Council reviewing riverfront seating, CARES Act, and more

By Patrick Keck - [email protected]

PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth City Council and the City Managers will hold its regularly scheduled session on Monday, Oct. 26 starting at 6 p.m. at the Shawnee State University Ballroom.

Only one item will be brought to third reading, which if passed will authorize City Manager Sam Sutherland to apply for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to construct new stage seating at the riverfront. The estimated cost is around $300,000, with the city contributing 40% to the fund.

After removing the former stage seating area, Sutherland said this update will be at the same location but safer and easier to clean up after flooding occurs.

“We think this will be a nice asset,” said Sutherland during Council’s session on Oct. 12 in which all council people voted to pass its second reading.

Discussions regarding amending the city’s Zoning Map and a renewal of its agreement with Main Street Portsmouth will be in second reading. 1871 Bonser Ave. would have its zoning as Residence “B” District to “Agricultural” with the amendment if passed. The city’s partnership with Main Street Portsmouth would be extended through 2023, an annual cost of $55,000.

In first reading, council will receive legislation authorizing City Auditor Trent Williams to amend appropriations to reflect actual revenues and expenditures in order to balance and close the City’s books for the fiscal year of 2020.

The collective bargaining agreement between the city and Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council Dispatchers Unit and the appropriation of $1,000 to support the Buckeye Elite Basketball High School Tournament will also be reviewed.

The City Managers will convene immediately following council’s session and will review four items on the agenda and two others as discussion items.

Looking for emergency passing of the legislation, $724,408 would be appropriated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act if passed.

Used to cover payroll expenses for Health and Safety workers, the City Manager, and Community Development Director, the emergency request comes to the deadline of encumbrances being less than a month away.

Sutherland is seeking Council’s authorization to advertise and enter into bids for such 2021 projects as manhole rings and covers, asphaltic concrete, uniforms for Police and Fire Departments, chemicals for water filtration, and police radio maintenance.

He is also requesting $10,000 from Council for a comprehensive housing market analysis conducted by the Greater Ohio Policy Center, the remaining $30,000 coming through a partnership with the Scioto Foundation, Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority, and the Southern Ohio Medical Center.

At the request of 1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne, a partnership between the city and SSU regarding the creation of a Code Enforcement Spreadsheet and Data Visualization Report will be considered. The price of the project has yet to be determined.

“This is an item that Council has discussed previously and would be a very useful tool in eradicating Enforcement issues and give the City a more thorough evaluation of various areas of the City,” reads Sutherland’s letter addressed to Council.

Council meetings remain closed to the public, but 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] prior to 2:00 p.m. on Monday. The timer will be set and there will be a 5 minute time limit on each comment that is 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.