City of Martins Ferry

City Wide Spring Clean Up

Posted on: February 28, 2024

The City will be hosting their annual Spring Clean Up. It will be held on April 6th at the City garage on 1st street from 8a-12p. You must be a Martins Ferry resident and will need to bring your ID or water bill. No tires, paint or hazardous materials. There will be an extra charge on mattresses and boxsprings.


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of February 7, 2024

Posted on: February 22, 2024

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, February 7, 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, Ben Neiman, James Agnew and Jim Schramm, Council at Large Members.   Rick Rodgers, Fourth Ward Council Member, informed President Davis that he was unable to attend this meeting. 

            Minutes:  Minutes of the January 24, 2024 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  Alumni Road has been deeded back to the School District and the city is waiting for confirmation that School Road has been successfully deeded back.  The Mayor will speak at the School Board Meeting on Feb. 13.  He feels the city, being better equipped, should continue with snow removal and pothole patching for School Road to ensure safety for the children traveling this road.  The city does clear Alumni Road to an extent so emergency vehicles can access the Hillendale/Crawford Heights area quicker.  The Mayor discussed issues with the 2006 Annexation Road Agreement between the city and the School District.  He was concerned that the School Administration requested that School Road be cleared on a Sunday because there was basketball practice scheduled.  This created overtime payroll expense for the Street Department that called out employees to clear the road. 

A sewer collapsed on Grant and Washington Streets.  The Mayor described how the city will proceed to fix this situation.  It will be costly for the city and should be repaired by next week.

A new pump, which costs about $17,000, is needed for the swimming pool and must be installed by professionals.  The Recreation Department does not have funds to purchase the pump and Council may be approached for financial help.  If a new pump isn’t secured, the pool may not be able to open.

The Mayor said it will cost around $11,000 to provide Fireworks and Entertainment for the Fourth of July Celebration in the Park this year.  Letters have been sent to businesses and organizations asking for donations. 

Service Director:  Items for improvement at the Water Plant, have been ordered.  It may take 4-12 weeks for the materials to arrive since some of the things need to be built specific to the Plant.                          

Last year, Mr. Sutak assumed the Safety Director’s responsibilities, which did not include a pay increase.  He asked Council to consider budgeting some of the original funds of the previous Safety Director Position into the Recreation Center funds to help with the swimming pool pump.  The suggested amount was $5,000. 

The EMS Levy needs to be voted on again in November, otherwise there will be no tax dollars for 2025.  Mr. Stecker said Council will need to decide whether they want the EMS Levy to be a 5 year levy or make it a continuing levy. 

The DEFA funding loan is set and will be for the sewer project near Turf Care. 

After 4 months in the repair shop, the new Garbage Packer is back and seems to be running well.  Law Director Stecker was consulted about approaching the Packer Company and asking for an extension of the warranty due to the months the city was without the services of the Packer. 

Auditor: Auditor Regis could not attend this meeting but did supply Council with a Statement of Cash Position with MTD Totals as of February 7, 2024. 

Law Director:  No report. 

            Police Department:  No report.

            Fire Department: No report.

Code Administrator: No report.

            Park District: The Park Board met on Thursday, February 1 to pass a few items for the New Year and discuss temporary appropriations.  They will meet in a few weeks to discuss and pass permanent appropriations.  Two Members may possibly be added to the Board.  Mr. Sutak hoped the media would publicize that the city is looking for sponsors to help with the expenses of the Annual 4th of July Celebration in the Park.  Sponsor Names will be placed on a banner and displayed at the Park during the festivities. 

            Water Department:  No report.       

Reports of Committees of Council:   

            Finance and Audit:  Since Auditor Regis could not attend this meeting, a report was given to Mr. Hunker.  Mr. Hunker and the other committee members had questions about this information so a Finance Committee Meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m.  There will be a post-audit meeting on February 8th at 10:00 a.m.

Street: No report.

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: Mr. Schramm will meet next week with the Fire Chief regarding what funds might be available to repair the roof at the Vigilant Fire Station. 

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  It was discovered that the library will have a “Meet the Candidates” Night for Congressional Candidates on Monday, February 12.   Therefore, the Committee will not be moving forward with a Candidates Night at this time.  Mr. Echemann attended the benefit dinner for Tom Kelly and reported it was a great event. 

Mr. Stecker noted that the Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet will be held on March 18 at the Recreation Center.  Tickets will soon go on sale.  Dr. Joseph Maroon will be the guest speaker.

Real Estate/Utility:  No report.

Income Tax: The Income Tax Committee met on February 1.  The meeting was designed to convey information only.  There were no decisions or recommendations. 

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

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, said there will be a “Meet the Candidate” session at the Martins Ferry Public Library on February 12 at 6:00 p.m.  These candidates will be vying for the office vacated by Ohio Representative Bill Johnson.  Regarding the house at 710 Elm Street, the Mayor said the city has entered into a contract with Edge Co, Inc. to demolish the structure.  Mr. Hord asked the city to check on the deteriorating conditions at 917 Virginia Street.  There were no updates on the former Staffilino Property.  There are no plans to replace the Water Superintendent at this time.  President Davis was hopeful that the next Council Meeting will be live streamed. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

            There were no Ordinances or Resolutions to be read.     

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

EMERGENC       

Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Neiman spoke to a citizen, living on Pearl Street, who is afraid his neighbor’s tree branches are encroaching on his property and house.  Mr. Stecker said this is a civil matter and the city cannot get involved.  Mr. Neiman was concerned about junk on the property at 418 North 5th. Street.  The Mayor was very familiar with the property since numerous letters and fines have been accessed to the owner.  The Mayor said he will send another letter tomorrow.  The idea of “Progressive Fining” for property violations was discussed (i.e. 1st offense, $250, 2nd offense, $500, 3rd offense, $1,000).  Council was asked to create an Ordinance dealing with “Progressive Fining” which would help in dealing with violations in Mayor’s Court.  President Davis referred this issue to the Ordinance Committee. 

