City of Martins Ferry

Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of February 16, 2022

Posted on: March 21, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Donald Myers Council Chambers.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Kristine Davis with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those present in chamber, followed by a prayer by the Clerk.   Answering Roll Call were Bob Hunker, First Ward Council Member, Suzanne Armstrong, Third Ward Council Member; Rick Rodgers, Fourth Ward Council Member; Tom Burns, Jim Schramm and Jack Regis, Council at Large Members.    Bruce Shrodes, Second Ward Council Member, informed President Davis he was unable to attend the meeting.       

            Minutes:  Minutes of the February 16, 2022 Council Meeting were approved as written after it was noted that the First Christian Church would hold a Car Show on May 21 and the rain date would be May 22. 

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  Mayor Davies informed President Davis that he was unable to attend this meeting. 

Service Director:  Because of the snow and ice during the last few weeks, Mr. Sutak said city employees were working hard to keep the roads clear.  He was asked about the “dust and dirt” that was left on the ground after the roads were salted.  This is due to grit being mixed with road salt to provide more traction. 

With a few warmer days last week, crews were able to do some pothole repairs.  When the weather breaks, pothole patching will resume.  Paving projects are also being planned. 

Both batting cages have been erected at the Recreation Center.  The Senior and Junior High Baseball Teams are interested in scheduling practice times next week. 

Mr. Rodgers thanked the city employees for clearing off the snow in front of St. Mary’s Catholic Church so several funeral services could be held.  He also asked Mr. Sutak to remove 8-10 full garbage cans that have been outside of a Garage Apartment behind the Church for over 6 weeks.  Mr. Sutak was also informed of potholes needing repaired in the alley behind the Church.  The faucet in the Men’s Restroom in the City Building needs fixed. 

Mrs. Armstrong asked about broken parking meters and was told that the city is waiting for new meter heads and parts.  She also informed Mr. Sutak that Unified Bank is interested in renting 4 street parking spaces on Hickory Street.  

Mr. Sutak said applications are being accepted for seasonal help for the Cemetery. 

Safety Director:  No report. 

            Auditor:  No report. 

            Law Director:  Mr. Rodgers asked for clarification on the ownership of sidewalks in town.  Mr. Stecker said the property owner owns the sidewalk and the city has the right-a-way over all or portions of the sidewalk depending on the area.  The property owner is responsible for maintaining and repairing the sidewalk. 

            Police Department:  No report.

            Fire Department: No report.

Code Administrator: No report.

            Park District: No report.      

            Water Department:  No report.       

Reports of Committees of Council:   

            Finance and Audit:   No report.  

Street:  Mr. Rodgers will schedule a Street Committee Meeting in March to discuss street re-paving projects and then bring the committee’s recommendations to Council for approval. 

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  Mr. Regis would like to schedule a meeting to discuss the maintenance and upkeep of rental property in the city. 

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  Mr. Burns is looking into the cost of building a Columbarium (a building containing many small niches for urns) in the Riverview Cemetery.  He also agrees with Mayor Davies to use the cut stone, saved from the recent demolition of a Center Street house, to rebuild the wall in the cemetery.  Future plans include finishing repairs to the cemetery’s maintenance building.  A Cemetery Committee Meeting will be scheduled soon. 

Public Relations:  Mrs. Armstrong reported the Chamber of Commerce is making plans for the Academic Awards Banquet.  She also mentioned that she attended the dedication of the Pat Kramer Reading Room at the Martins Ferry Library.  It was a very nice program and dedication to Mrs. Kramer.

Real Estate/Utility:  No report.

Income Tax: No report.

Citizens To Be Heard:  President Davis reminded citizens to limit their speaking to 5 minutes.  

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, was concerned that the Northern Division Court was now located in the former Health Plan Building (in St. Clairsville, Ohio) instead of Martins Ferry.  President Davis said that this decision was controlled by the Belmont County Commissioners and the city did not have any say in the matter.  Mr. Hord asked if the concerns regarding the Austin Masters Property have been resolved.  President Davis said that as the Mayor reported at the last Council meeting, there are no active violations by ODNR or the EPA and the city is regularly testing the water supply.  Another test well is being considered.  Mr. Hord complimented Council on the Town Hall Meeting held on February 6 at the Recreation Center.  He was disappointed that more citizens didn’t attend and he hoped more of these meetings will be held in the future. 

Tom Burns, Council-at-Large Member, thanked Council for their understanding, during the last four years, as he served as caretaker for his Aunt, Martha Snezek.  She recently passed away after battling cancer.  He gave a brief history of his Aunt’s life and work history. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

            There were no Ordinances or Resolutions to be read.             






Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Regis made a motion to reflect Council has received reports from the Officers and Management, and to incorporate these reports into the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.   After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Although Mr. Regis knows that snow being cleared from the roadways has to be put somewhere, he was concerned that when sidewalks are blocked with piles of snow, citizens have to step into the street to get around these obstacles.  He witnessed a child almost being hit by a car because she had to walk in the street to avoid a large pile of snow blocking the sidewalk near the Daily Bread Center.  If the snow pile is still there, Mr. Sutak will have it removed and try to monitor this type of situation in the future. 

Mr. Hunker made a motion to excuse Mr. Shrodes from tonight’s meeting.  Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mr. Rodgers and President Davis asked Council to consider replacing the current amplification and recording system in Council Chambers.  When the State Auditors want to hear part of a meeting, there is not always a clear recording of the meeting.  Mr. Sutak said he would discuss this with the Mayor. 

Mr. Regis made a motion to cancel the March 2 Council Meeting (in Observance of Ash Wednesday).  A Special Meeting can be called if necessary.   Motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.   The next regularly scheduled Council Meeting will be Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

            Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Hunker seconded the motion.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed and the meeting adjourned with a saluted to the flag.  

___________________________________               ___________________________________
Kay H. McFarlan, Clerk of Council                           Kristine Davis, Council President