City of Martins Ferry

Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of May 4, 2022

Posted on: May 19, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Donald Myers Council Chambers.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Pro Tempore Rick Rodgers 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;  Jim Schramm and Jack Regis, Council at Large Members.  Bruce Shrodes, Second Ward Council Member and Tom Burns, Council at Large Member informed President Davis and President Pro Tempore Rick Rodgers that they were unable to attend this meeting.  Councilman Rodgers reserved his right to vote.   

            Minutes:  Minutes of the April 20, 2022 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  The Mayor asked the Council Clerk to read the Declaration of Proclamation for the Rev. William O. Webster.  Rev. Webster came to Grace Presbyterian Church in November, 1987 shortly after Clerk McFarlan’s father retired from Grace Church.  Rev. Webster thanked the Mayor and said it was a privilege to give back to the city and community.  Rev. Webster received a standing ovation. 

The City Clean-Up, held at the city garage, went well and the Mayor praised the employees who worked that day.  Curbside clean-up will be held in the fall. 

Crews are patching potholes in-between raindrops.  Grass cutting has begun in the cemeteries and work will begin soon on the wall in Riverview Cemetery. 

The Grant Avenue catch basins are finished.  Part of a sewer collapsed on Broadway Street and has now been repaired.  Work on the Impound Lot has begun. 

The City Park was cleaned and the grass cut for the Opening Day of Baseball/Softball Season on April 30, 2022.  The Mayor announced the members of the Park Board.  The diving board, at the swimming pool, will need repaired or replaced. 

A water line project will begin next week near Wilson Blacktop and the old city garage. 

The Youth Room at the Recreation Center is almost ready to be opened.  The Mayor made a plea on Social Media for a number of items needed such as a pool table, air hockey table, gaming devices, etc.  and the response was overwhelming. 

The back of the third reserve Packer is in bad shape and repairs would cost about $90,000.  The estimated cost of a new Packer is $194,000.   The Mayor and Service Director are working on funding options for a new Packer. 

The State of Ohio has $500,000,000 to be given to Appalachia Communities.  Contacts have been made to see what monies the city might be eligible to receive. 

Mr. Sutak continues to work on a paving plan.  Currently the city has enough County Permissive Tax money to pave 9th Street.  The Mayor asked for Council’s permission to advertise for paving bids for 9th Street, Crawford Heights, Hillendale and Floral Valley.  He also outlined a funding plan for a $1.2 million paving project for next year. 

The one-story dilapidated house on Broadway Street has now been declared a public nuisance and hazard by the Safety Director.  A letter has been sent to the owner stating this issue will be sent to court.  The Mayor stated this house must be demolished. 

Mr. Regis reported that he saw 4 kids exiting the rear of the former Curley House.  This house needs to be torn down.  The Mayor will again send city employees to board up doorways and windows to secure the property. 

Mr. Rodgers asked for an update on the sewer line at Floral Valley.  The Mayor said that Ohio/West Virginia Excavating couldn’t locate that pipeline and had to use a special procedure.  No completion date is known but the project is moving ahead. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak said the Mayor covered everything in his report. 

Safety Director:  People were concerned when they heard the fire engine and police car sirens this past weekend.  It is a tradition that when one of the high school teams win a championship, it is celebrated with a mini parade through town. 

Director Regis will meet with the Police Chief and Fire Chief to develop a protocol on when to activate the Emergency Siren and for what situations such as tornado, hazardous material spill, etc. 

Director Regis would like Council’s permission to move forward with an auction for vehicles and other equipment the city is no longer using.  Councilman Regis has a lot of experience with auctions and has offered to help. 

It was also mentioned that code enforcement is becoming a big issue for the city.  Ideas are being explored to pressure citizens to be more accountable for their property’s maintenance. 

            Auditor:  The Financial Report for April as well as the 2023 Budget was distributed to Council.   Auditor Randall explained that she wanted Council to have time to look over the 2023 Budget and encouraged them to ask questions.  This budget must be submitted to the Belmont County Auditor by July 20th.  It was proposed to cancel the July 6th and July 20th Council Meetings and schedule a Public Hearing on July 13 at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Council Meeting to approve the budget. Mr. Sutak would like to have a Budget Hearing with the County Budget Commission to discuss funding that may or may not be coming to the city. 

            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. Regis will schedule a meeting when it is convenient for Auditor Randall. 

Street: No report.

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: Mr. Schramm spoke to Chief McFarland regarding the high number of miles on some of the Police Cruisers.  The Mayor is meeting with a representative from Enterprise on May 19.  After this meeting, a decision will be made whether to continue with the service of Enterprise or revert to the city directing purchasing police vehicles. 

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  No report.

Public Relations:  No report.

Real Estate/Utility:  No report.

Income Tax: No report.

Citizens To Be Heard:  President Pro-Tempore Rodgers reminded citizens to limit their speaking to 5 minutes.  

Shannon Kosky, 211 North 7th Street, notified Council that she lives next to the house at 225 North 7th Street and it has become a nuisance property.  Parts of the house are falling in and a menagerie of animals live in the structure.  The Mayor said he has spoken to the owner and they said the grass would be cut once every two weeks.  This is a huge house and it would cost a lot to tear it down.  The Mayor will send a crew to the house and board up the broken windows/doors to secure the property. 

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, asked if there has been any business prospects for the vacant lot on the corner of 5th and Hanover and the former Staffilino property.  The Mayor replied there are no definite plans for either properties at this time.  Mr. Hord also inquired if there were any prospects for the former Valley Vending Services Building on the corner of 4th and Jefferson Street.  He was told the building is being used for storage.  Mr. Hord thanked the individuals responsible for the creation of the plaque honoring all the chiefs of police in Martin Ferry.  When asked his opinion on yesterday’s Primary results, the Mayor said he doesn’t see a lot of change for the city until the general election. 