The issue of the pool pump was referred to the Finance Committee. 

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to place the EMS levy on the ballot as a 5 year renewal levy.  Mr. Schramm seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Neiman, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, and Echemann voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Echemann noted that Council has reviewed the 2006 Annexation Road Agreement between the City and the School District. 

Mr. Hunker motioned and Rev. Agnew seconded that Council approve the January Financial Reports.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Echemann, Armstrong, Neiman, Agnew and Schramm, voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Echemann motioned and Mr. Hunker seconded to approve the bills paid as evidenced by the check register received by Council.  A roll call vote was heard with Echemann, Armstrong, Neiman, Agnew, Schramm, and Hunker 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 carried.  

The Mayor will check with the Belmont County Auditor’s Office regarding the process to begin foreclosure procedures on the property at 418 North 5th Street.  The property taxes have not been paid for a couple of years.  Mr. Sutak said this will not go through the Land Bank since there is no building on the site. 

             Mr. Echemann motioned and Rev. Agnew seconded to excuse Mr. Rodgers from tonight’s meeting.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried. 

             Mrs. Armstrong moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Neiman.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion carried and the meeting was adjourned with a salute to the flag.

            The next meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be held on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. 

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

___________________________________
Date


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of January 24, 2024

Posted on: February 8, 2024

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at 6:00 p.m., in 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; Ben Neiman and James Agnew, Council at Large Members.   Mr. Schramm had informed President Davis that he was unable to attend this meeting. 

            Minutes:  Minutes of the January 10, 2024 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

President Davis turned the meeting over to Mayor Davies who then swore into service 3 police officers and 8 gentlemen to the Fire Department including Fire Chief I and Chief II. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  A pre-construction meeting was held regarding the Force Main Project which will cover  the pump station to the force main down to Floral Valley.  The construction agreement will be signed on February 7 and the project will be completed by May 7.  A man-hole, near Grace Church, will soon be moved and replaced.  Cost will be around $20,000. 

About 240 tons of road salt have been used this year.  There is still 180 tons of salt in Cleveland that was purchased a few years ago which will be delivered to the city soon. 

The Mayor explained the problems with the new Garbage Truck (Packer).  This issue may have to go to litigation.

The Recreation Center has many bookings and rentals dates scheduled.  Open skating on Sundays and the After School Program has resumed. 

Next week the Mayor and Service Director will meet with the EPA to discuss Water Plant issues and possible growth to the system.  They also met with Peace Township and the Engineers on the Beretta Drive Project.  The funding for this project be awarded July 1, 2025 and the Mayor wants all the bids received by January, 2025 so the project can begin in the Spring. 

One of the owners of the 711 Elm Street property has signed a demolition agreement.  The city is holding $19,240 which was received from the insurance company for demolition.  Demolition companies have been contacted for bids. 

The Mayor will attend a School Board Meeting on February 13 to discuss the road situation.  The paperwork has been done to deed over Alumni Road to the School District.  Regarding School Road, the Mayor said the city is better equipped to maintain this street (snow removal, paint lines) and would be willing to continue to do this to ensure the safety of the kids traveling that road.  The Mayor wants to deed School Road back to the School District and then work out some kind of agreement with the school and property owner to get both roads fixed.  A Real Estate Attorney may be needed for this situation. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak updated Council on the current upgrades and work being done at the Water Plant (filter beds, contact tanks, #2 Service Pump, Ozone Room Specialized Equipment).

Mr. Sutak asked Council’s permission to enter into an agreement with ForeFront Technology to set up Cyber Security for the Water Plant’s computer systems.  This is need for insurance liability coverage. 

A funding grant has been submitted to the Department of Development for a sewer line project on Jefferson Street. Other sewer lines that need completed include Floral Valley to Turf Care (funding process started) and Hanover Street.  Mr. Sutak will continue to keep Council abreast of what work is being done and why it is being done. 

            Auditor:  Auditor Regis supplied Council with the current Payroll Summary and a Statement of Cash Position with MTD totals.  Beginning with the next meeting, these reports will only be projected on the screen during the live broadcast.  If a Council Member would like a paper copy, please notify Mr. Regis.   The State Auditors said they would be available to meet with Council for a Post-Audit Meeting on February 6, 7 or 8. 

            Law Director:  No report. 

            Police Department:  Chief Murphy reported the 25% Matching Grant that was awarded to the Police Department to purchase laptop computers and accessories for the cruisers expired December 31, 2023.  However, an extension deadline of February 29 was approved so the city could have more time to consider how to financially accept this grant.  The awarded amount is $25,000, of which the city would be responsible for $6,250.  Currently, 3 cars have been forfeited at the Impound Lot.  These cars are currently listed on an online auction.  Chief Murphy would like the money received from the sale of abandoned vehicles at the Impound Lot and any storage fees collected, to be placed in a separate line item designated for the purchase of new police cruisers. 

            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. Hunker stressed that the budget is tight and Council needs to watch it very closely this year. 

Street: There was no Street Department report but Mr. Rodgers wanted to remind citizens and businesses that they are responsible to remove snow from their sidewalks. 

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  Mr. Echemann spoke to Mr. Hord regarding the “Meet The Candidates” Night and will make plans to move forward with this project. 

Real Estate/Utility:  No report.

Income Tax: No report.

