City of Martins Ferry

Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of October 5, 2022

Posted on: October 20, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, October 5, 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 and Jack Regis, Council at Large Members.   Jim Schramm, Council at Large Member, told President Davis he was not able to attend this meeting.

            Minutes:  Minutes of the September 21, 2022 Regular Council Meeting were approved as written.    

Correspondence:   An email was received from the Walter Drane Company saying they were shipping 14 sets of the 2022 Replacement Pages for the Martins Ferry Codified Ordinances.  They will update the website soon.  (These codified ordinances have already been received and placed on Council Member’s desks).  The Ordinance to adopt these replacement pages will be acted on at the next Council Meeting after Council Members have had a chance to look through the pages.    

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  Mayor Davies gave permission for Jessa Lepic to speak during his report time.  Ms. Lepic addressed Council regarding her qualifications and desire to be elected to the position of Belmont County Auditor in November.  She then answered a few questions of Council. 

The Mayor asked Council to approve the purchase of 2 low mileage SUVs for the EMS to transport patients.  Cost would be approximately $50,000 and the American Rescue Money could be used for this purchase.  The EMS would also like permission to sell their LifePac 10s which they no longer use. 

Currently the city has between 80-100 tons of road salt.  The Owners of the former Beans Foundry, are permitting the city to store the salt inside one of their buildings. 

The paving on 6th Street, 8th Street, 9th Street and Crawford Heights is complete.  The Mayor reviewed the dates for the rest of the scheduled paving projects.  The Paving Company said they are able to work until the second week of November if the city would like to schedule additional paving projects.  It is believed that the price of asphalt will increase by 10% next year. 

The Police Contract has to be re-negotiated.  The Mayor asked for a couple of Council Members to sit in on the negotiations.  Council Members would not be able to negotiate but they could have input. 

Unified Bank has donated $2,500 toward the cost of the Splash Pad.  This money will go back into the Permanent Improvement Fund.  The Mayor mentioned to Mr. Everson, Bank President, that he would like to put artificial turf around the Pad which would cost around $2,750.  Mr. Everson said the Bank would cover this cost.  The Mayor praised the Bank for their phenomenal support of projects throughout the community.

Mr. Shrodes asked for an update on the auction for the city vehicles.  Mr. Sutak said he is working on getting that organized.  Hopefully the auction can be held at the end of this month or sometime in early November. 

The Mayor said this week is Curbside Clean-Up for the city.  He highly praised the city crews for their efforts in picking up the extra trash. 

Discussion was held regarding mine subsidence in the North Ridge, Hillendale and State Route 647 area.  Mr. Sutak is searching for answers to this problem and would like to address it before it becomes a major issue. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak, Assistant Auditor Trish Headley, and Auditor Randall have been looking over the budget, adjusting line items and getting appropriations finalized and approved. 

Mr. Sutak explained that since the city is able to store the road salt inside, the grit can be mixed easier with the salt.  Because the salt will stay dry, it will retain more strength and work more efficiently to clear the snow and ice from the roads. 

The city will be getting a “Holiday Insurance” break and will not have to pay for the city’s employee health insurance for one year.  This will free-up money in all departments. 

Mr. Sutak met with a representative from National Limestone who will be giving him a bid on re-paving South Zane Highway. 

Mr. Sutak explained the steps needed to secure the $25,000 Nature Works Ballfield Light Grant.  After receiving this grant, the new lighting in the ballfield will not cost the city any money.  Mr. Stecker was thanked for his input on this project.  Mr. Sutak is working on the finalizing the Grant paperwork for the Splash Pad.  He believes the city will get reimbursed close to $50,000 for the project. 

An email from Cory DelGuzzo, of Northwest Title, was distributed to Council members regarding the title search of St. Rt. 647.  Hopefully by next week an answer will be received.

Mr. Sutak presented an invoice for an Air Compressor purchased for the Water Plant.  The Compressor was needed immediately and a purchase order was not submitted.  Cost was $3,976.50.  Council was asked for permission to pay this invoice and note it in the minutes. 