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. Regis made a motion to cancel the July 6th and the July 20th Council Meeting and schedule a Council Meeting for July 13th in order to pass the 2023 Budget.  A public hearing on the budget will be held at 5:30 p.m. before the July 13th meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Regis made a motion to reflect Council has received reports from the Officers and Management, and to incorporate these reports into the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Mrs. Armstrong.   After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mr. Rodgers acknowledged all teachers, in both the private and public sectors, for National Teacher Awareness Week. 

Mr. Rodgers made a motion to excuse Mr. Burns, Mr. Shrodes and President Davis from tonight’s meeting.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mr. Regis made a motion to allow the administration to advertise for bids on the paving project of North 9th Street, Hillendale, Crawford Heights and Floral Valley.  Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried. 

             Mr. Schramm moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 7:03 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

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

Date: ______________________________


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of April 20, 2022

Posted on: May 5, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Donald Myers Council Chambers.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Kristine Davis with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those present 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, Jim Schramm and Jack Regis, Council at Large Members.                

            Minutes:  Minutes of the April 6, 2022 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  The Recreation Center cameras have been installed.  Vandalism was recorded on the first day the cameras were in operation.  Minor damage amounted to $300 and Police Chief McFarland has filed charges against the perpetrator.  Estimates are being researched for doors that can be opened by the Police Dispatcher when someone who has rented the Center seeks entry.  The Mayor reported that the Recreation Center has generated over $11,000 in revenue this year. 

Fire Hydrants are being flushed this week.

Crews are cutting grass and removing fallen trees in the cemeteries. 

Equipment has been moved to the area where the Impound Lot will be located.  As soon as the weather breaks, crews will begin installing the fencing. 

Crews took advantage of the nice weather today and did some pothole patching.

The Catch Basins on Grant Avenue, that were crushed and destroyed by a truck, have been repaired. 

The demolition job in the alley behind Falbo’s Barber Shop is almost done. 

The American Legion is requesting permission to use 5th and Hanover Streets, and Zane Highway for a Poppy Day Fundraiser from 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. on May 27.  They also request permission to display Poppy crafts around the Veteran’s Memorial in Riverview cemetery. 

The Street Sweeper has begun cleaning streets.  For the first two weeks of operation, only warnings will be issued. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak is checking with banks on interest rates in case the city would borrow $1,200,000 for the proposed paving project.   He distributed calculations on ways to repay this debt and a breakdown of projected revenue sources.  It was estimated that the loan would be paid off in 15 years, possibly sooner if additional revenue is secured.  A grant application will be submitted to the Ohio Public Works for possible funding to pave additional streets.  Hopefully the paving can be done in July or August.  When estimates for the paving costs are collected, Mr. Sutak will contact Mr. Rodgers to schedule a Street Committee Meeting to discuss the findings. 

Safety Director:  No report. 

            Auditor:  No report. 

            Law Director:  No report. 

            Police Department:  No report.

            Fire Department: No report.

Code Administrator: No report.

            Park District: No report.      

            Water Department:  No report.       

Reports of Committees of Council:   

            Finance and Audit:   A Finance and Audit Committee Meeting will be set when Auditor Randall is able to meet.

 Mr. Regis made a motion to pass the ASFCME contract as negotiated by the Mayor and the Administration.  Mr. Rodgers seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.   The motion carried and the ASFCME contract was declared passed. 

Street: No report.

Ordinance:  The Committee met on April 18 to discuss the Ordinance regarding Notification of Public Business.  It was decided to update the wording of the ordinance to include allowing the Clerk to serve notice by email message when someone requests being notified of a meeting to discuss a certain topic.  A vote on this Ordinance will be taken later in the meeting. 

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  The Committee met on April 8, 2022 to discuss changing the prices charged at the Riverview Cemetery.  Chairman Tom Burns distributed the new price schedule to Council.  Minutes of this meeting, as well as the New Price Schedule, will be filed with these minutes. 

Public Relations:  Mrs. Armstrong reported the Academic Awards Banquet was discussed at the last Chamber of Commerce Meeting, 

Real Estate/Utility:  No report.

Income Tax: No report.

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

Robert Reed, 701 N. Lincoln Ave, Bridgeport, Ohio, asked the Mayor if there were any concerns about the findings of the high level of Radium 238 in the soil that was gathered near the old Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel Plant on First Street.  Mr. Reed said the Concerned Ohio River Citizens submitted these findings to ODNR and the EPA.  Mayor Davies said that the neither ODNR nor the EPA has contacted him with any concerns with the soil report.

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, was told that the Hall of Honor Committee will meet at the end of the month to name the new inductees.  The Mayor said Columbia Gas is installing new gas lines on South Zane Highway and progressing nicely.  As soon as the weather gets warmer, crews will be out painting new lines on the roadways including the intersection of Broadway and Etna Streets.  The Mayor asked Mr. Hord to meet after the meeting to obtain more information on honoring Phil Wallace (Ohio Valley Printing), Don Falbo (Falbo’s Barber Shop) and William O. Webster (Grace Presbyterian Church).  Mr. Hord was told that Rita Randall has been working in the office and from home and is doing well. 

Frank Cika, 1105 North 9th Street, asked how to request a speed limit reduction on Border Lane.  This matter was referred to Chairperson Jim Schramm and the Safety Committee. 

Jeremy Shrodes, 1305 North 7th Street, ASFCME Local 1260 President, thanked Council and the Administration for their support and for passing the contract. 

Jane Cluke, 923 Pearl Street, asked for an update on the Veteran’s Banners.  She is an active member of the American Legion.  Mr. Burns said the banners will be 2’ x 3’ and will be hung in the downtown area and hopefully along Zane Highway.  Target date for display of these banners is November 11 (Veteran’s Day). 

Alexandria Goddard, 910 Carlisle Street, conveyed to Council that April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Mr. Sutak will contact Ms. Goddard for additional information and place a notice on the City’s Website.    