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

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, was given an update on code administration enforcement in the city.  Mr. Hord was told that the S.M.A.R.T. Building has been sold to a local business man and the Mayor does not know the future plans for the structure.  Mr. Echemann was thanked for his assistance in setting up a “Meet the Candidates” night.  Mr. Hord heard there have been discussions by the local Historical Society to get some buildings in the city designated as historical.   The Mayor said the process takes time and a lot of paperwork needs completed.  The former Curley property has been sold and will become a parking lot. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion and Rev. Agnew seconded to suspend the 72 hour rule.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Neiman, Agnew, Hunker and Echemann voting yes.  The motion carried and the 72 hour rule was suspended.  This Ordinance was given a first reading. 

An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 2014-17 In Regards To The Operator Of Record. 

              Motion was made by Mr. Hunker to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Echemann.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Echemann, Armstrong, Rodgers, Neiman, and Agnew voting yes.   The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Rodgers to pass the Ordinance as read.  Rev. Agnew seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Neiman, Agnew, Hunker, Echemann and Armstrong voting yes.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

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

EMERGENC       

Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Echemann made a motion to note that Council has received and reviewed the Payroll Summary and the Statement of Cash for period ending January 24, 2024.  Mr. Hunker seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Echemann, Armstrong, Rodgers, Neiman, Agnew and Hunker voting yes.  The motion carried.  

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion and Mr. Neiman seconded to allow the Mayor to proceed with the transfer of the School Road Property back to the Martins Ferry School District.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Neiman, Hunker and Echemann voting yes.  Rev. Agnew abstained.  The motion carried.

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

Mr. Hunker made a motion to allow the Service Director to enter into a contract agreement with ForeFront Technologies for Cyber Security for the Water Plant.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Echemann.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Echemann, Armstrong, Rodgers, Neiman, and Agnew voting yes.   The motion carried.  

Council set Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. to meet with the State Auditors for an exit interview.

Chief Murphy’s request for assistance with the Laptop Grant was referred to Auditor Regis to see if the funding can be acquired from the Permanent Improvement Fund.  Council will re-visit this issue at the February 7th Meeting.

Council was reminded of the Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for Tom Kelly.  Proceeds from this event will help Mr. Kelly with his medical expenses.  The dinner will be held at the American Legion on Saturday, February 3, 2024 from noon to 6:00 p.m.

Council Members were reminded that they should have received a notice about filing a financial disclosure statement for 2024.  This statement needs filed by May 15. 

Mr. Regis suggested that Council Members meet and do the Sunshine Law Training together in Chambers.  President Davis asked Council Members to look at their schedules and let her know of a date they would like to meet. She will announce the date at the next meeting. 

Mr. Hunker 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.      

             Mrs. Armstrong moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Echemann.  After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 7:06 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

            The next meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be on February 7, 2024 in Council Chambers at the City Building.

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

____________________________________
Date


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of January 10, 2024

Posted on: January 25, 2024

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at 6:00 p.m., in 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.  President Davis welcomed everyone to the first Council Meeting of 2024.  Mayor Davies then proceeded to give the oath of office to Mrs. Armstrong and Mr. Echemann.  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; Ben Neiman, James Agnew and Jim Schramm, Council at Large Members.    

            Mr. Rodger motioned and Mr. Neiman seconded to retain Kay McFarlan as Clerk of Council.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Neiman, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, Echemann and Armstrong voting yes.  The motion carried.

            Mrs. Armstrong made a motion and Mr. Schramm seconded to nominate Mr. Rodgers as President Pro-Tem.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Neiman, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, and Echemann voting yes.  Mr. Rodgers abstained.  The motion carried. 

            President Davis reviewed the procedures and rules followed by Council which have been adopted through Roberts Rules of Order and the Ohio Revised Code. 

            Minutes:  Minutes of the December 21, 2023 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  Mayor Davies reported the city has 225 tons of road salt in stock.  The house at 710 Elm Street burned over a year ago and cannot be repaired.  The insurance company sent the city a check to be held until the structure gets torn down.  To date, it is still standing.  A contractor was contacted and the city was told the structure could be taken down for $19,000.  The Mayor does not think the property owner will tear down the rest of the house because he has been cited in Mayor’s Court and has never shown up or paid the fines.  The Mayor will ask Attorney Stecker if the city can force the demolition of this property. 

The city has received the $5,000,000 bond for water plant repairs which was placed in the Water Capital Projects line item.  The Mayor explained the urgency to address repairs at the Water Plant.  There are 3 important systems at the plant and if any one of the 3 systems fail, the Plant shuts down.  The Mayor asked Council for permission to proceed with the plan of emergency repairs and replacements at the Water Plant. 

The city has a copy of the deed noting the transfer of ownership of Alumni Road from the School District to the City.  However, the Mayor stated he has not seen a document that says the city assumes care of Alumni Road, which is currently slipping over the hill.  City officials met with the School Board regarding the safety of Alumni Road.  The decision was to stop traffic on Alumni Road, except for School Buses and Emergency Vehicles.  Signs, stating the road is closed, were erected but have now been destroyed.  People are going around the signs and driving on the road.  The Mayor is asking Council to deed the Alumni Road back to the school.  The School Board said they would then help the City to find funding to fix the road.  The Mayor also had questions about gas royalties paid for the last 17 years on the road’s 11 acres of property and why wasn’t the royalty money put back into the road to keep it safe.

Service Director:  Council was shown a picture of the slip on Alumni Road.  Mr. Sutak reviewed the extensive process, procedures and cost of applying for funding for Alumni Road.  He stated the city needs to find funding that would not have to be paid back.  Discussion on the Alumni Road dilemma continued for 35 minutes.  The city will continue to work with the School Board to find a solution to the Alumni Road problem. 

            Auditor:  Mr. Regis distributed the first Statement of Cash Position with MTD Totals of the year.  A meeting of the Finance Committee was also set for Monday, January 22 at 10:00 a.m.

            Law Director:  No report. 

