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March 18, 2019 Council Minutes

Posted on April 2nd, 2019 by

Once approved, a link to the official council minutes will be at the bottom.

COUNCIL MINUTES

March 18, 2019

St. Clairsville City Council met in Council Chambers on Monday, March 18, 2019 with the following present:

Tim Porter, Council President                                    Terry Pugh, Mayor

Perry Basile, Council 1st Ward                                    Cindi Henry, Finance Director

Mark Bukmir, Council 3rd Ward                                 Richard Myser, Law Director

Linda Jordan, Council-At-Large                                 Tom Murphy, Planning & Zoning Administrator

Beth Oprisch, Council-At-Large                                Jim Zucal, Service Director

Frank Sabatino, Council 2nd Ward                            Jeff Henry, Police Chief

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large                                   Don Smithberger, Director of General Services

Jim Velas, Council 4th Ward

The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Porter

MINUTES:  Minutes of the March 4, 2019 meeting were distributed to Council.  A motion was made by Jim Velas and seconded by Linda Jordan to approve the Minutes of March 4, 2019.

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) No                  Motion Approved

        

CITIZENS HEARING: 

Bill Brooks: 

I am Bill Brooks and I am here representing the St. Clairsville Richland Concerned Citizens Group and I am coming before you once again first of all to tell you I really appreciate the Mayor and Council looking into our water problems.  Instead of kicking that can down the road that has been done for so many years you guys are at least tackling it.  I am not agreeing with everything that I am hearing or the way that it seems like it might be going but that is my right as an American and your right to your way.  I don’t want any enemies up here.  I think we have a pretty decent Council I really do but this Water Privatization.  I left some documents for you and I hope you look at them.  I have been on line and one of our members Mr. Poindexter has gotten a lot of stuff off line also.  I have been to about 20 different sites and none of them recommended that we take it.  I hope that you go online and Google up Water Privatization. There are so many law suits out there where people are trying to get their water back but once you sign it your gone.  Once they take it over they don’t answer to the Citizens, they answer to shareholders and shareholders are out there to make money.   Just some suggestions for the Mayor.  I think we could go a lot further if we appoint a committee, an impartial committee to analyze the problem and see what it would take to make it work for us.   I think it would be in the City’s best interest to hire a professional consulting firm to tell you how much it would cost to get ours into compliance and what it needs instead of going on one company’s word.  I think we need to hire an adequate Superintendent.  I know we are not rich right now but these are the things we need to do because just like the cable it is going to go up and up and up.  I think a lot of people would rather pay more, a bond of some type in order to own the water company.  This water is not going to affect just us or our grandkids, it is going to affect their grandkids and so on.  I am not picking on nobody but it was brought to Bellaire Council, Shadyside Council and Bridgeport Council and they all told American Water we are not interested.  Now St. Clairsville is even talking to them.  I think you should, like I said, appoint a committee to come back and report to Council what their findings are and then let Council make that move.  Put it on the ballot, get out and talk to your constituents, see what they think about selling the water and tell them what is going to happen.  Like I said if I can be of help I would be glad to be on a committee but I have read so much that I am not going to be impartial.  That is what a group is for you are going to have people for and people against.  I just want to say the people that brought this here, the people that are pushing it are never going to pay that water rate.  They won’t even be here to hear the complaints from the citizens about how high they raised them.

REPORTS:

Service Director, Jim Zucal:

Mr. Brooks I appreciate your comments they were well heard and well received.  I think we all agree we want to do what is best for our constituents. Thank You.

Just to mention to Council the third filter at the Water Plant is complete.  That should add some considerable water quality to our system.  It was an expensive venture we have around $100,000 in those three filters.  Two were original from 1929 the other one was 1984 but they are all completed now.  They are rather large.

Before you tonight is the legislation for paving we will have three readings on that.  I ask Council and any Citizens who have any concerns to let us know.  We will take all of them into consideration.  We know we can’t always pave every street and alley but we will prioritize and do our best to get as many done as we can.  I hope to have a complete list by the next meeting.

I would like to mention that the water tank is still on track.  The start date is April 1st.  There will be a lot of activity out on Dorothy Place.

Mayor, Terry Pugh:

The first thing is the Police Reports.  I have January, February and a complete report for 2018.  They are available in the Mayor’s Office if you wish to see them.  It is evident that the Police Department is out there doing their job and we appreciate each and every one of them.

The next thing I would like to mention is that on Wednesday the 20th at 9:50 in the morning the three tornado warning sirens in the City will do a test run.  This will be in conjunction with Ohio Severe Weather Awareness Week.

The other thing you have before you is about the Charter review committee.  This is something that takes place every five years.  Some people here have served on the committee.  I am asking Council to get together and appoint nine residents of the city.  Generally one of those residents is an Attorney.  We need these nine residents appointed by the next meeting.  Once the Committee decides on a few important issues they will bring it back to Council for a vote.  Then it will be put on as a ballot issue for the citizens to vote on.

The last thing is, we had our open meetings about the water situation and I thought it was very positive and worthwhile.    It went from 12:00 to 8:00 we had five or six sessions.