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

            Motion was made by Mr. Shrodes to suspend the 72 Hours Rule.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Regis.  A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis and Hunker voting yes.  The motion carried.  

            An Ordinance Amending Codified Ordinance 107.05 To Allow the Clerk to Serve Notice by Email and Requiring the Requester to Provide An Email Address. 

            This Ordinance was given a first reading.  Motion was made by Mr. Regis to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried and the rules were suspended.  A motion was made by Mr. Shrodes to pass the Ordinance as read.  Motion was seconded by Mrs. Armstrong.  A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis and Hunker voting yes.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was 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. Regis made a motion to allow the American Legion to use 5th and Hanover Streets, and Zane Highway on May 27 for a Poppy Day Fundraiser Sale.  Also, they request permission to display Poppy crafts around the Veterans Memorial at the Riverview cemetery.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motioned carried. 

Mr. Regis made a motion to reflect Council has received reports from the Officers and Management, and to incorporate these reports into the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.   After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mr. Sutak said he would call Bel-O-Mar and see if the Curley House has been place on the schedule for demolition. 

Mr. Shrodes make a motion and Mr. Hunker seconded to allow Service Director Sutak to research available rates and methods for repayment of a possible repaving loan.  A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis and Hunker voting yes.  The motion carried.  

Mr. Regis made a motion that the City of Martins Ferry recognize the Month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Rodgers.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  Motioned carried. 

Seasonal workers are being used to maintain 58 delinquent properties and empty lots.  The Mayor asked Council’s thoughts on using these workers to clean-up properties that contain trash.  The cost of this clean-up would then be place on the owner’s utility bill.  Mr. Stecker said the clean-up cost could be place on the utility bill but if the owner chooses not to pay this portion of the bill, the water could not be shut-off due to non-payment. 

The City has been dealing with a run-down property on Broadway Street and now is now deemed unsafe.  A fence has been removed and sections have been cut out of the wall.  Mr. Regis suggested having the Safety Director declare the property a public safety hazard and give the owner two weeks to tear it down or the city will tear it down.  Mr. Regis made a motion and it was seconded by Mr. Schramm to allow the Mayor to contact the Safety Director and declare this property a public nuisance.  Mr. Shrodes advised to block off the area so no one can access the property and get hurt.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes. 

President Davis will investigate prices for a new public address system.

             Mrs. Armstrong moved to adjourn, which was seconded by Mr. Hunker.  After an affirmative voice vote, the meeting was adjourned at 7:07 p.m. with a salute to the flag.

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

Date: ______________________________


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of April 6, 2022

Posted on: April 25, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Donald Myers Council Chambers.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Kristine Davis with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those present in chamber, followed by a prayer by the Clerk.   Answering Roll Call were Bruce Shrodes, Second Ward Council Member; Suzanne Armstrong, Third Ward Council Member; Rick Rodgers, Fourth Ward Council Member; Tom Burns, Jim Schramm and Jack Regis, Council at Large Members.   Bob Hunker, First Ward Council Member, informed President Davis that he was unable to attend this meeting.

            Minutes:  Minutes of the March 16, 2022 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  President Davis informed Council that Mayor Davies requested Council’s indulgence to allot a portion of his time to two representatives of the Water Department in order to address the concerns and misguided allegations surrounding the city’s water supply by a local TV Station and the Concerned Ohio River Residents.  The Mayor presented a 3 page list of tests that are routinely performed on the city’s water supply.    It is required by the EPA that the water be tested for Radium every 6 years.  Martins Ferry tests for Radium every 3 months.  A test well was built at a cost of $14,000 as an extra precaution to protect the water supply.  The Mayor asked the EPA what the city could do to make sure the water is safe because of the recent allegations.  The EPA replied that Martins Ferry is going above and beyond what is required by law.  The results of the soil tests conducted by the Concerned Ohio River Residents should be dealt with by Austin Masters and 4K Industrial.  Mr. Suto, Water Superintendent, said that every test administered, since 2002, has registered non-detected.  Every 3 months, water samples are collected and sent to the Ohio EPA for testing.  Residents can request paper copies of the recent water test results and this information will also be available on the city’s website.  Mr. Suto said if anyone has questions about Martins Ferry’s water, please call the Ohio EPA and they can answer any concerns.

Because of the age of the City Building, it may difficult to make it handicap accessible.  If someone is physically unable to attend the Council Meeting because of the stairs, the Mayor recommended moving the meetings to the Dining Room or the Gym of the Recreation Center. 

The Martins Ferry Cheerleaders have asked to use the City Park on June 24 for a Pep Rally. 

Workers have been busy in the Cemetery cleaning up trees that were knocked down during a recent storm.  A Sewer Line has been replaced on Broadway Street. 

The Mayor discussed different Paving Projects.  He thinks 5th Street and 9th Street could be completed for $600,000.  The 5th Street project could probably be done at the same time the city installs a new water and sewer line on that roadway.  Mr. Sutak is gathering paving estimates, loan rates/terms and payback methods for these paving projects. 

Changes to the AFSCME contract were distributed to Council Members.  The current contract expires at the end of April. 

The Youth Room at the Recreation Center was painted this week and a ping pong table will be set-up on Thursday.  A Pool Table will also be arriving soon. Wrestling mats still need to be installed in the former Racquet Ball Court.  The Lions Club has expressed interest is sponsoring a Splash Park.  Applications are now being accepted for lifeguards and a Director. 

The Mayor spoke to the Contractor who hired the Company responsible for the inferior paving job on South Zane Highway.  Currently, the Gas Company is installing a new pipeline on the same road.  The Contractor will contract the paving company hired by the Gas Company and hopefully the South Zane Highway Section can be re-done at the same time. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak mentioned that people are very pleased with the State-of-Art Cardio-Room at the Recreation Center.  Future Basketball Tournaments may also be planned at the Center.  Mr. Burns thanked the Mayor and Mr. Sutak for all their hard work in getting the Recreation Center renovated. 