            Police Department:  Chief Murphy provided Council with an end of December monthly report and a proposal for the Village of Yorkville to provide police services since the Village is currently without a Police Department.  On January 5, Officer Beth Scales retired after 31 years of service to the city.  Next month, the Civil Service Promotional Exam for Police Sargents will be given to qualified officers eligible for promotion. 

            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. Hunker scheduled a meeting for Monday, January 22 at 10:00 a.m.

Street: No report.

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  Mr. Echemann plans to research and learn how he can expand on the aspect of Public Relations for the city. 

Real Estate/Utility:  No report.

Income Tax: No report.

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

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, complimented Beth Scales for her 31 years of service to the city.  The Mayor said he is planning to recognize her service.  Stanley Stein, who served years ago as the Planning and Development Director for the city, passed away.  Mr. Hord expressed appreciation for patching the potholes on Virginia Street and asked if a hole, that consistently retains water, be checked.  The Mayor listed his major accomplishment for 2023 and his primary goals for 2024.  Mr. Hord asked if the city might consider a “Meet the Candidates” session this year.  This subject was referred to the Public Relations Committee. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

            There were no Ordinances or Resolutions to be read. 

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

EMERGENC       

Miscellaneous Business:   

Mr. Schramm made a motion to give permission to the Mayor and Service Director to spend up to the entirety of the $5,000,000 borrowed for emergency repairs at the Water Plant until the final appropriation is complete.  Mr. Echemann seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Echemann, Armstrong, Rodgers, Neiman and Agnew voting yes.  The motion carried. 

            Mr. Hunker made a motion to direct the Mayor and Service Director to proceed with the plan of emergency repairs and replacements at the Water Plant in accordance with the ORC 735.051 as advised by our Law Director (See Attached List of Projects).   Rev. Agnew seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Echemann, Armstrong, Rodgers, Neiman, Agnew and Schramm, voting yes.  The motion carried. 

            Mrs. Armstrong motioned and Mr. Neiman seconded to instruct the Mayor and Service Director begin the process of deeding Alumni Road back to the school.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Neiman, Schramm, Hunker, and Echemann voting yes.  Rev. Agnew abstained.  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 Mr. Hunker.   After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.    

Mr. Rodger made a motion and Mr. Schramm seconded to change the January 17 Council Meeting to January 24.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Neiman, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, Echemann and Armstrong voting yes.  The motion carried.

             Mr. Hunker moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Echemann.  After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned with a salute to the flag.

The next meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at the City Building. 

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

___________________________________
Date


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of December 21, 2023

Posted on: January 11, 2024

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Special Session on Thursday, December 21, 2023, at 4:30 p.m., in the Donald Myers Council Chambers.  The Meeting was for general purposes to include consideration of the final 2023 and the temporary 2024 budgets.  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, Rick Rodgers, Fourth Ward Council Member; Tom Burns, James Agnew, and Jim Schramm, Council at Large Members.  Excused: Suzanne Armstrong, Third Ward Council Member. 

            Minutes:  Minutes of the December 6, 2023 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Mayor:  Council agreed to change the order of the meeting to allow Mayor Davies to swear in Officer Vincent West as Sargent.  Applause followed the pinning ceremony by Sargent West’s father (a former Martins Ferry Police Officer) and his wife.  President Davis congratulated Sargent West on his promotion.

The Mayor asked Council to make a decision on School Road.  Alumni Road will be shut down before school re-opens due to continued slippage.  Currently School Road is open to all commercial vehicles.  Mr. Schramm made a motion to allow the Mayor and Service Director to continue to handle the School Road situation and make decisions with the full support of Council.  Mr. Burns seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Echemann, Rodgers, and Burns voting yes.  Rev. Agnew abstained.  The motion carried.   The Mayor will try and set up a meeting next week with School Superintendent Fogle to discuss this matter. 

Funding in the amount of $198,000 has been received for the Force Main Project.  Currently the city is paying $4,000 a month to remove sludge from the tank. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak reported 20 tons of road salt has been delivered and he would like to get 2 more load which would give the city 60 tons.  Council was thanked again for allocating money from the Permanent Improvement Fund to build the storage bin to protect the salt from rain and snow.  Mr. Sutak asked Council to pass the Resolution regarding the Sanitary Force Main Extension Project. 

An update was given on the improvements to the Water Plant.  Wells #13 and #11 have been cleaned and Well #5 will be serviced next.  In the future, well cleaning will be every 3 years.  A new service pump should be operational in early January.   Mr. Echemann thanked Mr. Sutak and the Water Department Staff for their hard work in the maintenance of the facility.  Mr. Echemann was invited to make an appointment to tour the Water Plant to see firsthand the improvements that are needed.

            Auditor:  Auditor Regis asked Council to pass the Ordinance for the 2023 year end budget and the Ordinance for the 2024 temporary budget.  The cash carry-over will amount to around $370,000 which is better than expected but Mr. Regis cautioned the finances will have to be monitored closely next year.  Members were reminded that a motion is needed to note the Payroll Summary has been received and review by Council. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

            An Ordinance To Make Appropriations For The Expenses Of The City Of Martins Ferry, State Of Ohio, During The Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2023, And Declaring An Emergency.

             This Ordinance was given a first reading.  Motion was made by Mr. Rodgers to suspend the rules for reading the Ordinance.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Echemann.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, and Echemann voting yes.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Hunker to pass the Ordinance as read.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Echemann, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed. 

            An Ordinance To Make Temporary Appropriations For The Expenses Of The City Of Martins Ferry, State Of Ohio, During The Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2024, And Declaring An Emergency. 

