City of Martins Ferry

Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of October 19, 2022

Posted on: November 3, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, October 19, 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; Tom Burns and Jim Schramm, Council at Large Members.  Jack Regis, Council at Large Member, notified President Davis at the October 5, 2022 Council Meeting that he was unable to attend this meeting.  Also absent was Rick Rodgers, Fourth Ward Council Member. 

            Minutes:  Minutes of the October 5, 2022 Regular Council Meeting were approved as written.    

Correspondence:   There was no correspondence. 

President Davis welcomed Boy Scout Troop #109 from Bridgeport, Ohio to the Council Meeting.

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  The city has purchased an additional 60 tons of road salt.  It will be stored in a metal dome building which costs about $28,000.  Details could not be worked out to store the salt permanently in the former Beans Foundry Building. 

A new water line is being run under Route 7 and will come up to the hospital.  This line will feed the entire business district and service 2/3 of the city with water. 

The Mayor asked Council to consider 2 items the city needs – a new excavator (Price: $60,750) and a new tractor for the cemetery (Price is approximately $17,000).

Paving on 6th Street, 8th Street, 9th Street, Hillendale and Crawford Heights is finished and Floral Valley is currently being prepared for paving. 

The Cemetery Workforce has been reduced by 2 seasonal employees.    

Pothole patching and grass cutting on city maintained lots will continue next week in lieu of the pending warmer weather. 

The Mayor said the Fall Fest organized by the Lions Club was a success.  He also thanked Lisa Bell for feeding the football players yesterday in the Park. 

The Mayor asked for an Executive Session at the end of the meeting to discuss Personnel. 

Service Director:  New lights were installed in the Street Department Garage to help save on utility costs.  As weather permits, new lines will be painted on the roads that have recently been paved.

Mr. Sutak reported that a culvert has been installed near the Sunset Heights Water Tower.  This will redirect the water runoff so the road won’t wash away. 

Another load of road salt has been received but grit is still needed.  Maintenance checks will be conducted on snow equipment and as the threat of bad weather approaches, salt bins will be attached to the trucks. 

Safety Director:  No report. 

Auditor:  Auditor Randall explained that because of an upgrade to the computer system, she was unable to get a cash report for Council.  After 28 years of service, Auditor Randall distributed her resignation to the Mayor and Council, effective December 31, 2022.  She was given a round of appreciation applause. 

            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:  Mrs. Armstrong said the Committee met and submitted recommendations of additional streets to be paved.  The Mayor is going to meet with Semper Fi Paving to get a price for paving the additional roads.   He will report back to Council.  A special meeting may have to be held to consider this paving proposal. 

Ordinance:  Mr. Shrodes said there were two Ordinances on the agenda tonight. 

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  Mr. Shrodes thanked the city workers who helped clean-up the Park after the Fall Fest on October 15. 

Real Estate:  The Mayor said an email was received from A.C. Wiethe of Bel-O-Mar, saying bids will be accepted beginning on October 31, 2022 for the demolition of property on North Zane Highway and Jefferson Street. 

Utility:  The Utility Committee met on October 11, 2022, and discussed unpaid Utility Bills and how collections will be handled.  The paving repair of South Zane Highway was also discussed.  This job will go out to bid.  Minutes of this meeting were submitted to the Clerk and will be filed with these Council Minutes. 

Income Tax: No report.

Citizens To Be Heard:

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, thanked Auditor Randall for her many years of service.  He also thanked the Mayor for his attempt to have a “Meet the Candidates” Session in Martins Ferry, but because of conflicts and schedules, the event could not be scheduled.  When asked about the PNC and former Dollar General Buildings, the Mayor replied he didn’t know about the PNC building and he was sure when the interested parties were ready, they would make an announcement about plans for the former Dollar General Building.  The Mayor said Officer Starkey has been very busy with code enforcement and things are working well.  Mr. Hord was told that Columbia Gas is trying to finish up their work for the year on South Zane Highway by October 31.  As soon as the weather breaks in the Spring, they will start up again. 

Brian Woodford, 1319 Kennedy Avenue, asked for a private session with Council regarding an issue with a family member emergency and the EMS transport service regarding that member.  President Davis told Mr. Woodford that he needed to speak to the Safely Director on this matter.  She told Council they could talk to the Woodford family individually after the meeting but it would be entirely voluntary.  The Mayor said the Safety Director is checking into this issue. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

An Ordinance To Revise The Codified Ordinances By Adopting Current Replacement Pages, and Declaring An Emergency.

             This Ordinance was given a first reading.  This Ordinance will go to a second reading.

            The second Ordinance could not be read because there were not enough Council Members present to suspend the 72 hour rule.  Mr. Sutak explained the process of levying special assessments in order to collect on delinquent bills. 






Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Sutak said the city is waiting for their Insurance Company to meet the former Beans Foundry Building owner’s specifications on liability.  Once this information is received, Mr. Sutak will again contact the owners to see if the city can temporary house the road salt there until the new metal building is received and erected. 

Mr. Shrodes moved to have Council go into Executive Session under Ohio Revised Code 121.22 G4 to discuss contract negotiations and 121.22 G2 for Personnel.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Burns, Schramm, and Hunker voting yes.  The motion carried and Council went into Executive Session. 

            Mr. Schramm made a motion to go out of Executive Session.  Mr. Hunker seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, and Burns voting yes.  The motion carried.  Council was in Executive Session for 32 minutes.

            Council told Auditor Randall that they would like to have an Exit Conference with the Auditors. 

 Mr. Shrodes moved and Mr. Schramm seconded to excuse Mr. Regis and Mr. Rodgers from tonight’s meeting.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried. 

            Mrs. Armstrong motioned to allow the Mayor to contract with an outside Contract Negotiation Firm.  Mr. Burns seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Burns, Schramm, Hunker and Shrodes voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Shrodes 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.  

Mr. Sutak clarified that when he is finished with the needed grant paperwork, the city will receive about $49,000 toward the cost of the Splash Pad.  Unified Bank donated $6,000 for the Splash Pad and the Lion’s Club has indicated it will donated as well. 

Mrs. Armstrong moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 7:13 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

The next regular meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. at the Donald Myers Council Chambers. 

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