Safety Director:  Director Regis announced that Signs will be placed on Madison Street, between Indiana Street and South Zane Highway, stating that parking will only be permitted on the south side of the street, except on Street Sweeper Days.  This action is needed to alleviate the traffic congestion when parking is on both sides of Madison Street. 

Director Regis gave an update on the remodeling of the EMS Building.  He thanked the employees for their efforts to make the building more “homey”. 

            Auditor:  Mr. Regis reported that Auditor Randall was working on Amended Certifications and new accompanying appropriations.  She has not received a copy of the AFSCME contract. 

            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. Regis reported that a combined Finance and Street Committee Meeting was held on Monday, March 28, 2022.  The Committees discussed how to fund the proposed paving projects.  Grant funding will be explored.  The Mayor and Mr. Sutak will bring a proposal back to the committees and then to Council for approval.  Mr. Regis praised everyone involved in getting the new AFSCME contract together and he recommends Council approve the contract.  Mr. Regis would like to see the city hire a private grant writer to secure funding to build a new city building or fix the structure we have now.  Minutes of this meeting were received and will be filed with these Council Minutes. 

Street:  Mr. Rodgers added to Mr. Regis’s report that the Street Committee is recommending concentrating on the repaving of 5th and 9th Streets.  The committee further recommends removing the railroad ties and installing new water lines on 5th Street.  Fifth Street then should be repaired with concrete and asphalt.  Possible funding sources include:  county permissive money, license plate money, city permissive funds, possible EPA funding and a loan.  Minutes of this meeting were received and will be filed with these Council Minutes. 

Ordinance:  Mr. Shrodes scheduled an Ordinance Meeting for Monday, April 18, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers. 

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  A Service Committee Meeting was held on Monday, April 4, 2022.  Discussion centered on garbage and run-down properties.  Residents need to have their trash bagged in a can with a sealed lid.  Mr. Shrodes proposed placing a notice on the Utility Bills reminding citizens of the Sanitation Ordinance regarding garbage collection protocols.  The Committee proposed hiring a part-time employee to help clean-up homeowner’s properties.  Charges for this service would be placed on the resident’s utility bill.  Complaints have been received that vehicles are parking too close to the corner curbs and it is making it difficult for trucks to make turns.  The Mayor said as soon as the weather is warmer, he will have crews out painting the curbs. 

            Cemetery:  Mr. Burns has scheduled a meeting with Mr. Sutak on Friday, April 8, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. in Chambers to discuss possibly raising the price of cemetery lots and opening/closing of graves.  He is contacting other cemeteries for their prices and will have this information for the meeting. 

Public Relations:  Mr. Rodgers said the Strawberry Festival has been set for Saturday, June 4.  On May 3, 2022, representatives from Heritage Ohio and Main Street America will be present to evaluate 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, commented that East Ohio Regional Hospital must be doing well since they just announced that they are opening a satellite office in St. Clairsville, Ohio.  He inquired if any specific plans have been set for the former Staffilino Building.  Mayor Davies said plans are being developed for the property and there may soon be an announcement.  When asked about new businesses potentially coming to the city, the Mayor replied that developers are renovating properties to attract new enterprises.  The city welcomed ten new businesses last year.  Mr. Hord asked the city to recognize Rev. William Webster for his 35 years of dedication to Grace Presbyterian Church, the City, and the County.  Rev. Webster will be retiring at the end of the month. 

Jeremy Shrodes, 1305 North 7th. Street, AFSCME President, thanked Mayor Davies for the negotiations on the proposed new AFSCME contract.  Mr. Shrodes feels the contract is very fair and beneficial for the city employees. 

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. Regis suggested scheduling an Auction to sell equipment, electronics, vehicles, and anything else the City no longer uses. 

Motion was made by Mr. Regis to allow the Martins Ferry Cheerleaders to use the City Park for a Pep Rally on Friday, June 24, 2022.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried. 

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

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

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

____________________________________
Date



Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of March 16, 2022

Posted on: April 8, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Donald Myers Council Chambers.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Kristine Davis with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those present 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, Jim Schramm and Jack Regis, Council at Large Members.                

            Minutes:  Minutes of the February 16, 2022 Council Meeting were approved as written.  

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  The Martins Ferry Civics would like permission to close Zane Highway to 4th Street and 5th Street to Hickory Street in order to have a Car Show on April 30, 2022 (Opening Day of Baseball). 

Most of the potholes in town have been patched. 

A large waterline has been replaced on Old Cadiz Pike.  Another smaller waterline will be replaced near the old City Garage toward the Yacht Club. 

A garage at 100 North 5th Street is collapsing and falling into the alley causing an extreme hazard.  The current resident cannot get a deed for the property since he bought it on land contract and the owner is now deceased.  The current resident is financially unable to have the structure torn down.  If the city has to take the structure down, the debri disposal will be the biggest expense since it has to be hauled to the landfill.  A lien could be placed on the property but there is already a lien of $12,000 against it for back taxes. 

The Recreation Center is 90% complete.  The Weight Room and Cardio Room will be ready by April 1, when memberships will start.  Two gentlemen have agreed to teach wrestling as soon as the mats are laid in the Racquetball Court.  The Mayor would like to open up a room in the Center where kids can have a safe place to hang out. 

Part-time workers will begin working in the Cemetery at the end of March or early April.  Material has been secured to rebuild some of the cemetery walls.  Rebuilding and replacing the cemetery walls will be an ongoing project.  An Eagle Scout has offered to rebuild a small wall near the storage shed for his service project. 

The Sewer Department will begin work on 12 critically deteriorating Catch Basins.  A few Catch Basins will need to be added to be in compliance with the EPA.  Capital Improvement Money and American Rescue Money will be used to fund this project. 