This Ordinance was given a first reading.  Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Rev. Agnew.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Echemann, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew voting yes.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Echemann to pass the Ordinance as read.  Mr. Hunker seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Echemann, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm and Hunker voting yes.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

Mr. Hunker made a motion suspend the 72 Hour Rule.  Motion was seconded by Rev. Agnew.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Echemann, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried and the Resolution was given a first reading.    

A Resolution Authorizing The Mayor Of The City Of Martins Ferry To Enter Into Contracts For The Construction Of The Sanitary Force Main Extension And Declaring An Emergency. 

            Mr. Rodgers made a motion to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Echemann.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker and Echemann voting yes.  The motion carried.  Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to pass the Resolution as read.  Rev. Agnew seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Echemann, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew voting yes.  The motion carried and the Resolution was declared passed. 

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

EMERGENC       

Miscellaneous Business:   

Since this was his last meeting, Mr. Burns addressed Council and thanked everyone who supported him during the last 6 years of his service as a Council-at-Large Member.  President Davis and Mayor Davies personally thanked Mr. Burns for his service. 

President Davis passed out the new committee assignments.  A correction was made to Mr. Echemann’s phone number.  His area code is (304) not (740). 

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

Mr. Schramm thanked Police Officers Cory Barrett and Fred Owens for participating in the “Shop With A Cop” at Walmart on Sunday December 17.  These officers received a round of applause. 

Mr. Rodgers made a motion and Mr. Echemann seconded to note that Council has received and reviewed the Payroll Summary as of Pay Period Ending December 21, 2023.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

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.  

President Davis announced that Live Streaming of the Council Meetings will begin in January.  Once installed, citizens will be able to go to the city’s website and with one click be able to watch live Council Meetings.

Mr. Schramm made a motion to reschedule the January 3 meeting to January 10.  Rev. Agnew seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Echemann, Rodgers, and Agnew voting yes.  The motion carried

             Mr. Hunker moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Echemann.  After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned with a salute to the flag.

            The next meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at the City Building. 

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

____________________________________
Date


Road Closure

Posted on: December 28, 2023

As of Tuesday, January 2, 2024, Alumni Road will be closed for all traffic due to road condition.


City Holidays

Posted on: December 21, 2023

The City offices will be closed on Friday December 22nd at 11am and also the full day Monday December 25th in observance of Christmas. Sanitation will run 1/2 day on Friday the 22nd and will be off on Monday the 25th. Monday pick-up should be collected on Tuesday the 26th, but pick up will be a tad behind as they try to get caught up.

City offices will also be closed at 11am on Friday December 29th and the full day Monday January 1st in observance of the New Year. Trash schedule is the same as Christmas week and they will do their best to get caught up Tuesday.

Happy Holidays!


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of November 15, 2023

Posted on: December 7, 2023

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, November 15, 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, 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 November 1, 2023 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  After Council approved changing the order of business, Mayor Davies swore in Spencer Echemann as the new Second Ward Council Member, who was appointed by the Republican Central Committee. 

The Mayor reported that Martins Ferry has a very good chance of receiving funds for the Beretta Drive Guardrail Project.  The city has partnered with Peace Township to get more points to increase the change of being awarded the grant.  If the grant is received, paving, replacement of guard rails and slip repair will take place from County Road 22, down Beretta Drive to State Route 250. 

The EPA visited last week and were pleased with the upgrades to Water Plant and the exercising of the valves with the new equipment.  A maintenance plan is also being prepared and should be finalized soon. 

The Street Sweeper Season ended today.  Next year the Sweeper will only run in the months of April and November.  Street signs will be adjusted to note this change.

Riverview Cemetery looks good.  Seasonal workers will finish up this week.  Decorations can now be placed on the graves.

Service/Safety Director:  Mr. Sutak asked Council to pass the Ordinance to borrow $4,000,000 for upgrades and other related costs to the Water Plant.  Because of arbitrage, the city is limited to only borrowing $5,000,000 per year. 

Mr. Sutak also asked Council to pass legislation to replace the bridge and staircase of the pedestrian bridge over SR 7.  Construction costs will be borne by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).  Discussions will be held with ODOT regarding the cost of placing the city’s name on the fencing of the bridge. 

The city is checking on purchasing a machine that will help fix the fire hydrant valve on Carlisle Street.  The plan is to replace older valves in the city so when there is a water break, the water can be shut off easily and the line fixed quicker.    

            Auditor:  Auditor Regis reminded Council that the city’s books will be closed on November 22.  He plans to meet with the Finance Committee, sometime after Thanksgiving, and begin planning for next year.  The Safety Committee will be asked to attend this meeting.  The Auditors hope to have a Closing Meeting with Council and City Officials before the end of the year to discuss and answers any questions regarding the 2022 Audit. 

            Law Director:  No report. 

            Police Department:  Chief Murphy gave the Police Department Report for the first 2 weeks of November and elaborated on a few of the calls.  Mayor Davies expressed his appreciation for the work performed by the city’s police force. 

            Fire Department: Fire Chief Kelly ask Council for permission to block off Zane Highway from  Grant Avenue to Hickory Street and Hickory Street to 4th Street for the Fireworks and activities in the Park after the Christmas Parade on Friday, November 24.  Chief Kelly confirmed that the Fire Department’s Annual Meeting will be on December 9 at the Liberty Fire Station. 

Code Administrator: No report.

            Park District: No report.      

            Water Department:  No report.       

Reports of Committees of Council:   

            Finance and Audit:   No report. 

Street: No report.

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: Mr. Schramm reported that an Amish Contractor is expected to submit a bid on fixing the Vigilant Fire Station’s roof by early next month. 

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  Mr. Burns participated in the Veteran’s Service at the Riverview Cemetery on November 11.  Following the service, a reception was held at the American Legion.

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.  

