The Portsmouth City Council announced its agenda and legislature for its meeting on Monday, August 8th at 6 p.m in its regular location at 728 2nd Street, Portsmouth, Ohio. The following items were listed on the agenda.
Second reading ordinances
An Ordinance authorizing the City Manager to enter into the Pilot Operating Agreement with Bird Rides, Inc.
First reading ordinances
Occupying a Condemned Structure of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Portsmouth – Ohio legislation that establishes a fee for citizens to reenter condemned properties.
Whereas, the City is experiencing issues that owners are obtaining permits to enter the properties with the intent to remedy the problems that caused the condemnation but said owners are issued permit after permit with little to no progress being made. It is the intent of this amendment that this fee ensure progress is being made when property owners are permitted enter the property to make corrections.
Any occupied structure condemned and placarded by the City of Portsmouth or State of Ohio shall be vacated as ordered by the condemnation official. Any person who is found to be on the property of a placarded premise, enters a placarded premise or any owner or other person responsible for the premises who allows entrance into a placarded premise without a permit issued by the condemning official shall be subject to the penalties.
The cost of the Condemned Structure Occupancy Permit shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and be valid for thirty days from the date of condemnation. Upon the expiration of the original, Condemned Structure Occupancy Permit an inspection shall be conducted by the condemning official to determine the progress of correcting the property maintenance issues resulting in the original, condemnation order. If significant progress has been made in correcting the property maintenance issues, the condemning official may issue one additional, thirty-day permit in order to complete the required corrections. Once the second, Condemned Structure Occupancy Permit is expired and corrections remain, the case shall be forwarded to the Nuisance Board for review.
“Disposable Plastic Bag Ban” – To combat the polluting effects of and accompanying blight caused by disposable bags on the environment of the City of Portsmouth. Discarded disposable hags arc a major source of litter, pollute our open spaces, harm, and kill wildlife, clog storm drains resulting in localized flooding, end up as debris in our neighborhoods and waterways. and contributes to blight. The pollution from disposable bags imposes external cleanup, removal, and processing costs on our community. Portsmouth City Council has a compelling public interest in discouraging the wasteful use of disposable bags and mitigating the negative impact disposable bags have on our environment.
Definition of Disposable Plastic Bag, per the ordinance, means a bag made from either non-composable plastic or composable plastic provided by a Retail Establishment to a customer at point of sole for the purpose of transporting purchased items. Disposable Plastic Bag does not include a bag the customer brought with them to the Retail Establishment; newspaper bag; bag provided by a pharmacist that contains a prescription drug; a bag used to package a bulk item or to contain or wrap a perishable item such as meat, fish. produce, baked goods, or flowers; a bag that a restaurant gives a customer to take prepared or leftover food or drink from the restaurant; a bag intended for use as a dry cleaning, garbage, or yard waste bag; pre-packaged bags used for the collection of pet waste; non-Permitted Paper Bags and Permitted Paper Bags, as defined in this Chapter; bags provided to the consumer for the purpose of transporting a partially consumed bottle of wine; a bag provided at curbside pickup or point of delivery.
A permitted bag meets the following two requirements the bag is manufactured from at least 40% recycled content and the bag is 100% recyclable. A reusable bag means a bag that is specifically intended for multiple reuse and is made of cloth, fiber, or other machine washable fabric that is at least 2.25 millimeters thick and capable of carrying a minimum of 18 pounds with at least 75 uses per bag.
Commencing on February 1, 2023 no Disposable Plastic Bags or Non-Permitted Paper Bags shall be used within the City of Portsmouth by any Retail Establishment. A Retail Establishment found to be in violation shall be subject to a written warning for the first violation, a civil fine of up to $100 for a second violation, and a civil fine of up to $500 for each subsequent violation. A separate violation shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation or noncompliance occurs or continues.
“Short-term Rental Operations” – It would require certain types of short-term rentals to apply to the City Planning Commission for a permit to operate and to also pay the Hotel/ Motel tax as other establishments are required to do. The purpose in enacting this new chapter is to require certain types of short term rentals to apply to the City Planning Commission for a permit to operate and to also pay the Hotel/ Motel tax as other establishments are required to do.
Accept Flood Defense Pump Station No. 6 repairs check– Acceptance of a check in the amount of $22,870.50 from Norfolk and Southern Railroad into Flood Defense Fund No. 265 and an additional $22,870.50 from Flood Defense Fund No. 265 to be paid from Flood Defense Cap.This is for repairs to the walk bridge at Flood Defense Pump Station No. 6. that happened in May 2021 when the walk bridge at Flood Defense Pump Station #6 was damaged by a large truck owned by Norfolk and Southern Railroad. Through negotiations a settlement has been reached; this equates to a total appropriation of $45,701.00 to have the repair made. An additional quote was obtained totaling over $80,000.
Establishment of Districts of the Codified Ordinances Amendment – To delete the $40.00 fee and state that the application fee shall be set by the City Manager or his designee to cover costs of mailing services and other expenses involved in a hearing before the Planning Commission.
New fund #230 OneOhio Opioid Settlement Fund – Acceptance of funding and establishment of new fund #230 OneOhio Opioid Settlement Fund, and authorizing appropriations as received. Council is seeking to hold accountable Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Participants. The State of Ohio reached an $808 million agreement with the three largest distributors of opioids and has developed the OneOhio plan, a mechanism to ensure that any money from a negotiated settlement is distributed fairly to the communities hit hardest by the opioid crisis. The settlement agreements allocate 30% to local governments, 55% to a foundation that will distribute funds to projects, and 15% to the Office of the Ohio Attorney General as Counsel for the State of Ohio.
Enactment of “Scooter Permits” – It will apply to any person engaged in the business of providing e-scooter rental or sharing services to the public within the city.
The council also announced a bench legislation was not done at this time as the city already has language regarding signage. Is is titled Miscellaneous Signs and states it is hereby prohibited the erection of any private, commercial, industrial and advertising signs on public property, within the City, excluding any church signs and hospital signs. Also prohibited is the placing of signs on utility poles.
A sign found to be in violation of the provisions of this chapter which is not removed within the time period provided elsewhere in this chapter shall be deemed a public nuisance. Should the nuisance not be abated within the period allowed by the Building Officer, the City Manager, or his agent, is authorized, at any time thereafter, to enter upon the premises to abate the nuisance by removal of the sign or by taking any other such action as may be required. No owner shall deny the City Manager or his agent the right of entry upon the premises for such purposes.
Portsmouth City Council members are Mayor Sean Dunne 1st Ward; Charlotte Gordon 2nd Ward; Andy Cole 3rd Ward; Lyvette Mosley 4th Ward; Joey Sandlin 5th Ward; Dennis Packard 6th Ward. The Portsmouth city clerk is Diana Ratliff, Portsmouth City Solicitor is John Haas, Portsmouth City Manager is Sam Sutherland and Portsmouth City Auditor is Trent Williams.
All citizens who wish to express themselves in Council Meetings shall do so with dignity, shall avoid personal references and shall adhere to the question on hand. Citizens that are speaking are requested to state their name and address for the record and there is a 5 minutes time limit.