BELPRE - Belpre City Council Monday discussed putting together a committee to discuss how the city can better handle a disaster like the June 29 storm.
"I think we should form a committee of council and city officials to discuss what we did well and what we could do better if and when this happens again," said 1st Ward Councilman Larry Martin. "I think it would help us improve the issues that came from that (storm).
"If we put our heads together about (it) we can get some good ideas going," he said.
Council president Will Neff agreed and said the city and community did a tremendous job pulling together all of its resources.
"If there's anything (good) to come out of this storm, then we need to work on it," he said.
City Law Director Tom Webster said the major issue he saw during the storm and the following four days the city went without electricity was communication.
"The communication issue is something we really need to work on," Webster said. "There was a lot of gossip running rampant and I think there was a lot of misinformation out there; we need to figure out a way to get correct information (to the public in the event of another disaster)."
It is not known who will be on the committee or when it will meet. That information will be decided soon and released within the next few days, city officials said.
In other business, council suspended the rules and passed the first two readings to adopt the annual tax budget for the calendar year 2013. The final reading will be held during a special meeting July 30 following the public hearing on the issue at 7 p.m.
City auditor Leslie Pittenger said the tax budget must be passed by council before the end of July, which is why the special meeting is needed.
Also, Belpre Police Chief Ernie Clevenger told council the police department has received 3,895 calls between Jan. 1 and June 30 this year.
The calls resulted in more than 200 arrests with 494 citations and more than 70 traffic accidents in that time.
That number is about on-par with last years, Clevenger said. During all of 2011 we fielded about 12,000 calls in total, so its actually down a little bit but in areas where the number of calls went up, other areas went down, so its all relative.
Pittenger added that warrants for delinquent city income tax resulted in more arrests than warrants from any other city department in those six months.