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, asked what changes the city could expect since the income tax levy failed.  The Mayor preferred not to speculate.  He will wait until final numbers are available and formulate a plan with city officials to move forward.  Mr. Hord asked the Mayor to consider acknowledging Becky and Jim Brown who have operated the Christian Village Store for 46 years which is now closing.   There were no additional city employee retirements to report.  Mr. Hord congratulated Mr. Echemann on his appointment and expressed his appreciation to Council Members and the Administration for their hard work. 

Tom Burns, Council at Large Member, shared with Council that he and Mr. Rodgers attended a Veteran’s tribute and dinner on November 11 at the Elk’s Club.  Also, on November 13 Mr. Burns served as a judge at the Spelling Bee Competition between the St. Mary’s School in Martins Ferry and the St. Mary’s School in St. Clairsville.  The winner was from the St. Clairsville School and the runner-up was from the Martins Ferry School.  Both students will compete in the Belmont County Spelling Bee. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

An Ordinance To Approve The Replacement Of The Superstructure And Staircase Of The Bridge Over The SR-7 Carrying Pedestrian Traffic And All Necessary Approach Work On Both Sides Of The Bridge.  The Project Will Be Constructed Under A Pedestrian Detour, While Maintaining Traffic Along SR-7.  The Construction Duration Will Be Approximately 180 Days.  The Entire Cost Of The Subject Project Will Be Borne By The Ohio Department Of Transportation. 

Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Hunker to pass the Ordinance as read.  Mr. Burns seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew and Schramm voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

Mr. Hunker made a motion and Rev. Agnew seconded to dispense with the 72 hour rule.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew and Schramm voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the 72 hour rule was suspended. 

            An Ordinance Increasing The Hourly Wage For Certain Part-Time Positions In The Police Department.
              Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew and voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Rodgers to pass the Ordinance as read.  Mr. Burns seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, and Armstrong voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

Mr. Hunker made a motion and Mrs. Armstrong seconded to dispense with the 72 hour rule.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew and Schramm voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the 72 hour rule was suspended. 

            An Ordinance Combining The Positions Of Director Of Public Service And Director Of Public Safety, And Establishing The Annual Salaries Therefore, Effective November 1, 2023. 

Motion was made by Rev. Agnew to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  A roll call vote was heard with Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Burns voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Burns to pass the Ordinance as read.  Rev. Agnew seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong and Rodgers voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

Mr. Burns made a motion and Mr. Hunker seconded to suspend the 72 hour rule.  A roll call vote was heard with Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, and Rodgers voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the 72 hour rule was suspended. 

An Ordinance Determining That A Real And Present Emergency Exists In The Water Department And Authorizing The Mayor And Service Director To Enter Into A Contract With Aqua Aerobic Systems For The Partial Rebuild Of Two Traveling Bridge Filters, 16” X 74” With 12” Cells And 22” Of Media.

Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Rodgers.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew and voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Rodgers to pass the Ordinance as read.  Mr. Burns seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker and Armstrong voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

Mr. Burns made a motion and Mr. Rodgers seconded to suspend the 72 hour rule.  A roll call vote was heard with Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, and Rodgers voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the 72 hour rule was suspended. 

An Ordinance Authorizing The Issuance Of $5,000,000 Of Water System Improvement Bond Anticipation Notes, Series 2023, To Pay Part Of The Costs Of Water Well Upgrades, Water Plant Upgrades, Pumping Station Upgrades, And Other Related Costs And Improvements, And Declaring An Emergency. 

Motion was made by Mr. Rodgers to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Rev. Agnew.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker and Armstrong voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to pass the Ordinance as read.  Mr. Hunker seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew and voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

Mr. Hunker made a motion to accept the most recent Cost Allocation Plan, dated September 2023, by Schonhardt & Associates.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Rodgers.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew and Schramm voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried and the Cost Allocation Plan was approved.

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

EMERGENC       

Miscellaneous Business:   

President Davis distributed a quote from ForeFront Technology that would allow Council Meetings to be streamed with just a click from the city’s website.  This Streaming System would also allow Council to do trainings and public service announcements.  Mr. Schramm made a motion and Mr. Burns seconded to proceed with the purchase of the hardware/software as attached in the ForeFront Technology Quote of $4,445.00.  Payment would be made from the Permanent Improvement Fund.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew and voting yes.  Mr. Echemann abstained.  The motion carried.

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to note that Council has received and reviewed the Payroll Summary and the Statement of Cash Position.  Mr. Hunker seconded the motion.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mayor Davies asked Council to consider selling the Quarry Street Property.  He is still seeking a quote to rectify the unacceptable paving job of South Zane Highway. 

Mrs. Armstrong notified Council she would not be able to attend any Council Meetings in December.  She also asked for clarification on charges to organizations using the City Park.  Mr. Sutak explained the Park District’s funding and why vendors are charged to set-up in the Park.  Representatives from the Lion’s Club also clarified some recent misunderstandings that have been circulating on Social Media regarding their use of the City Park.    

Mr. Burns made a motion and Rev. Agnew seconded to allow the Fire Department to close Zane Highway from Grant Avenue to Hickory Street and Hickory Street to 4th Street during and after the Christmas Parade.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

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 Mr. Rodgers.   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 with a salute to the flag.

            The next meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at the City Building. 

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

Date  _______________________________


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of November 1, 2023

Posted on: November 27, 2023

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, November 1, 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, 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 October 18, 2023 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  Someone has contacted the city about purchasing the property on Broadway Street (the former Booster Club Property).  They want to know if they pay for the survey, would the city accept $3,000 for the property, even though the city stated a minimum bid of $5,000.  Mr. Stecker said another bid would have to be prepared and advertised.    

The city has received a check for $16,952.04 for lease on the property in the Crawford Heights.  To date, no royalties have been received. 