Mayor Davies said it will cost about $30,000 to build an Impound Lot on the former Rose Café property.  The gravel lot will measure about 100’ x 100’ with a 6’ fence with barb wire on top.  The Mayor would like to get a loan from the Permanent Improvement Fund to finance this project.  

The Mayor proposed borrowing 1.2 million dollars to pave many of the city’s roadways now because material costs will only continue to rise in the future.  The 15 year repayment plan of this loan will mainly come from the income tax money and county money.  Grant funding will also be searched for to fund this project.  The Mayor shared the suggested areas for paving. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak explained the 15 year payback plan for the proposed 1.2 million dollar road paving job suggested by the Mayor.  Funding would come from the yearly 4% of city income tax designated for paving, County Permissive Money, and Street Department Funds.  Mr. Sutak asked Council to consider this proposal.

Martins Ferry was not selected for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Grant that would have enabled the city to enhance the City Park.  Many applications were received which caused considerable competition.  Mr. Sutak will contact ODNR for suggestions on how to improve our application and then re-apply next year. 

Safety Director:  No report. 

            Auditor:  No report. 

            Law Director:  No report. 

            Police Department:  Chief McFarland reported that 2 full-time positions are open at the department and in April an officer will be retiring.  Two new officers will be starting at the end of March and one will start in April. 

            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 Committee met on March 8, 2022 to discuss budget appropriations.  Adjustments may have to be made due to the Police and AFSCME contracts still being negotiated and the uncertainty of rising fuel costs.   Issues with the Street Lights, Parking Meters, and State Route 647 were also discussed.  Mr. Regis asked Council to consider passing a motion to repay a $3,500 note and an $800 note from Sanitation to the Permanent Improvement Fund.  Minutes of this meeting will be filed with these Council minutes.

Street:  Mr. Rodgers scheduled a joint Street Committee and Finance Committee Meeting on Monday, March 28, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. in Council Chambers to discuss the proposed 1.2 million dollar street paving project. 

Ordinance:  Mr. Shrodes said that the Committee is recommending changes to the Ordinance regarding Notification of Public Business.  Mr. Stecker is working on re-wording this Ordinance. 

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  Mr. Shrodes scheduled a Service Committee Meeting for Monday, April 4, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers to discuss dilapidated houses and trash violations.

            Cemetery:  Mr. Burns has spoken to several Funeral Directors and Cemetery Staff about cremations and the need for a Columbarium.   He gave a report on the construction, need, and cost of a Columbarium for Riverview Cemetery.   Estimated cost to build the building is between $44,000 and $50,000.  

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.  

Michael Bianconi, Pease Township Trustee and a member of the JB Green Team, Belmont County, thanked the Mayor and Council for their efforts in getting East Ohio Regional Hospital re-opened.  Mr. Bianconi distributed the 2022 Community Clean-Up Schedule and explained what items are accepted.  There will also be a date for Tire Collection.  Mr. Sutak offered to host a Tire Collection Day for the JB Green Team later in the year so it could be more accessible for citizens on this side of the County to dispose of tires. 

Richard Hord, 915 Virginia Street, heard that the Port Authority was working with Dr. Johnson of East Ohio Regional Hospital on a future project.  The Mayor did not know anything about this issue.  Mr. Hord was told there are no plans to hire a Director of Development since the city works closely with Bel-O-Mar, an organization that plans community and economic development in Belmont, Ohio and Marshall Counties.  When asked about the former Staffilino Property, the Mayor said he and Mr. Sutak met with the owner who would like to meet with other business owners in the area regarding possible ideas for the property.  Regarding the re-paving of South Zane Highway, Mr. Hord was told that the Administration was still working on it.  Mr. Hord asked if the city could honor Don Falbo who will be celebrating 70 years as a barber and also Ohio Valley Printing, owned by Phil Wallace, which has been in business for 100 years.  The Mayor said he has 5 citizens nominated for proclamations of appreciation. 

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, 2022, and Declaring An Emergency.    

             This Ordinance was given a first reading.  Motion was made by Mr. Regis to suspend the rules.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.   A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.  Motion was made by Mr. Shrodes to pass the Ordinance as read.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns, Schramm, Regis and Hunker 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. Regis made a motion to appropriate $10,000 from the General Fund for the demolition of a garage at 100 North 5th Street, considered to be an imminent danger, with the stipulation that if the cost is over $10,000, the Administration will revisit the issue with Council regarding the additional payment.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.

Mr. Regis made a motion that Council repay two notes from Sanitation, one for $3,500 and one for $800, to the Permanent Improvement Fund.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Rodgers.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.

Mr. Schramm made a motion to appropriate $30,000 from the Permanent Improvement Fund for the cost of an impound lot, with re-payment made from the proceeds.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Regis.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers and Burns voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Regis made a motion to allow the Civics to close Zane Highway to 4th Street and 5th Street to Hickory Street in order to have a Car Show on April 30, 2022 (Opening Day of Baseball).  Motion was seconded by Mr. Rodgers.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.

Mr. Regis made a motion to reflect Council has received reports from the Officers and Management, and to incorporate these reports into the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.   After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

             When the Water Department replaces the water line near the Martins Ferry Yacht Club, Mr. Rodgers asked Mr. Sutak to check on the water meter and usage at the Club. 

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

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

____________________________________
Date


Now Hiring Lifeguards

Posted on: March 30, 2022

The Martins Ferry Park District is now hiring lifeguards for the Martins Ferry Pool for 2022. Applications can be picked up at the City Building. All applicants must have their certifications. Certifications are listed below:

  • American Aquatics & Safety Training Certification
  • Must be at least 15 yrs old
  • Must know First Aid & CPR
  • https://www.lifeguardtraininghq.com/lifeguard-requirements-in-ohio/Martins-Ferry

Spring City Wide Clean Up Day

Posted on: March 23, 2022

Spring Clean up day will be held Saturday, April 23rd from 8-12 at the old city garage at 1st and Center Street. Residents of Martins Ferry only and ID’s or Water Bills must be shown. Box Springs and Mattresses will be $10 extra. No tires, paint, chemicals, etc will be accepted.


