Belpre refinancing water tank note

BELPRE – The Belpre City Council voted unanimously Monday to suspend the rules of council requiring three readings of a bill in order to pass legislation in a single night regarding the refinancing of the note for the water tank account.

The water tank note, originally set on a balloon payment plan when it was created, ballooned on Jan. 10, said Leslie Pittenger, city auditor. The full remaining amount of $200,000 came due on Jan. 10, said Pittenger.

When presented with the options of payment in full or refinancing the remaining amount in a hurry, the council members decided unanimously on Monday to suspend the rules requiring a bill to be read three times by council before being passed.

The city council voted to refinance the amount of $200,000, which gives the city the remainder of the original term, until 2016, to pay off the financing for the water tank.

The cost of the tank was scheduled to be paid over the next three years through the city’s budget, not all at once, Pittenger said.

In other business, a long-term plan was introduced to the city council by Mayor Michael Lorentz to replace the concrete joints beneath the asphalt from Ohio 339 to the Belpre Bridge, and from the Belpre Bridge to the northern city limits of Main Street.

The proposed plan includes digging out the concrete joints, replacing them with rebar supports, and repaving the roads in question, Lorentz said. With this plan comes curb cut replacements throughout the routes, Lorentz said.

No timeline was proposed for the plan at the Monday evening meeting.

City council voted unanimously to add another police officer to the city budget. The hiring process will begin shortly.

Kristen Hoffman, project coordinator with the National Church Residence company, presented a proposal asking the city for support in requesting federal funding for a $7 million enhancement project for the Putnam Howe Village at 711 Belrock Ave.

The proposed project will retrofit many of the apartments in the complex, upgrading five of them to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and upgrading the kitchens on others, Hoffman said.

City council voted unanimously for the National Church Residence resolution, backing the project for federal funds.

Council passed resolutions on first readings for the Belpre Senior Center management to continue, for the safety service director to work out a contract with the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park for use of the landing area, and for the safety service director to work out a contract with the Washington Soil and Water Conservation District for the year.

The five CSX railroad crossings throughout the city are scheduled to be replaced beginning in June, Lorentz said.