City of St. Clairsville
City of St. Clairsville

March 19th, 2018 Council Minutes


March 19, 2018

St. Clairsville City Council met in Council Chambers on Monday, March 19, 2018 with the following present:

Tim Porter, Council President

Perry Basile, Council 1st Ward Jim Zucal; Service Director

Mark Bukmir, Council 3rd Ward Cindi Henry, Finance Director

Linda Jordan, Council-At-Large Richard Myser, Law Director

Beth Oprisch, Council-At-Large Jeff Henry, Police Chief

Frank Sabatino, Council 2nd Ward Tom Murphy, Planning & Zoning Administrator

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large Don Smithberger, Superintendent of General Serv..

Jim Velas, Council 4th Ward

MINUTES: Minutes of the March 5, 2018 meeting were distributed to Council. A motion to accept the minutes of the March 5th meeting was made by Mike Smith and seconded by Linda Jordan.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile Yes Sabatino Yes

Bukmir Yes Smith Yes

Jordan Yes Velas Yes

Oprisch Yes

Roll Call Vote: Seven (7) Yes Zero (0) Abstain Motion Approved


David Bloomquist, St. Clairsville Jr. Sports

The City of St. Clairsville owns eight fields. Junior Sports runs them for three months out of the year. We have eight fields total, two on Market and six up in the Junior Sports Complex. Thirty years there was a legal contract drawn up. Per that contract half of all projects at the Complex the City was supposed to be a part of. I can say that 99% of the projects the City has had nothing to do with. All the grass and field maintenance is supposed to be done by the City. I do that and a lot of other volunteers do that. Dads do that. If you take a look at the expenditures you can see how much money we are spending. $19,710 on a backstop. That is the City’s backstop. That was money that we had raised selling tickets, killing ourselves as Dads & Moms running concession stands. We just basically bought the City a new backstop and that was the second one, the first one cost us 22,000. These backstops were put in over 30 years ago. They were busted, falling down they looked terrible. We had about $60,000 in our coffers, which was being saved up through raffles, selling tickets. We have been selling tickets for years to build bathrooms up there with the City’s help. That fell through for multiple reasons. We decided to start spending that money to make upgrades up there because the facilities after 30 years are in bad shape. I don’t think we should spend $40,000 on backstops with money raised with concessions and selling tickets. We should be using that money for the kids, for better uniforms and equipment but we can’t because we are spending it on things that in my mind a city should be spending money on.

If you get down to grass cutting, we have always cut the grass up there for whatever reason. That is something the City was supposed to do but back years ago the city dropped the ball, didn’t cut it how it needed to be cut so the dads got together and said we are just going to do it. Our mower broke. It is going to be $10,000 to $15,000 for a mower. We had to pay someone to mow these fields. That cost us almost $4,000. Mind you we are mowing your field. The City of St. Clairsville’s field. That is what we are doing with the money that we are making to run this organization. Provident Farm Supply, $279, $16,000 we spend on field upkeep. Liability Insurance $3,700, St. Clairsville Utilities $4,600 that is your electricity for your facility. My point is we are running and maintaining your facility. I have two kids that are going to be playing college baseball this year. They play at 1:00. I am not going to be able to be at the field doing all the things that need to be done up there. So where we are at right now is we have no mower to cut grass. We are down to $14,000. I know the city got oil and gas money for that 44 acres up there. We never saw a cent of it, we were never asked what you need. This organization has changed greatly, twenty years ago this was the only game in town. Every Dad in this city was involved in the upkeep and doing stuff. Now with travel baseball, now with more opportunities, now with less kids in the program. There are about eight guys taking care of things. I no longer have a kid in Junior Sports but it is important, I want kids to have a decent place to play. What I am saying here today is we need a little bit of help. I can’t imagine a city this size not putting a dollar into their own facility. They have started cutting the grass outside the fields that helps. The city for years has been supposed to apply for grants for us but nothing. We can’t spend the money for a mower right now. I will offer to use the city’s mower. I will help but I don’t think we should spend $10,000 to $15,000 to cut your grass. We need the city to cut the grass twice a week for three months out of the year. Can someone explain to me why we are getting billed for the electric to run your facility for your city? If we don’t get help this organization is going to fold. Mike Smith: At what point did it get to this? How long has this been going on? David Bloomquist: The backstops were put in thirty years ago, they were rusted it was $42,000 to replace two of them. There are other fields that need maintained. We are not asking for much. We are just asking for the grass cut three months out of the year inside and outside. The electric bill wiped out and have the city apply for some grants and that is it. Joe Jozwiak: Richard Myser will remember that is the reason we gave the property to the City so we could get the fields built and get some grant money or something. We do fund raisers and concession stands. Wee ae constantly working to raise money. You don’t want to handle what is going on up there. Beth Oprisch: The agreement can we get a copy? Jim Zucal: I will supply Council with a copy of the contract. I am familiar with the contract. Beth Oprisch: Is there something we could be doing? Jim Zucal: I disagree with David on some aspects. I would like to address the electricity, we have an electrical department with employees. I don’t want to get into a debate on the Council floor. We appreciate what David and his group do and I welcome him to come in and schedule a meeting with myself and the Mayor. I think this is an administration function. If we can help we certainly will. As Service Director I appreciate what he does but we have 90 miles of streets, 110 miles of water lines. We have a lot of things to do so if we can help we will. I have learned over my career and as Richard knows is to follow the contract. If the contract is not adequate then the contract needs to be changed. I will be glad to meet with David, I met with him twice last year. Richard Myser: Believe me I am 100% in favor of Junior Sports. I disagree a little bit with the characterization of the situation and what the contract says. The Mayor is 100% in favor of Junior Sports. He maintained the fields forever. In the mid 80’s St. Clairsville didn’t have anything, we didn’t have any fields. Cravat Coal Company gave that land to Junior Sports. That was fine but Junior Sports did not have any money to do anything. Kevin Barr through the Recreation Center cane to us and