The bulk water sales to tankers have increased from 1¢ to 2¢ per gallon.

Currently, the city has 150 tons of road salt and another 50-100 tons to be delivered soon.

The Mayor informed Council of issues at the Water Plant.  A new high service pump had to be ordered.  It will take 7-10 days for delivery.  Cost is $69,000.  This purchase will be paid from Fund 107-Capital Projects-Water.  The Water Plant improvements are progressing but it takes time for these major upgrades.

The Mayor asked for Council’s approval to put the Force Main Project out to bid.  This pipe comes down from Lesco under Rt. 7 and the railroad tracks and taps into a manhole in Floral Valley.  It has ruptured somewhere and needs fixed. 

The Mayor proposed running the street sweeper just two weeks in the Spring (to pick up debri, salt and cinders from the winter months) and then another 2 weeks in the Fall (to pick up leaves).  There isn’t the manpower to run the sweeper every week and citizens complain about having to move their cars because there’s no place to park.

The EMS Supervisors asked that the part-time EMS worker’s wages increase by $1. 

Trick or Treating went well.  The EMS, Fire and Police Departments were praised for patrolling the streets and keeping everyone safe. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak asked Council Members to review the Preliminary Legislation regarding the replacement of the Pedestrian Bridge across Route 7.  He would like this ordinance passed at the next Council Meeting.  The Ohio Department of Transportation will pay for the cost of the bridge.  A logo could be place on both sides of the bridge but this would be at the city’s expense.  The price of the logo work is extremely expensive so other options will be explored.  

Mr. Sutak updated Council on the immediate needs and planned improvements for the Water Plant.  He is seeking financial options and funding of 6 mil. dollars for the necessary upgrades to the city’s water facility. 

Mr. Sutak asked for Council’s approval to create a new rental contract for the house in the cemetery.  The current contract hasn’t been updated since 2016. 

Adjustments will be made to the tow motor on Friday and maintenance is being done on other equipment to prepare for the winter season.

Police Department:  Chief Murphy gave the end of October Police Department Report including  activity at the Impound Lot and vehicles that were sold at auction.  The Chief reported he has successfully completed the mandated 40 hours of training for New Police Chiefs.  All active police officers are on track to complete mandated professional trainings by the end of the year.  Two officers have submitted their resignations.  Chief Murphy asked Council for directions on how to proceed with these vacant positions.    

Auditor:  Auditor Regis said the Police Department expenses are still being paid through the levy money and should last through November.  In December, the Police Department expenses will come from the General Fund.  The EMS Supervisors were praised for their hard work in securing transports.  It is hoped that raises could be secured for the part-time EMS employees.  After the election and results are known regarding the income tax, meetings will be scheduled to prepare the budget for next year.  Auditor Regis noted he will close the books on November 22.  Departments have been notified to think ahead of items they might need in December and order them now. 

Safety Director:  No report.   

            Law Director:  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: No report.

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  Mr. Burns will contact Bruce Shrodes regarding flags to be placed on Veterans’ graves for Veterans Day.  Volunteers will be sought from the Police Department and the High School to help with this project.   

Public Relations:  No report.

Real Estate/Utility:  No report.

Income Tax:  Mrs. Armstrong contacted R.I.T.A. and asked how many employees, who pay the city income tax, are Martins Ferry residents.  Unfortunately they could not give her that information.  However, Mrs. Armstrong learned that the Martins Ferry School District has 254 employees, of which 2/3 live outside of the city.  She hopes that citizens realize that a large group of non-residents who work in Martins Ferry, pay the income tax, which benefits the city.

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

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, was told that Council is hopeful that the increase in the city’s income tax will pass.  The Mayor listed the areas where the smoking of the City’s Sanitary Sewer System has occurred.  There were no updates on the future of the former Staffilino property.  The Republican Party is taking applications for the vacant 2nd. Ward Council seat.  An announcement will be made after their next meeting.  No qualified applicants have been received for the Water Superintendent position.  Normally the rest rooms on the second floor of the City Building are kept locked to reduce vandalism. 

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.  Motion was made by Mr. Hunker to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Hunker to pass the Ordinance as read.  Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed.

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

EMERGENC       

Miscellaneous Business:   

President Davis reminded Council to let her know if they would like to serve on a particular committee or would like to be removed from a committee that they are currently serving on.  She will make committee assignments after the election. 

Mr. Rodgers made a motion to raise the wages of the part-time Supervisors by $1 per hour.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Hunker, and Armstrong voting yes.  The motion carried.   Mr. Stecker will prepare an ordinance for the next meeting regarding this motion.

Mr. Schramm made a motion to allow the Service Director to develop a new rental contract for the house on the cemetery property.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunter.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew voting yes.  The motion carried.  

Mr. Hunker made a motion and Rev. Agnew seconded to allow the Service Director to research and borrow up to $6,000,000 for upgrades to the Water Plant.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.  

Mr. Schramm made a motion to allow the Service Director to advertise for bids for the Force Main Project at the Lesco Facility.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Hunker, Armstrong Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew 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.  

The bid for the former Booster Club property on Broadway Street was discussed.  Mr. Stecker said this would need to be advertised again since the minimum bid is being lowered.  The bid would have to be re-stated to say the minimum price is $3,000 plus any expenses associated with the sale, which would include the survey. 

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion and Mr. Burns seconded to allow the Mayor to readjust the Street Sweeper schedule to Spring and Fall.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm, and Hunker voting yes.  The motion carried.   The street sweeper schedule for the rest of this year will remain the same. 

Council will wait until after the election to decide on whether to replace the 2 police officers who resigned since they will have a better understanding of future finances. 

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

            The next meeting of the Martins Ferry Council will be on November 15, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at the City Building. 

