5 items on Council’s first reading on Monday

By Patrick Keck - [email protected]

PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth City Council and City Managers will hold its first meeting this month Monday, Oct. 12, bringing mostly new legislation pieces to attention.

Only one ordinance is at third reading, which would create a city art commission. Headed up by 5th Ward Councilman Edwin Martell, the commission would consist of six members, representing Portsmouth’s six wards, and one councilperson.

The commission would be responsible for the maintenance and upgrades of the city’s floodwall stars, which Martell hopes will account for members of the LGBTQ, African American and Hispanic communities.

“When you talk about people who have done great things for our community, the list is tremendous, but we only see a select few people up on that wall,” said Martell. “I would like to see more of a diverse culture because let’s face it, there have been plenty of people who have done great things here who have been long forgotten about.”

Going to second reading are two ordinances, one which would authorize the appropriation of $160,000 from Wastewater Fund No. 621, and the other permitting City Manager Sam Sutherland to apply for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Land, and Water Conservation Fund grant to build a stage seating area at the riverfront.

Most of the legislation, five pieces, will be at first reading. To allow for more outdoor seating, the Scioto Ribber is requesting the vacation of Sinton Street from Gallia Street to the north border of Green Alley. Having support from Shawnee State University and the Ohio Bureau of workers’ compensation local office, the restaurant would build a covered patio.

Council will also consider the appropriation of $5,600 to replace the press box roof at Spartan Stadium, rezoning 1871 Bonser Ave. from its current zoning of Residence “B” District to “Agricultural,” authorizing Sutherland to renew the agreement between the city and Main Street Portsmouth, and establishing an Arts, Cultural and Innovation District.

The agreement between Main Street Portsmouth would cost $55,000 per year, running from 2021 through 2023. The district would be situated within Washington Street to the west, Seventh Street to the north, Waller Street to the east and Shawnee State University to the south.

The City Managers meeting will immediately follow the conclusion of Council’s session, beginning with a review of the city’s year ending expenditures adjustments. A labor contract between the Fraternal Order of Police Dispatchers Union, negotiated between 2020 and 2022, is being requested by Sutherland for the Council’s authorization.

The Buckeye Elite Basketball Tournament, held at Portsmouth High School, is seeking a $3,500 donation from the city to aid in operation costs for the event. $2,500 has already been appropriated, so Council would only need to appropriate an additional $1,000.

In order to prepare for a growing population, Sutherland is asking for Council’s permission to apply for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant in use for the Franklin Furnace Pumping Station Project.

The Council meetings remain closed to the public, but Portsmouth City Council continues to practice social distancing and abide by the Governor’s orders with a limit of 10 people in the meeting. The meeting will be live streamed on Facebook for the public.

Council asks that all statements or remarks be sent via email to Diana Ratliff, the Portsmouth City Clerk, at [email protected] before 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12. The timer will be set and there will be a 5-minute time limit on each comment received.

By Patrick Keck

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.