Belpre discusses aggregation calls

BELPRE – Belpre residents may have noticed several calls being made to their houses about electricity and gasoline services.

Officials at the Belpre City Council meeting Monday said city residents should tell those callers the city is aggregated and residents shouldn’t sign anything saying they want the electric/gas companies services if they intend on getting those services through the city.

Mayor Mike Lorentz said he has been advising area residents, especially the elderly, not to sign anything before knowing more about it.

“Three or four companies are blanketing the city and confusing everybody,” Lorentz said of the electric and gas companies. “Just tell people when they call (that the city) has aggregation throughout.”

In November 2011, Belpre voters passed the opt-out programs, which have the potential to save residents money if they choose to go with the city for gas and electric services. Residents were given the chance for the opt-out program for electric bills but have yet to receive one for natural gas.

Donna Miller, of Underwood Drive in Belpre, said she was all for the city becoming aggregated. She said at Monday night’s council meeting she came to clear up some things for her neighbor, who wanted the option to get out of the gas portion of the city’s aggregation program.

“I’m glad to have it,” she said. “But my neighbor wants out of the gas.”

In other business, council discussed projects within the city, including work on Drag Strip Road, portions of Blennerhassett Avenue and Depot Street. Lorentz said he met with the city public works committee Monday to discuss repairs to the various streets. Portions of all three streets will be closed to accommodate road work when it starts, which is yet to be determined, the mayor said.

Councilman Eric Sinnett will be appointed to the position of Belpre volunteer fire chief at the next council meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 23. There will be a committee meeting prior to that meeting at 6:30 p.m. to discuss clandestine drug labs.

The Belpre veterans building will host an open house from 5-7 p.m. today.

A gathering will be held Saturday at Civitan Park by 10 area churches, said councilwoman Debbie Marshall. The gathering is free and open to the public from noon-4 p.m., she said.