrs. Boso from this evening’s meeting. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.
Crystal Dillon, Florence Street, Belpre appeared before council regarding the remaining debris that was located on the property where her home was destroyed by fire and is under investigation. According the Ms. Dillon she was contacted about the debris flying off into neighboring yards. Mr. Ferguson had pictures of the debris. Mr. James Jackson stated that the debris would be cleaned up.
Mr. Neff reminded council that the Financial Disclosure forms would be due before we meet again.
Mrs. Locke, 726 Tuttle Street, announced that racing would begin at 4:00 on Saturday at Civitan Park. She invited everyone to come out and join in the fun.
A motion was made by Mr. Robinson to adjourn at 8:25 p.m. A vote was taken with all members of council present voting aye.