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of February 16, 2022

Posted on: March 21, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Donald Myers Council Chambers.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Kristine Davis with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those present 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, Jim Schramm and Jack Regis, Council at Large Members.    Bruce Shrodes, Second Ward Council Member, informed President Davis he was unable to attend the meeting.       

            Minutes:  Minutes of the February 16, 2022 Council Meeting were approved as written after it was noted that the First Christian Church would hold a Car Show on May 21 and the rain date would be May 22. 

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  Mayor Davies informed President Davis that he was unable to attend this meeting. 

Service Director:  Because of the snow and ice during the last few weeks, Mr. Sutak said city employees were working hard to keep the roads clear.  He was asked about the “dust and dirt” that was left on the ground after the roads were salted.  This is due to grit being mixed with road salt to provide more traction. 

With a few warmer days last week, crews were able to do some pothole repairs.  When the weather breaks, pothole patching will resume.  Paving projects are also being planned. 

Both batting cages have been erected at the Recreation Center.  The Senior and Junior High Baseball Teams are interested in scheduling practice times next week. 

Mr. Rodgers thanked the city employees for clearing off the snow in front of St. Mary’s Catholic Church so several funeral services could be held.  He also asked Mr. Sutak to remove 8-10 full garbage cans that have been outside of a Garage Apartment behind the Church for over 6 weeks.  Mr. Sutak was also informed of potholes needing repaired in the alley behind the Church.  The faucet in the Men’s Restroom in the City Building needs fixed. 

Mrs. Armstrong asked about broken parking meters and was told that the city is waiting for new meter heads and parts.  She also informed Mr. Sutak that Unified Bank is interested in renting 4 street parking spaces on Hickory Street.  

Mr. Sutak said applications are being accepted for seasonal help for the Cemetery. 

Safety Director:  No report. 

            Auditor:  No report. 

            Law Director:  Mr. Rodgers asked for clarification on the ownership of sidewalks in town.  Mr. Stecker said the property owner owns the sidewalk and the city has the right-a-way over all or portions of the sidewalk depending on the area.  The property owner is responsible for maintaining and repairing the sidewalk. 

            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:  Mr. Rodgers will schedule a Street Committee Meeting in March to discuss street re-paving projects and then bring the committee’s recommendations to Council for approval. 

Ordinance:  No report.

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  Mr. Regis would like to schedule a meeting to discuss the maintenance and upkeep of rental property in the city. 

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report.

            Cemetery:  Mr. Burns is looking into the cost of building a Columbarium (a building containing many small niches for urns) in the Riverview Cemetery.  He also agrees with Mayor Davies to use the cut stone, saved from the recent demolition of a Center Street house, to rebuild the wall in the cemetery.  Future plans include finishing repairs to the cemetery’s maintenance building.  A Cemetery Committee Meeting will be scheduled soon. 

Public Relations:  Mrs. Armstrong reported the Chamber of Commerce is making plans for the Academic Awards Banquet.  She also mentioned that she attended the dedication of the Pat Kramer Reading Room at the Martins Ferry Library.  It was a very nice program and dedication to Mrs. Kramer.

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 concerned that the Northern Division Court was now located in the former Health Plan Building (in St. Clairsville, Ohio) instead of Martins Ferry.  President Davis said that this decision was controlled by the Belmont County Commissioners and the city did not have any say in the matter.  Mr. Hord asked if the concerns regarding the Austin Masters Property have been resolved.  President Davis said that as the Mayor reported at the last Council meeting, there are no active violations by ODNR or the EPA and the city is regularly testing the water supply.  Another test well is being considered.  Mr. Hord complimented Council on the Town Hall Meeting held on February 6 at the Recreation Center.  He was disappointed that more citizens didn’t attend and he hoped more of these meetings will be held in the future. 

Tom Burns, Council-at-Large Member, thanked Council for their understanding, during the last four years, as he served as caretaker for his Aunt, Martha Snezek.  She recently passed away after battling cancer.  He gave a brief history of his Aunt’s life and work history. 

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. Regis made a motion to reflect Council has received reports from the Officers and Management, and to incorporate these reports into the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Burns.   After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Although Mr. Regis knows that snow being cleared from the roadways has to be put somewhere, he was concerned that when sidewalks are blocked with piles of snow, citizens have to step into the street to get around these obstacles.  He witnessed a child almost being hit by a car because she had to walk in the street to avoid a large pile of snow blocking the sidewalk near the Daily Bread Center.  If the snow pile is still there, Mr. Sutak will have it removed and try to monitor this type of situation in the future. 

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

Mr. Rodgers and President Davis asked Council to consider replacing the current amplification and recording system in Council Chambers.  When the State Auditors want to hear part of a meeting, there is not always a clear recording of the meeting.  Mr. Sutak said he would discuss this with the Mayor. 

Mr. Regis made a motion to cancel the March 2 Council Meeting (in Observance of Ash Wednesday).  A Special Meeting can be called if necessary.   Motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Armstrong, Rodgers, Burns and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.   The next regularly scheduled Council Meeting will be Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

            Mrs. Armstrong made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Hunker seconded the motion.  After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed and the meeting adjourned with a saluted to the flag.  

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

____________________________________
Date


Martins Ferry Rec Center Memberships now available

Posted on: March 16, 2022

Starting April 1, 2022, citizens will be able to go to the Martins Ferry Rec Center to use their gym equipment. Memberships can be purchased starting now but are not to be used until April 1, 2022. The gym memberships will be month long memberships and can be purchased for more than one month at a time. You can stop in the City Building and speak to Betty Suto in the Mayor’s Office to purchase yours. Cash, Check and Money order will be accepted.

