PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth City Council will reconvene for the first time this month on Monday, a meeting with 11 items on its agenda and multiple appropriations at stake.
Starting with third reading, the council will review two pieces of legislation focused on renewable energy and a possible lease agreement for a museum.
The former would allow the voters of Portsmouth a say in whether or not the city should adopt a Wholesale Electricity Purchase/Renewable Energy Program. As City Manager Sam Sutherland said in a letter, Athens and Chillicothe have enacted similar systems and the council would still need to draft legislation depending on the vote.
The Scioto County Heritage Museum would be located at 733 5th St., the former home of the Marting’s building. Behind the project is a local attorney and author John McHenry who provided a tour of the early interior work to the Portsmouth Daily Times.
As for second reading, the council will consider the acceptance of two grants from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Office of Criminal Justice Services and potentially amending the Discrimination Prohibited ordinance.
The grants, coming from the Justice Assistance Grant program, would help the Portsmouth Police Department purchase equipment and for the use of the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force. The city received state grants totaling just north of $32,000 but would be required to match funds by providing an additional $5,333 for the SODTF and $5,346 for PPD.
The bulk of remaining appropriations come to first reading, funds that are set to be used on varying land and road improvement projects and other city works.
Council will review the appropriation of $13,000.00 from the Capital Improvement Fund to pay for concrete to improve the area under the Grant Bridge. 1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne said previously that he wants to create another public space for residents and Shawnee State University students.
“I think it would be a great conversion of space,” he said during a March 8 session. “When it’s the summer and it’s hot, if you’re cycling on Front Street, it gives you a space to cool down.”
Further construction could becoming a few blocks north of the proposed space, where $143,200.00 would go towards Ohio Department of Transportation for the St. Rt. 23 and 73 paving projects. Council will also be reviewing ODOT’s resolution for resurfacing between the following city roads:
- U.S. 23 between 2nd Street and the Portsmouth northern corporation limit
- U.S. 23D between 15th Street and the 2nd Street/Chillicothe Street intersection
- S.R. 73 between the Portsmouth western corporation limit and Washington Street
According to the resolution, the city would bear the entirety of the $343,200 cost which goes to pavement repair, structure repair, and pavement markings.
Council will then consider the appropriation of $27,246.15 from the Sanitation Fund to replenish the inventory of garbage cans and lids and another $660,894 for the non-wages portion of the Operating Budget for Portsmouth Municipal Court.
Following the council session, set to start at 6 p.m., the Portsmouth City Managers will take place and again look over a potential raise for the Community Development Director and a vacant building tax proposal.
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.
The council continues to ask that all statements or remarks be sent via email to Portsmouth City Clerk Diana Ratliff at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to 2 p.m. on Monday. The timer will be set and there will be a five-minute time limit on each comment that is received.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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