Posted on: May 5, 2022
The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, April 20, 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, Bruce Shrodes, Second 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.
Minutes: Minutes of the April 6, 2022 Council Meeting were approved as written.
Correspondence: There was no correspondence.
Reports of Officers of the City:
Mayor: The Recreation Center cameras have been installed. Vandalism was recorded on the first day the cameras were in operation. Minor damage amounted to $300 and Police Chief McFarland has filed charges against the perpetrator. Estimates are being researched for doors that can be opened by the Police Dispatcher when someone who has rented the Center seeks entry. The Mayor reported that the Recreation Center has generated over $11,000 in revenue this year.
Fire Hydrants are being flushed this week.
Crews are cutting grass and removing fallen trees in the cemeteries.
Equipment has been moved to the area where the Impound Lot will be located. As soon as the weather breaks, crews will begin installing the fencing.
Crews took advantage of the nice weather today and did some pothole patching.
The Catch Basins on Grant Avenue, that were crushed and destroyed by a truck, have been repaired.
The demolition job in the alley behind Falbo’s Barber Shop is almost done.
The American Legion is requesting permission to use 5th and Hanover Streets, and Zane Highway for a Poppy Day Fundraiser from 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. on May 27. They also request permission to display Poppy crafts around the Veteran’s Memorial in Riverview cemetery.
The Street Sweeper has begun cleaning streets. For the first two weeks of operation, only warnings will be issued.
Service Director: Mr. Sutak is checking with banks on interest rates in case the city would borrow $1,200,000 for the proposed paving project. He distributed calculations on ways to repay this debt and a breakdown of projected revenue sources. It was estimated that the loan would be paid off in 15 years, possibly sooner if additional revenue is secured. A grant application will be submitted to the Ohio Public Works for possible funding to pave additional streets. Hopefully the paving can be done in July or August. When estimates for the paving costs are collected, Mr. Sutak will contact Mr. Rodgers to schedule a Street Committee Meeting to discuss the findings.
Safety Director: No report.
Auditor: No report.
Law Director: No report.
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: A Finance and Audit Committee Meeting will be set when Auditor Randall is able to meet.
Mr. Regis made a motion to pass the ASFCME contract as negotiated by the Mayor and the Administration. Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion. A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes. The motion carried and the ASFCME contract was declared passed.
Street: No report.
Ordinance: The Committee met on April 18 to discuss the Ordinance regarding Notification of Public Business. It was decided to update the wording of the ordinance to include allowing the Clerk to serve notice by email message when someone requests being notified of a meeting to discuss a certain topic. A vote on this Ordinance will be taken later in the meeting.
Sewer/Sidewalk: No report.
Code Administration: No report.
Safety: No report.
Service: No report.
Cemetery: The Committee met on April 8, 2022 to discuss changing the prices charged at the Riverview Cemetery. Chairman Tom Burns distributed the new price schedule to Council. Minutes of this meeting, as well as the New Price Schedule, will be filed with these minutes.
Public Relations: Mrs. Armstrong reported the Academic Awards Banquet was discussed at the last Chamber of Commerce Meeting,
Real Estate/Utility: No report.
Income Tax: No report.
Citizens To Be Heard: President Davis reminded citizens to limit their speaking to 5 minutes.
Robert Reed, 701 N. Lincoln Ave, Bridgeport, Ohio, asked the Mayor if there were any concerns about the findings of the high level of Radium 238 in the soil that was gathered near the old Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Plant on First Street. Mr. Reed said the Concerned Ohio River Citizens submitted these findings to ODNR and the EPA. Mayor Davies said that the neither ODNR nor the EPA has contacted him with any concerns with the soil report.
Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, was told that the Hall of Honor Committee will meet at the end of the month to name the new inductees. The Mayor said Columbia Gas is installing new gas lines on South Zane Highway and progressing nicely. As soon as the weather gets warmer, crews will be out painting new lines on the roadways including the intersection of Broadway and Etna Streets. The Mayor asked Mr. Hord to meet after the meeting to obtain more information on honoring Phil Wallace (Ohio Valley Printing), Don Falbo (Falbo’s Barber Shop) and William O. Webster (Grace Presbyterian Church). Mr. Hord was told that Rita Randall has been working in the office and from home and is doing well.
Frank Cika, 1105 North 9th Street, asked how to request a speed limit reduction on Border Lane. This matter was referred to Chairperson Jim Schramm and the Safety Committee.
Jeremy Shrodes, 1305 North 7th Street, ASFCME Local 1260 President, thanked Council and the Administration for their support and for passing the contract.
Jane Cluke, 923 Pearl Street, asked for an update on the Veteran’s Banners. She is an active member of the American Legion. Mr. Burns said the banners will be 2’ x 3’ and will be hung in the downtown area and hopefully along Zane Highway. Target date for display of these banners is November 11 (Veteran’s Day).
Alexandria Goddard, 910 Carlisle Street, conveyed to Council that April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Mr. Sutak will contact Ms. Goddard for additional information and place a notice on the City’s Website.
Ordinances and Resolutions:
Motion was made by Mr. Shrodes to suspend the 72 Hours Rule. Motion was seconded by Mr. Regis. A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis and Hunker voting yes. The motion carried.
An Ordinance Amending Codified Ordinance 107.05 To Allow the Clerk to Serve Notice by Email and Requiring the Requester to Provide An Email Address.
This Ordinance was given a first reading. Motion was made by Mr. Regis to suspend the rules. Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker. A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes. The motion carried and the rules were suspended. A motion was made by Mr. Shrodes to pass the Ordinance as read. Motion was seconded by Mrs. Armstrong. A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis and Hunker voting yes. The motion carried and the Ordinance was passed.
AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF MARTINS
FERRY TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR THE ZANE
HIGHWAY 12” WATERLINE CONNECTION TO AETNA
STREET BOOSTER STATION AND DECLARING AN
Mr. Regis made a motion to allow the American Legion to use 5th and Hanover Streets, and Zane Highway on May 27 for a Poppy Day Fundraiser Sale. Also, they request permission to display Poppy crafts around the Veterans Memorial at the Riverview cemetery. Motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm. A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes. The motioned carried.
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. Hunker. After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.
Mr. Sutak said he would call Bel-O-Mar and see if the Curley House has been place on the schedule for demolition.
Mr. Shrodes make a motion and Mr. Hunker seconded to allow Service Director Sutak to research available rates and methods for repayment of a possible repaving loan. A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis and Hunker voting yes. The motion carried.
Mr. Regis made a motion that the City of Martins Ferry recognize the Month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Motion was seconded by Mr. Rodgers. A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes. Motioned carried.
Seasonal workers are being used to maintain 58 delinquent properties and empty lots. The Mayor asked Council’s thoughts on using these workers to clean-up properties that contain trash. The cost of this clean-up would then be place on the owner’s utility bill. Mr. Stecker said the clean-up cost could be place on the utility bill but if the owner chooses not to pay this portion of the bill, the water could not be shut-off due to non-payment.
The City has been dealing with a run-down property on Broadway Street and now is now deemed unsafe. A fence has been removed and sections have been cut out of the wall. Mr. Regis suggested having the Safety Director declare the property a public safety hazard and give the owner two weeks to tear it down or the city will tear it down. Mr. Regis made a motion and it was seconded by Mr. Schramm to allow the Mayor to contact the Safety Director and declare this property a public nuisance. Mr. Shrodes advised to block off the area so no one can access the property and get hurt. A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.
President Davis will investigate prices for a new public address system.
Mrs. Armstrong moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Hunker. After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 7:07 p.m. with a salute to the flag.
Kay H. McFarlan, Clerk of Council Kristine Davis, Council President