Rates are listed below:

$20 per adult

$10 per student under the age of 17

$50 per family of 4


Martins Ferry City Council Meeting Minutes of February 2, 2022

Posted on: February 17, 2022

The Martins Ferry City Council met in Regular Session on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., at the Donald Myers Council Chambers.  The meeting was called to order by Council President Kristine Davis with the Pledge of Allegiance recited by those present 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; James Schramm and Jack Regis, Council at Large Members.  Tom Burns, Council at Large Member, informed President Davis that he was unable to attend this meeting. 

Minutes:  Minutes of the January 19, 2022 Council Meetings were approved as written.   

Correspondence:  There was no correspondence. 

Reports of Officers of the City:

Mayor:  The Mayor asked for an Executive Session toward the end of the meeting to talk about contract negotiations. 

Recreation Center:  The weights have been moved into the Weight Room.  A former Sewing Room will be turned into a Cardio Weight Room.  An estimate of $17,000 has been received to install cameras in and around the Recreation Center.  These cameras will be monitored by the Police 24/7.  If someone rents the Center, they will be given a “punch code” that can only be activated for the allotted rental time.  The goal is to make enough revenue to pay the Center’s yearly utility bills which run $32,000-$36,000.  Last month the center generated $2,700 in income.  Income generating activities at the Center include:  2 batting cages, basketball tournaments, batting practices, basketball practice and soon the weight room will be open.  Future activities include wrestling lessons and golf simulator.  Currently, the city is looking for a Director for the Center.  Betty Suto in the Mayor’s Office is taking payments and writing a receipt for rentals.  The payments are taken to the Utility Office and are posted to the Recreation account. 

To keep the city moving forward, revenue has to be generated.  The deed to the former Rose Café has been received and needs to be recorded at the Court House.   The Mayor would like to use this property as an Impound Lot.   Approximate cost to renovate the site is $30,000 which includes fencing, cameras and gravel.  A lot of the work can be done by city employees.  The Mayor asked Council for a $30,000 loan to complete this project.  Monies generated by this project can be used to pay back the loan. 

The Mayor thanked Mr. Richard Hord for his help in getting Senior Services to sign an agreement with East Ohio Regional Hospital and Trinity Health Systems.  There are now 3 hospitals serving Belmont County Senior Services. 

With the impending snow and ice coming tomorrow, the Mayor said that 6-7 trucks are ready to plow and salt the roads.  He asked that the citizens give the trucks room on the streets to work. 

4K Industrial Park Property – The Mayor called ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).  Both of these agencies have Zero violations against the 4K Industrial Park Property.  The city’s water supply has been tested for Radium and Chromium and the results are “not detected”.  The Mayor wants the citizens to know that the water is safe and we are taking steps to keep it that way.  The southern-most expansion well is being converted into a test well. 

Meter Reading – Some citizens have had an “estimated” water usage reading for 5-6 years.  These people have recently called in their first reading to the Utility Office and the bill was $300-$400.  It is not known how much of this is an overage charge since the meter hasn’t been read for a long time.  The Mayor asked Council to create a Resolution that would allow the city to charge residents currently with a large water bill, this one time only, the minimum amount, and henceforth require these customer to submit a reading every month to the Utility Office.  The Mayor is afraid if this action isn’t taken, these people will stop sending in their readings.  Also, people may use excessive amounts of water but call in a low reading.  To monitor this, a water department employee will be sent once every three months, to every house with a dead meter, to personally read the water meter.  Another Resolution will be needed to place a surcharge on those customers who refuse to submit a meter reading.  If a customer cannot read their meter, an employee will be sent to their home to read it for them. 

Service Director:  Mr. Sutak met with OMEGA (Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association) to discuss different types of grants and funding.   Funding is aggressively being pursued for water, sewer, and recreation projects.  A Historic Restoration Grant is being sought to restore the fountain in the Park.  Mr. Sutak said grant searching is very competitive and every city is looking for funding. 

Mr. Regis asked if a grant could be secured to make the city building, specifically Council Chambers, handicap assessable.  Many people have expressed their desire to attend Council Meetings but are hindered by the stairs to the second floor.  Mr. Sutak said he has been looking into this type of grant.   Mr. Shrodes said the Service Committee has also discussed this matter. 

Mr. Schramm asked Mr. Sutak to look at a broken plastic pipe on the alley side of Economy Auto Sales.  An orange cone has been placed on top of the hole so people will not step in the hole and fall.  

A Town Hall Meeting will be held on Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. at the Recreation Center.  The Mayor wants to talk about what has been done in the last two years and what the city wants to do in the next 2 years.  Special Interest Groups will not be permitted to speak at this meeting.  

Mr. Shrodes asked Mr. Sutak to explore grants to fund generators for the City Building, especially for the Police Station and the Auditors Office. 

Mr. Rodgers asked about the guidelines for the American Rescue Act money.  Mr. Sutak said the money can be used for water, sewer and broadband upgrades.  The city will use this money to separate storm and sewer lines, replace water lines, and install catch basins for water run-off. 

Mr. Regis praised the Water Department Employees who fixed the water break in Floral Valley.

            Auditor:  Financial Reports for January were distributed to Council.  Auditor Randall suggested taking the $17,000 for the cameras at the Recreation Center from the Permanent Improvement Fund.   

Safety Director:  Director Regis asked Council’s permission to sell a Chevy Cruze used for transporting patients.  This vehicle has a bad transmission and several thousand miles on it. 

After the next Council Meeting, Director Regis would like to meet with the Ordinance and Safety Committees to talk about Fire and EMS Training for members.  Because of worker shortages, many volunteer members “run” with other Fire and EMS Departments.   These members ask for additional training from Martins Ferry.  The agreement has been, if the member “runs” with other departments, then the training cost is split between all departments (i.e. if someone runs for Martins Ferry as well as 4 other departments, then Martins Ferry will pay 20% of training costs and the member has to get the rest of the cost from the other department they run with or pay the rest out of their own pocket.)  Currently, Director Regis feels the department’s bylaws need to be clearer on this issue.  He asks Council to create an Ordinance that says if a member of Martins Ferry Fire/EMS Department belongs to others Fire/EMS Departments, Martins Ferry will only pay a portion of the training relative to the number of departments the member serves.  Director Regis also asks that the Ordinance contains ways to recoup the costs of training if a volunteer doesn’t take the training seriously or drops out.  He would also like the Volunteers, after having extensive training, to be held to a five year commitment to the city. 

An Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant has been submitted for $500,000 to cover new air packs, new hydrant connections, turn-out gear and an automatic hose roller. 

Improvements to the EMS Building include: patching drywall, painting, and new flooring.  New furniture will also be purchased. 

Billing is now being done every 3rd day which results in quicker payments to the department. 

            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:  Auditor Randall informed Mr. Regis that a meeting will be needed soon to talk about contract negotiations with the Police Department. 

Street: No report.

Ordinance:  Mr. Shrodes asked Council Members to review Ordinance 107.05 Notification of Discussion of Specific Types of Public Business for any changes that may be needed.  This Ordinance permits a person to request to be notified of all meetings at which any specific type of public business is scheduled to be discussed.  Mr. Shrodes would like to update this Ordinance regarding notification methods.  

            Sewer/Sidewalk:  No report.

Code Administration:  No report.

            Safety: No report.

            Service:  No report. 

            Cemetery:  Mr. Burns notified President Davis that he would be scheduling a Cemetery Meeting at the next Council Meeting. 

Public Relations:  Mr. Rodgers said the Committee met on January 25 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the agreement between Belmont County Senior Services and Wheeling Hospital.  Mr. Rodgers spoke to Lisa Kazmirski, Director of Senior Services and she informed him that an agreement would be forthcoming.  It was reported today that an agreement had been reached with East Ohio Regional Hospital and Trinity Health Systems. 

Real Estate:  No report. 

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, reiterated that he was at the Commissioners Meeting earlier in the day and the Commissioners announced they reached agreements with East Ohio Regional Hospital and Trinity Health Systems to provide services to Belmont County Senior Centers.  East Ohio Regional Hospital has also partnered with Belmont College to provide training and services to meet the needs of health care providers.  Mr. Hord was told that asbestos needs to be removed from the former Curley residence before it can be demolished.  He also complimented the city workers on the fine job they did removing the snow from the roads during a recent snow storm. 

Ordinances and Resolutions:  

Mr. Hunker made a motion to suspend the 72-Hour Rule.  Mr. Regis seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Schramm, and Regis voting yes.  The motion carried. 

An Ordinance Creating A Charge For Water Capital Projects and Removing The Water Debt Charge That Has Been Paid Off Beginning February 1, 2022.

This Ordinance was given a First Reading.  Motion was made by Mr. Rodgers to suspend the rules.  Mr. Shrodes seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Rodgers, Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes and Armstrong voting yes.  The motion carried.   Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to pass the Ordinance as read.  Mr. Regis seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, and Rodgers voting yes.  The motion carried and the Ordinance was declared passed. 

Mr. Hunker made a motion to suspend the 72-Hour Rule.  Mr. Shrodes seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Schramm, and Regis voting yes.  The motion carried. 

                An Ordinance specifying Utility Rates for the City of Martins Ferry in effect as of February 1, 2022.
This Ordinance was given a First Reading.  Mr. Regis made a motion to suspend the rules.  Mr. Hunker seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried.  Motion was made by Mr. Schramm to pass the Ordinance as read.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Shrodes.   A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, and Rodgers 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. Schramm made a motion to allow the First Christian Church to close Zane Highway from Jefferson Street to Monroe Street in order to have a Car Show on May 21, 2022 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  A Fire Lane must be maintained.  The rain date is May 22.   Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.   A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, and Rodgers voting yes.  The motion carried.

Mr. Regis made a motion to reflect Council has received reports from the Officers and Management, and to incorporate these reports into the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Hunker.   After an affirmative voice vote, the motion passed.  

Mr. Regis made a motion to appropriate $17,000 for cameras, in and around the Recreation Center, from the Permanent Improvement Fund.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried. 

The Mayor asked Mr. Kelly to take off the bottom of one of the dead meters to inspect what kind of batteries were being used.  It was found to use two double-A batteries that are soldered in place.  Batteries have been ordered and city employees are going to try and fix the broken meters.  The batteries will arrive next week and an effort will be made to fix the broken meters.  Some new meters will still have to be purchased but the Mayor is hopeful that some of the broken meters can be fixed. 

Mr. Schramm made a motion to allow the Safety Director to accept bids for the sale of the Chevy Cruze by the EMS.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Rodgers.  A roll call vote was heard with Schramm, Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, and Rodgers voting yes.  The motion carried.

Mr. Hunker made a motion to allow a one-time charge of the minimum bill, to correct bills with high overages from estimated bills now being called in.  Motion was seconded by Mr. Regis.  A roll call vote was heard with Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Schramm, and Regis voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Regis made a motion to allow the Administration to charge a surcharge to residents who refuse to call in their meter readings or make arrangements for their meter readings.  Motion was seconded by Schramm.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Shrodes made a motion to go into Executive Session under Ohio Revised Code 121-22, G4. for Contract Negotiations.  Mr. Regis seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, Schramm, Regis and Hunker voting yes.  The motion carried.  

Motion was made by Mr. Regis and seconded by Mr. Hunker to go out of Executive Session.     A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried. 

Mr. Regis made a motion for Council to give a vote of support to the Mayor to use Eastman and Smith, LTD, Attorneys at Law, with the retainer of $5,000 being funded by Enterprise Funds.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion carried. 

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

Mr. Regis made a motion that Council approve the negotiated one-year police contract.  Mrs. Armstrong seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was heard with Regis, Hunker, Shrodes, Armstrong, Rodgers, and Schramm voting yes.  The motion was declared passed. 

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

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

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