City of Martins Ferry

Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of August 2, 2023

Posted on: August 17, 2023

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, August 2, 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 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, James Agnew, and Jim Schramm, Council at Large Members.          

            Minutes:  Minutes of the June 26 and July 19 Regular Council Meetings and the July 20 and July 21 Special Council Meetings were approved as written.

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  Betty Zane Days festivities opened tonight, beginning with the 5K Race.  The Mayor said there were a lot of people in attendance already.  The Festival will run until Saturday, August 5.

The Mayor and Service Director have been working for a year on the Beretta Drive Guardrail Project.  The guardrails have collapsed and slipped down over the hill.  This would be a joint project with Peace Township.  Mr. Sutak reported the city’s share of the cost would be $197,000.  The Mayor asked Council for direction on this project.

EdgeCo. recently took down a dilapidated house on Zane Highway which was funded by the Land Bank. 

The Street Sweeper is operational but there is not enough employees to run it every day. Crews have been busy patching potholes. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak reported the Storage Center for road salt has been completed.  He would like to put a tarp on the front of the building to further protect the salt from the elements.  Mr. Sutak would also like to asphalt the ramp of the structure to make it easier for trucks to load the salt. 

An offer of $10,000 was received for the sandstone that was removed from a home that was torn down by the city.  Mr. Sutak asked Council if they would like him to sell the stone or try to get a higher offer.  Mr. Stecker will check to see if the city has to put the Sandstone out for bid before it’s sold.

The bids for the paving project were submitted to The Times Leader and will be published on Monday. 

The ramp to the Water Plant’s entrance was paved today.  It was sloped in order for the water to be diverted to a catch basin. 

A water leak, near the old North School, was worked on today but not finished due to safety concerns for the 5K racers passing by the area this evening.  It will be hopefully finished tomorrow. 

            Auditor:  Auditor Regis did not have a report but mentioned he was meeting with the Finance Committee tomorrow. 

Safety Director:  Director Regis asked Council for permission to use the city streets (same route as last year) for the Annual Christmas Parade on Friday, November 24, 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.

A Joint Meeting of the Finance Committee and the Safety Committee was scheduled for Wednesday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the roof situation of the Vigilant Fire Department Building. 

            Law Director:  No report. 

            Police Department:  Chief Murphy gave the end of July Service Report for the Police Department. 

            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 Committee will meet on Thursday, August 3 at 10:00 a.m. in Council Chambers.  The committee will also meet with the Safety Committee on Wednesday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the roof situation at the Vigilant Fire Department Building. 

Street: The Street Committee met on Monday, July 31 to discuss the Beretta Drive Project.  The Committee referred the issue to the Finance Committee.  If the funding cannot be secured, it was suggested to re-visit the Beretta Drive Project at the beginning of next year when funding might be available.   

Ordinance:  An Ordinance Committee Meeting was scheduled for Friday, August 18 at 10:00 a.m. in Council Chambers. 

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: The Safety Committee will meet with the Finance Committee on Wednesday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss the roof situation at the Vigilant Fire Department Building. 

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  No report.

Real Estate/Utility:  No report.

Income Tax: No report.

Citizens To Be Heard:  President Davis reminded citizens to limit their speaking to 5 minutes.  

Larry Deaton, 1102 North 9th Street, wanted to know why Council did not give Mr. Sutak directions for dealing with the Sandstone.  Mr. Deaton was told that this will be dealt with under Miscellaneous Business.   

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, thanked the city administration for their help in setting up the Town Hall Meeting with the Belmont County Commissioners on August 1.  The former Curley property has been sold to the Tree of Life Church.  Mr. Stecker will take care of transferring the deed.  The bid on the former Booster Club Building was rejected.  Mr. Ferns, owner of the former Staffilino property, would like to find a dealership to occupy the building but has not been able to locate one.  Mr. Hord asked the city to honor Bob Zilai, who just closed his jewelry business after 47 years of service in the city.  The Mayor explained to Mr. Hord the current steps of code enforcement in the city.

Ordinances and Resolutions:   

            An Ordinance Accepting The Road Described On Exhibit A As A Dedicated Municipal Public Street.   
           This Ordinance was given a first reading.  This Ordinance will go to a second reading. 






Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Schramm made a motion to allow the Mayor and Service Director to sell the Sandstone for the offered price of $10,000.  This sale is contingent on the Law Director checking to see if the sale can be done without a bid.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Agnew voting yes.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

Mr. Rodger made a motion to allow the Fire Department to use City Streets for the Christmas Parade on November 24.  Rev. Agnew seconded the motion.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried. 

Auditor Regis asked Council to consider funding the Beretta Drive Guardrail Project due to safety issues.  He gave some suggestions on how to finance the project.  The Finance Committee will discuss this issue at the meeting on August 3.  Mr. Sutak said he has until August 31 to fill out the application.  Discussion regarding the Beretta Drive Project lasted 10 minutes.

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. Hunker made a motion to note that Council has received and reviewed the financial reports for the previous month of July, 2023.  Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried. 

             Mr. Hunker moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Shrodes.  After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 6:45 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

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