Police Chief, Jeff Henry:  No Report

Finance Director, Cindi Henry:  No Report

Planning & Zoning Administrator, Tom Murphy: 

At the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on March 7th the Community Improvement Corporation of Belmont County request to continue the non-conforming use at 133 Woodrow Avenue was approved.  The variance for the sign at the Thoburn United Methodist Church at 209 E. Main Street was also approved.

Many of you may be aware there is a home at 104 North Sugar Street at the corner of Newell Avenue and North Sugar Street.  The City has worked with the property owner there.  Part of the foundation fell in and they are going to demolish the house.  Their plan is that by June 1st it will be demolished and the lot cleaned up.

Information on the building department, I have all the city responsibility completed.  That will be sent to first Muskingum County and they will bring it before the Board of Building Standards of the State of Ohio to get that approved.

The annual EPA report that the city is required to do for the storm water, I completed that.  That in relation to any storm water quality board meetings which haven’t had any.  One of the things I had to check all the outfalls to make sure there wasn’t any contamination.  That report will be sent to the state.  This keeps us legal.

In good news, a new business will be opening up across from Wes Banco.  The boutique on Main Street which is a woman’s clothing and accessory store will be opening in the next month or two.

COUNCIL COMMITTEES:

Finance, Mike Smith:  I want to thank the Clerk for providing us with an Ohio Ethics report which can also be filled out online.

Cindi Henry:  All of you should have gotten a letter from Julian & Grube asking about fraud and so forth.  They just want you to fill it out and send it back to them.  That is standard procedure.  They will be in to audit soon.

Utilities, Frank Sabatino:  No Report

Don Smithberger:  We got the Hess substation put back together.  Hopefully the vehicles will work with us and stay off our poles.  We were notified late this evening that AEP will be making some changes at the switching station in Neffs.  What that means is we will only have one line coming in and if we have any problems we will have to try to cover from the other end.  That will last until the end of April.

Police, Mark Bukmir: No Report

Street North Side, Jim Velas:  No Report

Street South Side, Beth Oprisch:  No Report

Safety, Jim Velas:

There will be a safety meeting for the employees at the city garage on Friday at 9:00 a.m.   If you have an opportunity stop in and see what the safety meetings are about.

Perry Basile:  No Report

Planning Commission: Mike Smith:  No Report

Fire District, Frank Sabatino:

The next meeting will be Wednesday, March 20th at 3:00 at the Main Station

Recreation, Linda Jordan: The meeting was canceled.

Park District, Linda Jordan:  Meeting canceled due to lack of quorum.

Law Director, Richard Myser:

We have two pieces of legislation to come before Council this evening.  The first one is Ordinance No. 2019-07.  It is an Ordinance directing the Service Director to solicit bids for the resurfacing of streets.  The second one is Resolution No. 2019-08.  It is a Resolution to authorize the Service Director to advertise for qualifications and proposals for the privatization of the city water and wastewater system.  Mike Smith:  This will just be helpful in gathering more information.   You will have information from different private water companies just to help in the decision making, and pass it on emergency measure tonight.  Jim Zucal:  It is a lengthy process, you have to collect a lot of data and I have to write a request for qualification.  This is just to see who is out there, it doesn’t mean that we are excepting anyone at that time.  We are only gathering qualified vendors.

No one has contacted me about going into Executive Session this evening.

There was presented and read to Council on its first reading by title only, ORDINANCE NO. 2019-07. 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 $150,000.00 FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2019 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.

There was presented and read to Council on its first reading by title only, ORDINANCE NO. 2019-08; A RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE THE SERVICE DIRECTOR TO TAKE PRELIMINARY MEASURES TO ADVERTISE FOR AND ACCEPT QUALIFICATIONS AND PROPOSALS FOR THE SALE AND PRIVATIZATION OF THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S WATER AND WASTEWATER SYSTEM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  Jim Velas moved that the rules requiring Ordinances and Resolutions to be read on three separate readings be suspended and declaring an emergency; Linda Jordan seconded the motion. 

Roll Call Vote:

Basile                     Yes                        Sabatino                Yes             

Bukmir                  Yes                        Smith                    Yes

Jordan                   Yes                        Velas                     Yes

Oprisch                  No

Roll Call Vote:       Six (6) Yes        One (1) No                  Motion Approved

There was presented and read to Council on its third and final reading by title only, RESOLUTION NO. 2019-08. A motion was made by Linda Jordan and seconded by Jim Velas that Resolution No. 2019-08 be passed by Council.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile                    Yes                        Sabatino                Yes             

Bukmir                  Yes                        Smith                    Yes

Jordan                   Yes                        Velas                     Yes

Oprisch                 No

Roll Call Vote:       Six (6) Yes        One (1) No                  Motion Approved

Resolution No. 2019-08 was declared adopted.

NEW BUSINESS:  Mayor’s Report

The Mayor’s receipts for February was $2,373.00.  A motion to approve the Mayor’s Report was made by Linda Jordan and seconded by Mike Smith.

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) No                  Motion Approved

The Next Council Meeting will be Monday, April 1, 2019 at 7:30 in Council Chambers.

There being no further business to come before Council a motion to adjourn was made by Mike Smith and second by Beth Oprisch.

March 18, 2019 Council Minutes