Posted on: September 16, 2022
The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, August 17, 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, 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 August 10, 2022 Special Council Meeting were approved as written. This includes Mrs. Armstrong’s recommendation that the EMS Worker’s increase in salary be retroactive to August 1, 2022.
Correspondence: There was correspondence from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control regarding the transfer of the Belmont Brewerks Liquor License to the new owners. Police Chief McFarland was consulted and he has no concerns with this transfer.
Reports of Officers of the City:
Mayor: No Report.
Service Director: Bids have been received for the Street Paving Project. The Mayor, Service Director, and Engineer will meet and carefully review the bids. The project will need to be finished by October 31, 2022. Mr. Rodgers asked that the Street Committee be involved in the review of the paving bids.
A new Catch Basin has been installed in Floral Valley.
The Splash Pad is open. Donations are still being accepted to help with the cost. The administration is looking into the cost of installing turf around the area to prevent dirt and grass from getting into the Splash Pad. After 30 days, the cap will be installed to protect the cement. There is no additional chlorine in the water going to the Splash Pad. The water comes straight from the city’s water lines. It is not re-circulated.
Many of the summer helpers will be leaving for school soon. Mr. Sutak praised the summer workforce for their efforts in keeping the grass controlled in the cemeteries, ball fields, parks and other properties the city maintains.
Mr. Regis asked about a house that is slipping from its foundation. Mr. Sutak said they are aware of it, but the city does not own the property. The city administration will see if anything can be done about the property.
Mr. Rodgers asked that a pothole between 7th and 8th Street near the old Mackey Community Center be patched. He also asked that property near the United Dairy be cleared of debri. Chief McFarland will look into this situation.
The Street Sweeper will be repaired as soon as the parts are available. The administration may consider filing a complaint under the Lemon Law since the Sweeper has broken down 6-7 times in the first year of use.
Safety Director: No report.
Auditor: No report.
Law Director: Mr. Stecker gave a short explanation of the PACE Resolution and 2 Ordinances that would be voted on later in the meeting.
Police Department: Chief McFarland and the Mayor measured the EMS lot that will be converted into an impound lot. It will measure 107’ x 9’. The current Code Administrator will be retiring soon and these duties (enforcing code laws) will now be taken over by the Police Department. There will no longer be warnings for high grass and trash not placed in acceptable receptacles. Tickets will be issued immediately.
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: No report.
Ordinance: No report.
Sewer/Sidewalk: No report.
Code Administration: No report.
Safety: No report.
Service: Mr. Shrodes stated the Service Committee met on August 11, 2022. The Committee discussed: 1) Council becoming more active with property violation, specifically trash and run-down properties, 2) Street Sweeper Problems, 3) Alleys not being maintained and 4) Business lots overgrown with weeds. Minutes of this meeting were submitted and will be filed with these Council Minutes.
Cemetery: No report.
Public Relations: Mrs. Armstrong announced the Chamber of Commerce is having a banquet on September 15th. The speaker will be the coach of the Wheeling Nailers.
Real Estate/Utility: No report.
Income Tax: No report.
Citizens To Be Heard:
William Graft, 514 North 8th Street, ask the Service Director to check on:
- A Gabion Basket Wall that the city installed behind his house. He believed that wall is moving because his yard is starting to slip. This wall is on top of his water, sewer and gas lines.
- Trees on the hillside by Riverview Cemetery, in front of his house, is overtaking his cable and telephone wires. He loses services when there is a lot of wind or a bad storm.
- In the alley behind his house, trash is put out in cans with no lids and animals scatter the garbage and it stinks.
- At 522 North 8th Street, there is a vacant house where rats, raccoons, groundhogs and feral cats inhabit.
Mr. Sutak will address this situation with the help of Office Starkey who will be enforcing code ordinances.
Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, asked the Service Director on how the re-opening of East Ohio Regional Hospital has impacted the city. Mr. Sutak said the hospital has rejuvenated the city and joint ventures between the city and the hospital maybe planned for the future. Mr. Hord was told the Betty Zane Festival went well even though the weather wasn’t the greatest. Everyone was pleased with the Fireworks Display. Mr. Sutak announced that even though the Street Sweeper isn’t running, tickets will still be issued if vehicles are on the wrong side of the street Mr. Hord asked about honoring the Ohio Valley Printing Company and owner Phil Wallace and was told the Mayor is working on something. No updates were available on the former Staffilino Property. Mr. Hord also inquired about the former Curley property. Bel-O-Mar has scheduled this property to be demolished by October 15.
Ordinances and Resolutions:
For the reading of the following legislation, Mr. Regis made a motion to waive the 72 Hour Rule. 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.
This Resolution was given a First Reading.
A Resolution Approving the Petition for the Creation of the City of Martins Ferry, Ohio Energy Special Improvement District and the Imposition of Special Assessments for Special Energy Improvement Projects and a Program Plan for Special Energy Improvement Projects Under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1710, and Declaring an Emergency.
Motion was made by Mr. Hunker to suspend the rules. Motion was seconded by Mr. Shrodes. A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, and Regis voting yes. The motion carried. Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to pass the Resolution as read. Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns. A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers and Burns voting yes. The motion carried and the Resolution was declared passed.
This Ordinance was given a First Reading.
An Ordinance Determining to Proceed with the Acquisition, Construction, and Improvement of Certain Public Improvements in the City of Martins Ferry, Ohio in Cooperation with the City of Martins Ferry, Ohio Energy Special Improvement District, and Declaring an Emergency.
Motion was made by 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. Motion was made by Mr. Rodgers to pass the Ordinance as read. Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns. A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, and Armstrong voting yes. The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.
This Ordinance was given a First Reading.
An Ordinance Levying Special Assessments for the Purpose of Acquiring, Constructing and Improving Certain Public Improvements in the City of Martins Ferry, Ohio in Cooperation with the City of Martins Ferry, Ohio Energy Special Improvement District, and Declaring an Emergency.
Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to suspend the rules. Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker. A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers and Burns voting yes. The motion carried. Motion was made by Mr. Burns to pass the Ordinance as read. Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker. A roll call vote was heard with Burns, Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong and Rodgers voting yes. The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared 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. Burns thanked the Legion for placing the Veteran Banners near the City Park. He also shared his experience riding with several Police Officers on their rounds and is very pleased with their professionalism.
Mr. Regis made a motion to appoint Mayor Davies and Mr. Hunker to the ESID (Energy Special Improvement District) Board which will have oversight to the above Legislation that was passed. Mr. Schramm seconded the motion. After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried.
Mr. Regis asked Mr. Sutak to clear shrubbery on the Alley between North 7th St. and North 8th Street near Ellet Street. It is being overrun by raccoons.
Mr. Regis praised the summer youth for their hard work in keeping the grass cut in the cemeteries and other city properties. He also thanked the police department for their assistance in keeping people away from a house fire on North 9th Street a couple weeks ago.
Mr. Schramm reported to Mr. Sutak that the alley behind Keller Funeral Home is impassible due to huge potholes.
Mr. Shrodes informed Mr. Sutak that a Stop Sign is down in front of 1300 Kennedy Avenue. Also, a few driveways on Concord Street need to be striped yellow so parked vehicles don’t block resident’s access.
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. Shrodes. After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.
Officer Starkey will be assuming the duties of the retiring Code Administrator. His title will not be Code Administrator. He will just enforce the codes since the Police Department has this authority. Council asked Mr. Stecker to prepare an Ordinance to place Building Permits and Contractor License Fees into the General Fund.
Mr. Rodgers asked for a report on updating the council chamber’s public address system. President Davis met with Mr. Baker and he will be recommending a new, reasonably priced system. The estimate will include new microphones, recording system and a camera. The quote should be received sometime in September.
Mr. Shrodes moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Hunker. A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis and Hunker voting yes. The motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 7:08 p.m. with a salute to the flag.
Kay H. McFarlan, Clerk of Council Kristine Davis, Council President