Posted on: August 3, 2023
The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Monday, June 26, 2023, 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 with 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, James Agnew, and Jim Schramm, Council at Large Members.
Before this meeting, a budget hearing was held for the Public at 5:30 p.m. No one voiced any concerns at this meeting.
Council approved changing the order of the meeting and to read Legislation first since Councilman Hunker needed to leave early.
Ordinances and Resolutions:
A Resolution Requesting the County Auditor To Certify To The City of Martins Ferry The Total Current Tax Valuation of the City of Martins Ferry and the Dollar Amount of Revenue That Would Be Generated By A Half (0.5) Mill Replacement Levy and Declaring An Emergency.
Motion was made by Mr. Hunker to suspend the rules. Motion was seconded by Mr. Rodgers. A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, and Schramm voting yes. The motion carried. Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to pass the Resolution as read. Mr. Burns seconded the motion. A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew voting yes. The motion carried and the Resolution was passed.
A Resolution Adopting A Budget For the City of Martins Ferry For The Fiscal Year Beginning January 1, 2024, and Declaring An Emergency.
Motion was made by Mr. Shrodes to suspend the rules. Motion was seconded by Rev. Agnew. A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, and Hunker voting yes. The motion carried. Motion was made by Mr. Burns to pass the Resolution as read. Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion. A roll call vote was heard with Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, and Rodgers voting yes. The motion carried and the Resolution was declared passed.
Minutes: Approval of the June 7, 2023 Council Meeting Minutes will be considered at the July 19 Council Meeting.
Ceremony: At this point in the meeting, Mayor Davies swore Sergeant Jerry Murphy into the office of Chief of Police of Martins Ferry. Chief Murphy gave an acceptance speech and received a standing ovation.
Correspondence: There was no correspondence.
Reports of Officers of the City:
Mayor: Mayor Davies said the problem with a pump at the swimming pool has been resolved. The air conditioners in the Recreation Center need replaced. One unit has a compressor that needs replaced and another unit is leaking Freon. A new energy-saving unit was estimated to cost about $40,000.
The Mayor reviewed and explained the changes to the new EMS Negotiated Contract. The Contract is backdated to May 1, 2023. Mayor Davies asked Council to consider approving this contract so he can get it to Auditor Regis and the Payroll Clerk.
Service Director: Mr. Sutak reported that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has installed new guard rails on St. Rt. 647. This project was done with no cost to the city. Mr. Sutak contacted ODOT about setting up a meeting to discuss the future of St. Rt. 647. ODOT representatives can’t meet until after July 10. Council was asked to submit dates on when they would be able to meeting with ODOT representatives. Hopefully the meeting can take place in Martins Ferry.
Auditor: Auditor Regis asked Council to consider addressing the Ordinance that was tabled at the May 3, 2023 Council Meeting regarding the credit for taxes paid to other municipalities. Mr. Regis suggested giving the EMS Dispatcher issue to the people who do the cost allocations and let them send a proposal back to Council. The city audit will begin on Wednesday, June 28.
Service Director: 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: Mr. Schramm noted that the Finance Committee will meet on Monday,
July 17, 2023, at 10:00 am.
Street: No estimates have been received for the proposed street paving projects. The Mayor said it will have to be advertised in the paper for bid. He wants the project finished before the weather gets cold. Street patching will begin again tomorrow if it doesn’t rain.
Ordinance: No report.
Sewer/Sidewalk: No report.
Code Administration: No report.
Safety: No report.
Service: No report.
Cemetery: No report.
Public Relations: Mrs. Armstrong reported plans are being made for a Chamber Banquet to be held in September at the Recreation Center.
Real Estate/Utility: No report.
Income Tax: Mrs. Armstrong reported the Income Tax Committee met with the Finance Committee on June 15 to discuss the city’s finances. No recommendations to report.
Citizens To Be Heard: President Davis reminded citizens to limit their speaking to 5 minutes.
Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, announced there will be a Town Hall Meeting with the Belmont County Commissioners on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at 6:00 pm at the Recreation Center. Flyers, advertising the event, are available. Currently, there are no plans to hire a Director at the Recreation Center. When asked for comments on the meeting with Charlie Brown, brother of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Service Director Sutak said the meeting was productive for residents who aired their concerns. Bids for the sale of the former Curley Property are due by June 29. There are no updates regarding the future of the former Staffilino Property. Hopefully a new business will soon occupy the former Keith Sommers Law Office.
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
The Mayor reminded Council that the Celebration in the Park will be held on Saturday, July 1st. There will be a free swim, live bands, craft vendors, food trucks and fireworks at dusk.
The Elks Lodge was thanked for recently providing a free swim. A tremendous amount of children enjoyed the opportunity to use the pool.
The Mayor asked Council for direction on enforcement of fines upon citizens for high grass and trash. Certified letters sent to offenders ordering them to Mayor’s Court costs $8.13 each and most people ignore the letter and don’t show up at the hearing. Mr. Stecker did not think the city could detain people on a civil fine when there is no possibility of jail time. He suggested using a Collection Agency to collect the fines. After a 10 minute discussion, Mr. Stecker was asked to draft a letter to be sent with the fine to violators stating if the fine is not paid, they will be referred to a Collection Agency.
Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to appropriate up to $40,000 from the Permanent Improvement Fund to replace the air conditioners at the Recreation Center. Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion. A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, and Shrodes voting yes. The motion carried.
Mr. Schramm 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 Rev. Agnew. After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.
Mr. Shrodes motioned and Mr. Schramm seconded to allow the Auditor to talk to the company that does the city’s cost allocations regarding payment of a dispatcher by EMS funds. A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, and Schramm voting yes. The motion was declared passed.
Auditor Regis reported that a very productive meeting was held at the school campus with Mr. Fogle. Mr. Fogle has agreed to 3-5% of the Administrative Costs for a School Resource Officer. An official contract will be signed in a couple of weeks and will be renewed every year. Auditor Regis also met with a roofing company regarding the work needed at the Vigilant Fire Station. Pictures and a report will be sent to Council Members as soon as they are received.
Mr. Schramm made a motion to remove the Ordinance regarding the Income Tax Credit from the table. Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns. A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew voting yes. The motion carried and the Ordinance was taken off the table for a second reading.
Mr. Schramm made a motion and Mr. Burns seconded to pass the EMS Contract. A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew and voting yes. The motion was declared passed.
Mrs. Armstrong moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Rev. Agnew. After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 7:03 pm with a salute to the flag.
Kay H. McFarlan, Clerk of Council Kristine Davis, Council President