City of Martins Ferry

Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of February 21, 2024

Posted on: March 11, 2024

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 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, Spencer Echemann, Second Ward Council Member; Suzanne Armstrong, Third Ward Council Member; Rick Rodgers, Fourth Ward Council Member; and James Agnew; Council at Large Member.  Ben Neiman and James Schramm informed President Davis that they were unable to attend this meeting.  Live streaming was not available for this meeting.  Council Members were invited to attend “Streaming Training” scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 2:00 p.m. 

            Minutes:  Minutes of the February 7, 2024 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  The Mayor expressed appreciation for the Street Department Employees who cleared snow from the roads this past weekend.  Demolition of the house at 710 Elm Street has been completed. 

Mayor Davies met with the Martins Ferry School Board regarding Alumni Road.  Hopefully an agreement can be reached soon and funding can be secured to get the road repaired.  The Mayor gave a stern warning that if anyone is caught traveling Alumni Road, they will be fined! 

Council was asked to review the Ordinance amending the salary for the position of temporary operator of record which had to be amended due to PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) rules.   

Council was informed that a buyer is interested in purchasing the parking lot and the small park on the corner of Hanover and 5th Street. 

The Mayor distributed a Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the Police Department allowing officers to work six twelve (12) hour shifts and one eight (8) hour shift for a total of eighty hours every two-week work period. 

Safety/Service Director:  Mr. Sutak asked Council to consider putting a piece of city-owned property in Crawford Heights up for bid.  A family is interested in building a house on the property. 

Mr. Sutak informed Council on the progress of the Water Plant Improvements.  He asked Council to give a voice approval to contract with W. Quick-Sol to review submittals on the upgrades to the Water Plant to make sure that everything is satisfactory for the Plant.  An application, for a Water Protection Grant, has been submitted to the EPA for fencing around the wells and gates for the roadways.  Mr. Echemann thanked everyone for their hard work in getting these upgrades in place. 

            Auditor:  Mr. Regis asked Council to approve the New Hire List, Payroll Summary and Statement of Cash Positon with MTD Totals.  Two Purchase Orders need to be approved since they exceeded the $3,000 limit.   One is for $27,809 for extra charges on work for Well #13 and the other is for a generator amounting to $6,088.80.  Work is being done on the Appropriations. 

            Law Director:  No report. 

            Police Department:  Chief Murphy reported on two recent incidents/arrests.  At the recent State Auditor Meeting, the issue of ticket reconciliation was discussed.  This matter has been resolved and new tickets have been purchased.  Each ticket is now numbered and tracked. Next week the phone recording system will be replaced and employees will be trained on usage of the system. 

            Fire Department: No report.

Code Administrator: No report.

            Park District: No report.      

            Water Department:  No report.       

Reports of Committees of Council:   

Finance and Audit:  A meeting was held on February 14, 2024.  The committee would like to have a line item in the budget for the revenue from the Impound Lot.  Council will need to decide how this money can be spent.  The budget will need to be passed on or before the March 20, 2024 Council Meeting to enable the Auditor to get it to the Belmont County Auditor’s Office.  Minutes of this meeting will be filed with these minutes. 

Street: No report.

Ordinance:  Rev. Agnew is working on gathering information for an Ordinance on “Progressive Fining” which would help in dealing with violations in Mayor’s Court. 

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  No report.

Real Estate/Utility:  A meeting was held on Wednesday, February 14, 2024.  The Committee recommends when property is being advertised for sale, a minimum bid must be stipulated as well as any requirements for purchasing the property as set by the Service Director.  Minutes of this meeting will be filed with these minutes.   Later in the meeting, Mr. Hunker scheduled a meeting for Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. 

Income Tax: No report.

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

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, asked about a recent incident at the Recreation Center.  He was told there was some superficial damage to ceiling tile so the program was shut down for a couple of weeks.  It has since reopened and things seem to be going well.  Mr. Hord thanked the city for demolishing the house at 710 Elm Street.  The Mayor said the Street Sweeper will now only run April 15-30 and then November 1-15.  There were no updates regarding buildings in the city being designated as historical. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

            An ordinance was emailed to Council yesterday but there were not enough members present to suspend the 72-hour rule. 






Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Echemann recently attended a Wheeling Nailer’s Hockey Game where the Martins Ferry High School Choir/Performing Art Students performed the National Anthem.  They did a wonderful job.

The Mayor asked Council to review and let him know their feelings on the schedule changes for the Police Department.

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion and Rev. Agnew seconded to accept the reports from the Auditor (Payroll Summary, New Hire List and Financial Report).  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mr. Rodger made a motion and Mr. Echemann seconded to approve payment of $27,809 for the purchase order to Ohio Drilling Company for Well No. 13.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Agnew, Hunker, Echemann and Armstrong voting yes.  The motion carried.

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion and Mr. Hunker seconded to approve payment of $6,088.80 to the W. Quick Sol Company for the engineering generator.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Agnew, Hunker, and Echemann voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Echemann 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.  

Mr. Hunker motioned to allow W. Quick-Sol to proceed with the submittals for the upgrades to the Water Plant.  Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Echemann, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Agnew voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to allow the Service Director to proceed with the process of advertising bid specs, including minimum bids, for both the Truman Avenue Property in Crawford Heights and the 5th and Hanover Street properties (small park and parking lot).  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Agnew, Hunker, and Echemann voting yes.  The motion carried.   Mrs. Armstrong then amended this motion to include a lot at 1200 North 9th Street.  After an affirmative voice vote, this motion was amended to include the property on 9th Street. 

Rev. Agnew made a motion and Mr. Echemann seconded to excuse Mr. Schramm and Mr. Neiman from tonight’s meeting.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.            

             Mrs. Armstrong moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 6:41 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

            The next meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be held on March 6, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.

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