Council back to public attendance on Monday

By Patrick Keck -

PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth City Council will convene on Monday, taking a look at seven items on its agenda primarily in first reading.

For the first time in more than a year, the council and the City Managers session following its conclusion will be open to the public. Starting at 6 p.m. at the Shawnee State University Ballroom, all attendees are expected to wear masks and to practice social distancing.

Proclamations for the SSU men’s basketball team and the Community Action Organization of Scioto County will be read before giving a third and final reading of a lease agreement with the Scioto County Heritage Museum.

Located at 733 5th St., the home of the former Marting’s building, there are multiple considerations for the use of that space. During the April 12 City Managers session and later in a Friday interview, 5th Ward Councilman Edwin Martell mentioned the possibility of using the building in a different form.

“Other cities have utilized buildings that have been vacant for too long to their benefit,” he said on April 23, the building in the city’s possession. “They have allowed what’s called ‘pop-up businesses.’ These pop-up businesses can range from monthly to three to six months to whatever we want to make it.”

These pop-up businesses are among the seven discussion items in the managers’ agenda, revisiting such conversations surrounding the vacancy fine and city-administered liquor licenses.

As for 2nd reading, further consideration will go towards the appropriation of $13,000 to install concrete to improve the area under the Grant Bridge. 1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne previously envisioned using that space to avoid either the summer heat or rains, also as a social gathering area for SSU students.

“A lot of these things we’re doing, I don’t think any of us would claim is the one and only game changer of the downtown,” Dunne said in March 16 article. “What we’re instead trying to do is develop a variety of different activities and a variety of different spaces.”

The remaining five items will be for the first reading, two of those being granting an easement and right of way in the areas of Larry Hisle Park and the Portsmouth Wastewater Plant to the Ohio Power Company.

Council will also look into the Capital Improvement Program budget, where millions would go to waterworks and wastewater systems and another $1.8 million would spread be among city departments such as police, fire, and engineering.

By Patrick Keck

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3101 ext. 1931, by email at, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

© 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.