said if Junior Sports will donate the property to the City of St. Clairsville Kevin Barr said I think we can apply for a grant through O.D.N.R. It was a matching grant and the City put up the Real Estate and we got the money. We designed the fields, we cut the road. The Corp of Army Reserves came in and helped us cut it out. Then we had this agreement (the contract that you have) the agreement was transfer the Real Estate to the City, the City would use those funds to develop the land and Junior Sports would maintain it and operate it. At that time we were glad that the City left us alone and allowed Junior Sports to develop it. We worked with Kevin Barr in the Rec. Center. They used the fields for soccer, for adult softball but the contract says that the priority of use goes to Junior Sports. We worked with the Recreation Dept. and I agree that we need to work with the Mayor and the Service Director. Another thing we might want to do is go back to the Rec. Department and the Park District and make those fields part of the Rec. Department and the Park District. To help out with the funding. Over the years the use, maintenance and development of the fields has morphed into a different situation. It is difficult for Junior Sports for their volunteer fund raising and no governmental support it is difficult to maintain. We have met several times with Junior Sports and I hope we will continue to do so. You have some very favorable ears hearing what you are saying. David Bloomquist: I appreciate that because the reason we do this, we don’t make any money off this we just want something nice for the kids. When people come from other towns we want something nice and we don’t want our kids playing on bad fields. Problems that were not there 30 years ago when the fields were new are there now. Jim Zucal: Thank you, we will do what we can do, Make an appointment with the Mayor and we will discuss it. I truly think this city truly needs a Parks and Recreation Department.


I did meet with the Belmont County Transportation Improvement District. We are moving forward with the traffic light at the Commons Mall Crossing. The water tank project. Rob Stein the owner of GDNG was in last week. He did look at the site. It looks favorable in his response so everything is falling into place. One of our big projects for this year we are putting together a draft of a set of architectural plans so we can build a new restroom at the Amphitheater area behind the Recreation Center. We continue with the cleanup work around the Recreation Center. Cindi and I did meet with the Recreation Center Board and we are moving forward. I want to thank Perry Basile, we did take a ride around the City. Perry Basile: The area around Neff St. Clair Street is an eyesore disaster. We need to cut the weeds and brush and make it look really nice.



The American Legion Post 159 is going to have a welcome back Viet Nam Veterans on March 29th at 11:30 at the old Sheriff Residence.


Jim Zucal and I met with the Recreation Center Board tonight and Sean Hanley. We reviewed the lookback from 2016 to the current date on what has been done and what is still being done and provided them with some financial reports.


There is a Planning Commission set up for Monday, April 2nd at 6:00 p.m. There are two items on the agenda. One is GreenCore Designs it is a sight plan approval. The Board of Zoning Appeals dis approve an office for an architect at 105 South Sugar Street. Since it is changing from residential to non-residential a sight plan approval is necessary.

The second item on the agenda is the St. Clair Commons Final Plat. Equity is proposing to be at that meeting and seek final plat approval of the sub-division. The main item remaining there is the lift station area. I met with the landscaper this morning. Beth Oprisch: Will that need Council approval? Tom Murphy: The final Plat will need an ordinance. The Planning Commission will meet and give a recommendation to full City Council If you feel comfortable you can ask Richard to draw up an Ordinance which will be presented at the April 16th meeting. It will be drawn up as an emergency. We feel comfortable with what they have done there but it will be up to Council to decide.

