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Lorentz: Belpre Senior Center may reopen Feb. 1

BELPRE — The Belpre Senior Center could open for limited services beginning Feb. 1, Mayor Mike Lorentz told Belpre City Council at its regular meeting Monday evening.

Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the Belpre City Building has been closed since Nov. 18, with all business conducted by mail, phone and electronically. Monday’s meeting was held by Zoom.

Lorentz said the senior center will still have capacity restrictions due to COVID-19 guidelines and only some of the services will be available but he believes it will be a step in the right direction.

In council business Monday, council approved the final reading of a resolution approving an amendment to the city of Belpre personnel policy manual. The amendment places a cap on city employee expenses for meal reimbursement. The cap will be $10 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $20 for supper, with employees required to provide receipts for all expenses per trip.

Council also approved the second reading of an amendment establishing authorized manpower for calendar year 2021. The purpose of the amendment is to correct inaccurate information in the first manpower ordinance. One more reading will be held at a future council meeting.

In his mayor’s report, Lorentz told council about meeting with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department to discuss some changes in the city’s dispatch area, and mutual aid areas for its EMS crews are changing a little due to changes at Little Hocking.

With complaints coming in from the residents in the area of Barclay and Elm streets regarding trash and abandoned structures in the trailer park area at that location, Lorentz said he contacted the Ohio Department of Commerce to request an inspection. He hopes to have a recommendation for improvements in the future.

Lorentz said the Washington County Commission is working on a plan to correct issues with the county sewer line connecting the city and county systems. Instead of running a camera through the entire line, the county is contracting to install a Scada system to help find issues with flow. At some point, the city of Belpre may need to tweak its agreement with the county to allow time for installation, Lorentz said.

A planning and zoning meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8, prior to the next regular council meeting.

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