Council reviewing legislation for food delivery charges, renewable energy


By Patrick Keck - pkeck@aimmediamidwest.com



Portsmouth City Council, seen here in a Feb. 22 session, will reconvene on Monday starting at 6 p.m. Photo by Patrick Keck.

Portsmouth City Council, seen here in a Feb. 22 session, will reconvene on Monday starting at 6 p.m. Photo by Patrick Keck.


PORTSMOUTH — In its last session of winter, Portsmouth City Council will convene on Monday to review five items on its agenda at the Shawnee State University ballroom.

Beginning with second reading, the council will examine an ordinance that would limit commissions charged by third-party food delivery services on to local restaurants.

1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne and 6th Ward Councilman Dennis Packard have said previously that this action would help both restaurants in terms of profit and customers in terms of safety.

“We’re hearing this phrase, “we’re all in this together,” and I think this would help demonstrate that,” Dunne told the Portsmouth Daily Times in a February article. “We’re thankful for those services that can provide that delivery, but also we want to ensure that restaurants can survive through this.”

This ordinance is requested to be passed as an emergency and would set the maximum charge at 15%, where charges have been as high as 30% throughout the pandemic. Businesses have either raised their prices to offset the commission fee or taken a financial blow by maintaining prices in response.

Council’s remaining four items are in the first reading, beginning with a question that may appear on city residents’ ballots come election day in November.

If passed, the question of whether or not to adopt a wholesale electricity purchase/renewable energy program will be for the voter to decide. According to the documents sent to the Times, Chillicothe and Athens have already enacted similar programs.

After reaching a memorandum of understanding in May, the council may take further action regarding the Scioto County Heritage Museum. Council is reviewing an ordinance that would authorize City Manager Sam Sutherland to enter into a lease agreement with the 733 5th St. museum.

During that session, former Democratic county commissioner candidate John McHenry told the council that he saw the museum as celebration of all parts of Scioto and “serve as another boost to the Comeback City,” according to the May 11 council minutes.

In the final legislation pieces, grant acceptance and applications will be considered. Attempting to build a safer community for area children, council will review the acceptance and establishment of the new fund- Ohio Department of Youth Services Community Prevention Grant Fund- and authorizing appropriations as received. The city would act as fiduciary between OYS and the implementing agency and local charity “Time Out for Me.”

Sutherland may also be authorized to submit a Cooperative Boating Facility Grant application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Due at the start of April, the grant would cover 100% of the $800,000 in funding costs for the Court Street Landing Riverfront Improvements.

Part of the Master Plan’s goals of riverfront development, the project would include a new two-lane boat ramp, riverboat docking station, upgraded parking, and support the Power Boat Races and River Boat Tours.

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 starting at 6 p.m. for public viewing.

Council continues to ask that all statements or remarks be sent via email to Portsmouth City Clerk Diana Ratliff at: dratliff@portsmouthoh.org prior to 2 p.m. on Monday, March 8. The timer will be set and there will be a five-minute time limit on each comment that is received.

Portsmouth City Council, seen here in a Feb. 22 session, will reconvene on Monday starting at 6 p.m. Photo by Patrick Keck.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/03/web1_Council222.jpgPortsmouth City Council, seen here in a Feb. 22 session, will reconvene on Monday starting at 6 p.m. Photo by Patrick Keck.

By Patrick Keck – pkeck@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at pkeck@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at pkeck@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.