We are gearing up for the 2020 census. Ten years ago I worked with the census bureau double checking addresses for St. Clairsville.

The utility office sent with your bill a reminder of zoning permits that are required for construction. We are also sending out reminders to contractors.


Finance, Mike Smith: No Report

Utilities, Frank Sabatino:

Don Smithberger: We are in the process of installing LED lights on Main Street. The project is moving forward it just takes time.

Police, Mark Bukmir: No Report

Street North Side, Jim Velas:

The parking signs on Jepson have been ordered, they are in and have been put up. They are working pretty well. Jeff Henry: I have only had one comment from a resident and it was positive.

Street South Side, Beth Oprisch: No Report

Safety, Beth Oprisch: No Report

Building and Grounds, Perry Basile: No further Report

Planning Commission, Mike Smith: No Report

Fire District, Frank Sabatino: Meeting tomorrow at 1:00 at the Main Station

Recreation, Linda Jordan:

We appreciated Cindi & Jim coming to our meeting. That was so informative. Roller Hockey is in full swing. The Easter Event is Saturday, March 31st from 2:00 to 4:00. The activities will be plentiful for the kids.

Park District, Linda Jordan:

I did receive a message from one of the Board Members saying that the culvert work was finished and he wanted to thank the City and the Township. He also wanted to express his gratitude to Mayor Pugh for his efforts and the value he sees in the park. They are also looking for a full time maintenance person from now until October 31st. Beth Oprisch: As far as you know the Park District does not have anything to do with Junior Sports? Linda Jordan: Not that I am aware of. Richard Myser: In 1985 Junior Sports was completely separate from the City and the Recreation Department. Kevin Barr was the Rec. Director at that time and he is the one who wrote the grant. Jim Zucal: It is open for discussion but I am not saying that I am not in favor of a Park & Recreation Department but that would have to have a lot of thought and a lot of discussion because that is a huge burden on the city. We have four street department employees and on any given day one is off for good reason. We are down to two or three people most days. We are spread so thin just trying to keep up within our infrastructure parameters. Any tweaking of that contract could mean more people, more burden, more finances for the city.


Law Director, Richard Myser

We have three different pieces of legislation this evening. Ordinance No. 2018-05 will be read for the third time tonight and we can act on it tonight. The second Ordinance is No. 2018-06 which is up for reading for the third time for passage tonight. The third piece of legislation is Resolution No. 2018-07. This annexation has been approved by the City Council, Richland Township Trustees and Belmont County.

There was presented and read to Council on its third and final Reading by title only, ORDINANCE NO. 2018-05; ORDINANCE TO ESTABLISH THE RESTRICTED POLICE TRAINING FUND #2903 FUND AND ESTABLISH THE NECESSARY REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE ACCOUNTS AND APPROPRIATE FUND RECEIVED. A motion was made by Jim Velas and seconded by Perry Basile that Ordinance No. 2018-05 be passed by Council.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile Yes Sabatino Yes

Bukmir Yes Smith Yes

Jordan Yes Velas Yes

Oprisch Yes

Roll Call Vote: Seven (7) Yes Zero (0) Abstain Motion Approved

Ordinance No. 2018-05 was declared adopted.

There was presented and read to Council on its third and final Reading by title only, ORDINANCE NO. 2018-06; AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SERVICES TO SOLICIT COMPETITIVE BIDS FOR THE RESURFACING OF STREETS IN THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE AND AUTHORIZING AN EXPENDITURE NOT TO EXCEED $200,000.00 FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2018 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY. A motion was made by Linda Jordan and seconded by Frank Sabatino that Ordinance No. 2018-06 be passed by Council.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile Yes Sabatino Yes

Bukmir Yes Smith Yes

Jordan Yes Velas Yes

Oprisch Yes

Roll Call Vote: Seven (7) Yes Zero (0) Abstain Motion Approved

Ordinance No. 2018-06 was declared adopted.

There was presented and read to Council on its second Reading by title only, RESOLUTION NO. 2018-07; A RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE PROPOSED ANNEXATION OF 1.247 ACRES IN RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, OHIO.

NEXT MEETING: Monday, April 2, 2018, 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers

There being no further business to come before Council, a motion to adjourn was made by Frank Sabatino and seconded by Jim Velas.

March 19th, 2018 Council Minutes