City of Martins Ferry

Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of September 21, 2022

Posted on: May 4, 2023

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, September 21, 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 September 7, 2022 Regular Council Meeting and the September 18, 2022 Special Council Meeting were approved as written.    

Correspondence:   There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  City crews are busy filling potholes, maintaining sewers and fixing water breaks. 

The Splash Pad at the City Pool is winterized and a rubberized soft top has been installed over the cement base. 

The dedication of the Veteran’s Monument at Riverview Cemetery will be held on November 13, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.  Everyone is invited to attend. 

The first load of Road Salt will be delivered next week.  Mr. Sutak is working on securing a place to store the salt indoors. 

A police K-9 vehicle and 3 cruisers have been ordered.  The Mayor announced the city will have 2 K-9 dogs. 

The Recreation Center is being rented and it is hoped that this trend will continue through the winter months.  The cost to fix the elevator is estimated at $129,000 so other options are being considered.  The Mayor would like to plan some skating nights, possibly a Wednesday evening for kids and/or families. 

Council scheduled Treat or Treat for Saturday, October 29, 2022, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 

The paving project on 6th, 8th, and 9th Street is progressing nicely and should be completed by Friday, weather permitting.  Many residents complained about having nowhere to park.  So, before Crawford Heights is paved, there will be a meeting at the Recreation Center for these residents letting them know what to expect and make sure they want their roads paved.  Mayor Davies asked Council to think about which roads need paved next year so projects can get scheduled early and be finished by October, 2023.   The city hopes to receive grants for future paving projects. 

Because of several water breaks, a new water line was installed on Tulip Drive in Floral Valley.  Running water has been a constant problem on the lower loop in Floral Valley.  A drain was installed where this water was coming off the hill and the line was run to the lower catch basin.  Now the road is dry all the time. 

Mrs. Armstrong inquired about curb painting and was told it will be done when workers are available.  The Street Sweeper is still in the repair shop. 

Mayor Davies announced that the entire Police Department is able to issue citations to Homeowners for high grass/weeds.  Once cited, the Homeowner will then be required to report to Mayor’s Court where they will be given a fine.  There will be NO PASSES.  Mr. Shrodes asked that the same course of action be taken when citizens have garbage cans not secured with lids and trash thrown everywhere. 

The gentleman, that has the dilapidated property on the bend of Broadway Street, was re-issued the notice he was given in early summer regarding the property’s deplorable condition.  The owner was working to tear down the house himself but stopped.   The Mayor said next week he and a city crew will take down the structure. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak is still looking for funding for the dedicated water line to the hospital and the business district.  Also, funding is being explored for the sewer project to tie into the Eastern Ohio Regional Wastewater Authority’s line near Turf Care on Route 7.  Mr. Sutak explained that most funding is a matching grant, a 0% interest rate loan or a very low interest rate loan. 

Details for purchasing a new Packer are being finalized.  Mr. Sutak is currently negotiating with a financial institution and will give a report to Council when details are completed.  

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:  The Finance and Audit Committee met on September 13, 2022 to review some expenditures, expected revenue and miscellaneous items needed by several departments.  Minutes of this meeting will be placed with these Council minutes. 

Street: No report.

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  Mr. Regis will re-schedule a meeting with Mr. Stecker to discuss the city’s liability, if any, with known dilapidated properties in town.

            Safety: Mr. Schramm said the hospital’s transport squads do not test for COVID on every call.  It depends on the nature of the call.  They have a limited amount of testing kits available.  Mr. Regis said Martins Ferry EMS does not do testing since their protocol doesn’t permit them to test. 

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  Mr. Regis attended the Chamber of Commerce Dinner last week and reported it was a very nice event. 

Real Estate:  No report.

Utility:  Mr. Hunker will schedule a meeting when Mr. Sutak gives him dates he is available to meet with the committee. 

Income Tax: No report.

Citizens To Be Heard:

Rev. Dr. Gary Salinsky, addressed Council regarding fallen trees and the maintenance of city property around his neighborhood.  The Mayor said he would get a crew to take care of the area in a couple of weeks.  Rev. Salinsky asked to be notified when the crew would be arriving so he could alert them to the things that needed attention.   

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, asked about the Columbia Gas project on Zane Highway and was told it is an ongoing project and a completion date is not known.  Because the Bell Store is expanding, striping of the Broadway and Aetna Street intersection will be delayed.  There are no plans to hold a “Meet The Candidates” event in Martins Ferry.  Mr. Regis said there is one scheduled for October 6 in St. Clairsville.  When asked about the Austin Masters Plant, the Mayor replied there are no violations against this company and the water is tested every 3 months.  Mr. Hord felt if the Chamber of Commerce had a full-time Director that it might impact the city in a more positive way.  He was told he would have to take that thought to the Chamber’s Board President Paul Stecker.  Mr. Hord informed Council that the Belmont County Commissioners approved funding for the raising of two dilapidated structures in the city.

Tom Burns, Council-at-Large Member, apologized for his absent in the last 2 meetings and thanked Council for excusing him.  He will also resume his travels with the Police Force on September 28.  

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

This Resolution was given a First Reading.
            A Resolution Accepting The Amounts and Rates As Determined By The Budget Commission And Authorizing The Necessary Tax Levies And Certifying Them To The County Auditor.
Motion was made by Mr. Regis to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Shrodes.  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. Schramm to pass the Resolution as read.  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 and the Resolution was declared passed.






Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Regis will call the Auctioneer to see if an Auction to sell city vehicles could be held on
Saturday, October 15. 

Mr. Regis asked how to get rid of old paint cans.  The Mayor said to take the lid off and let the paint dry then throw the can in the trash.  Mr. Burns asked how to get rid of old gasoline.  The Mayor said he would have to call the J.B. Green Team for that answer.

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. Rodgers.   After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mr. Hunker moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Rodgers.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 6:56 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

The next regular meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be held on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. at the Donald Myers Council Chambers. 

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