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

____________________________________
Date


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of October 18, 2023

Posted on: November 2, 2023

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, October 18, 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 Suzanne Armstrong, Third Ward Council Member; Rick Rodgers, Fourth Ward Council Member; Tom Burns, James Agnew, and Jim Schramm, Council at Large Members.    Absent:  Bob Hunker, First Ward Council Member.               

            Minutes:  Minutes of the October 4, 2023 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  Mayor Davies ask for permission to allow Mr. Mike Reece to speak regarding the smoking of the City’s Sanitary Sewer System on October 24 and October 25.  This is something that the city needs to do to move forward to become compliant with the Ohio EPA and avoid fines to the city.  The purpose is to identify any leaks and any illegal connections of resident’s downspouts into the sanitary sewer system and have them removed.  Mr. Reece noted the areas to be tested, explained how citizens have been notified and what residents can expect during the process. 

Mayor Davies asked Council to go into Executive Session later in the meeting to discuss employee compensation. 

The Town Hall Meeting has sparked some calls to the Mayor’s office.  The Mayor clarified some misconceptions with the EMS and stated they are within their budget. 

The Heating System for the Recreation Center still needs a breaker but is nearly complete. 

The Mayor asked Council to consider an increase in the part-time police officers wage.  Most towns are paying $20 per hour, whereas the city is only paying $16 per hour.  Council’s approval and an ordinance would be needed for this action.

Service/Safety Director:  The annual bonfire, held before the Martins Ferry/Bellaire Football Game, will be held in the same location across from the football stadium.  However, it will not be as large as previous years due to safety issues around the new salt bin.  The Fire Department will be present to oversee this event.

Mr. Sutak asked Council if Mr. Stecker could prepare an ordinance to authorize an emergency contractual agreement with the company that will be doing the upgrades to the filter bed at the Water Plant.  This is the first step for the planned improvements to the Water Plant.  Mr. Sutak also asked for permission from Council to meet with lending institution regarding options for borrowing funds for the Water Plant improvements.  It is projected that $5,000,000 will be needed for all the upgradess. 

            Auditor:  Auditor Regis distributed the Statement of Cash Position, Payroll Summary and List of New Hires.  He also supplied Council Members with a Cost Allocation Plan to review.  A motion to approve is needed to accept this plan.  Auditor Regis also had a bill for $8,807.36 from Lexipol for policy manuals for the Police Department.  These manuals were bought without a purchase order so a voice vote from Council is needed to pay the invoice. 

            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: No report.

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  No report.

Real Estate/Utility:  The Committee discussed delinquent water bills.  Letters will not be sent to customers with delinquent accounts.  Customers will be notified on their monthly bill that their water service will be shut off. 

Income Tax: Mrs. Armstrong thanked everyone that attended the Town Hall Meeting on October 16.  She felt the public was well informed of the city’s financial situation and the need for the Income Tax.  President Davis thanked Mrs. Armstrong for arranging the meeting and for working to get the informative newspaper article published.
 

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

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, complimented Council on the informative and effective Town Hall Meeting held regarding the Income Tax Increase.  The Mayor will check with Mr. Stecker to see if Project Forward is progressing on getting certain areas in the city designated as historical.  Mr. Hord asked if the city could cut the vines at 917 Virginia Street and also fill the potholes on the Street.  There are no plans to do repairs to the City Building.  The Mayor stated the city is concentrating on 1) financial issues and 2) safety of its citizens.  The Republican Party is in the process of finding a candidate to fill the 2nd Ward Council Seat that was vacated by Mr. Shrodes. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

            There was no legislation to be read.

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

EMERGENC       

Miscellaneous Business:   

Motion was made by Mrs. Armstrong to allow the Service/Safety Director to research funding for the repair of the filter beds at the Water Plant.  Motion was seconded by Rev. Agnew.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, and Schramm voting yes.  Motion carried. 

Mr. Schramm made a motion to allow Mr. Sutak to research funding mechanisms for the Water Plant in an amount up to $5,000,000.  Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew voting yes.  Motion carried. 

Mr. Schramm made a motion that Council authorize the Auditor to pay $8,807.36 to Lexipol for police department equipment.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, and Agnew voting yes.  Motion carried. 

            Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to acknowledge Council has received the Payroll Summary and the list of New Hires.  Motion was seconded by Rev. Agnew.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mr. Rodgers made a motion to increase the part-time police officers wage to $20 per hour.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, Schramm and Armstrong voting yes.  Motion carried.   President Davis will ask Mr. Stecker to prepare an ordinance for this issue.

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. 

President Davis received a call from Aspen Energy advising her of the steps Council would need to take if they are still interested in Electric Aggregation. She told the representative she would relay the message to Council but the work with the income tax and financial issues were taking presentence. 

Mr. Rodger made a motion to excuse Mr. Hunker from tonight’s meeting.  Mrs. Armstrong seconded the motion.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to go into Executive Session under Ohio Revised Code 121.22 G1, for employee compensation.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, and Schramm voting yes.  Motion carried. 

Mr. Burns made a motion and Rev. Agnew seconded to go out of Executive Session.  A roll call vote was heard with Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Armstrong, and Rodgers voting yes.  Motion carried. 

Mr. Burns made to motion to support the Service/Safety Director’s plan in restructuring the Police Department schedules as needed pending approval by the City’s Law Director.  Mr. Schramm seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Burns, Agnew, Schramm, Armstrong, and Rodgers voting yes.  Motion carried. 

Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to reduce the K-9 Officers to 1 pending approval of the city’s Law Director.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Agnew, and Schramm voting yes.  Motion carried. 

             Mr. Armstrong moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 7:09 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

            The next meeting of the Martins Ferry City Council will be on November 1, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at the City Building. 

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

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