The State Auditors suggested that Council make sure that when Council receives tax, revenue and expense reports from the Auditors Office that it is noted in the minutes that Council accepted these reports.  The State Auditors asked that Council be supplied with a check register every month and that it also be noted in the minutes. 

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:  No report.

Street: Mr. Rodgers set a Street Committee Meeting for Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 9:15 a.m. to discuss possibly getting additional streets paved this year since the price of asphalt is projected to increase by 10% next year.  Before the October 11 Meeting, Council was encouraged to submit names of Streets to the Committee that they think need paved.  The Mayor said if Streets were “overlaid” instead of “grinding” it would be more feasible and more streets could get paved. 

Ordinance:  Mr. Shrodes asked Council Members to look over the Codified Ordinances from Walter Drane.  Mr. Stecker has sent an Ordnance to all Council Members which will be read at the next Council Meeting. 

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  Mr. Burns mentioned there may be some vandalism on the two pillars at the entrance of the cemetery.  He will check on it during daylight hours. 

Public Relations:  At the last Chamber of Commerce dinner, Unified Bank was honored for their historical support of the community and charities in the city. 

Real Estate:  No report.

Utility:  Mr. Hunker has scheduled a Utility Committee Meeting for October 11 at 10:00 a.m. in Council Chambers. 

Income Tax: No report.

Citizens To Be Heard:

Anthony Orsini, Director of the Belmont County District Library, Roosevelt Street in Crawford Heights, spoke on behalf of the Library Levy Renewal which will be on the November 8, 2022 ballot.  This 1 mil property tax levy provides 46% of the local libraries funding.  Cost to citizens is about $30 per year.  This is not a new tax.  Mr. Orsini distributed flyers explaining the levy.  He also praised the workers who paved the roads in Crawford Heights and thanked the city for fixing the road. 

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, was told if he wanted to plan a “Meet the Candidate” night the city would set it up at the Recreation Center.  He asked if the Chamber of Commerce could have a full-time director to help get more businesses in town.  Mr. Stecker said there is limited funds and the Chamber has only 80 members.  Mr. Hord was told that Bel-O-Mar would demolish the old Curly property by October 15th.   Mr. Sutak did send an email to Bel-O-Mar to see if October 15 was still the projected date of the demolition but he has not heard back from them. The Mayor reported that East Ohio Regional Hospital will be buying a couple more ambulances for their transport business.  There are no updates on the former Staffilino Property.  Mr. Hord thanked the Mayor for the curbside clean-up week. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

There were no Ordinances or Resolutions to be read. 






Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Shrodes reported School Bus Drivers are complaining about kids and adults on electric bicycles not obeying traffic laws.  Chief McFarland was contacted about this situation and he will have his officers educate these citizens and let them know that they must obey the same laws as cars and other vehicles. 

Mr. Regis made a motion and Mr. Rodgers seconded to appropriate up to $50,000 from the American Rescue Money for the purchase of two EMS vehicles.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Burns voting yes.  The motion was declared passed.

Mr. Shrodes motioned to approve an invoice from Airtec for $3,976.50 to pay for air compressor services for the Water Department.   Motion was seconded by Mrs. Armstrong.  A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Regis and Hunker voting yes.  The motion was declared passed.

Mr. Regis motioned to allow the Martins Ferry EMS to sell their LifePac 10s.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Burns voting yes.  The motion was declared passed.

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.  

Mayor Davies gave an update on the Sunset Heights Water Tank and the problems it caused to the Miller’s property.  On Monday, weather permitting, city crews will fix their road that was damaged by water leaking from the Tank.  The City is still waiting on a part to permanently fix the Tank.

Mr. Hunker made a motion to excuse Mr. Schramm from tonight’s meeting.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Regis.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried. 

Auditor Randall would like Council to clarify meeting dates for November and December so she will know when to have the preliminary and final budgets done to presented to Council.  Council decided to keep the meeting dates of November 2 and November 16.  President Davis will speak to Auditor Randall and see what kind of timeline she would need to have the budgets ready. 

Mr. Regis asked to be excused from the October 19, 2022 meeting.  The Mayor also said he would not be able to attend the October 19 meeting. 

Mr. Shrodes moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 7:03 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

The next regular meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be held on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. at the Donald Myers Council Chambers. 

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