City of St. Clairsville

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January 6, 2020 Council Minutes

Posted on January 22nd, 2020 by

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

COUNCIL MINUTES

January 6, 2020

St. Clairsville City Council met in Council Chambers on Monday, January 6, 2020

With the following present:

Jim Velas, Council President                          Kathryn Thalman, Mayor

Perry Basile, Council, 1st Ward                       Jim Zucal, Director of Public Services

Mark Bukmir, Council, 3rd Ward                    Elizabeth Glick, Law Director

Terra Butler, Council, 4th Ward                      Mike Troullos, Acting Police Chief

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

Beth Oprisch, Council-At-Large                    Don Smithberger, Director of General Services

Frank Sabatino, Council, 2nd Ward

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large

The meeting was called to order by President, Jim Velas.

Minutes:  A motion was made by Linda Jordan and seconded by Perry Basile to approve the minutes of December 16, 2019.

ROLL CALL:

Basile                          Yes                              Oprisch            Yes

Bukmir                        Yes                              Sabatino          Yes

Butler                          Yes                              Smith               Yes

Jordan                         Yes

Roll Call Vote:            Seven (7) Yes              Zero (0) No     Motion Approved

Mayor: Kathryn Thalman:  First I would like to say thank you all very much.  It is so different to be on this side of the desk and I thank you.  Please bear with me, I am sure I am going to make some mistakes but I promise to work on your behest.  The first thing I would like to do is thank everyone here.  I look forward to working with my Council, a bunch of really wonderful people.  Thank you too Jim, to Cindi, and to Kathy.  They have so graciously offered to stay on during the transition.  I made the promise to be transparent, to advertise positions and they know they can put back in but I thank you all so much.  The first thing I would like to do is to respectfully make a motion to appoint Elizabeth Glick as the City of St. Clairsville’s Law Director.  Elizabeth comes to us from her own Law Office, she has been there since 2013, and she has been an Associate at Thornburg & Bean and a partner as Thornburg, Bean & Glick, A Corporate Counsel, and Attorney for Brilliant Water and Sewer District.  She is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Belmont County Bar Association, and West Virginia Bar Association.  She is on the Belmont County Health Board as a Representative of the City of St. Clairsville and Current President.  She is also on the Board of the Upper Ohio Valley Obedience Training Club- Co-Chairman.  A motion to appoint Elizabeth Glick as the Law Director of the City of St. Clairsville was made by Linda Jordan and seconded by Beth Oprisch.

ROLL CALL:

Basile                          Yes                              Oprisch            Yes

Bukmir                        Abstain                        Sabatino          Yes

Butler                          Yes                              Smith               Yes

Jordan                         Yes

Roll Call Vote:            Six (6) Yes                  One (1) Abstain          Motion Approved

CITIZENS HEARING:  There were no Citizens present who wished to address Council.

REPORTS:

Service Director, Jim Zucal: I wish everyone a Happy New Year.  One of the main topics I want to discuss this evening is the new Water Tank at St. Clair Commons.  The City has a huge commitment out there. A huge financial gain for the City.  The tank has progressed well, some of the site work has been postponed until the weather breaks but the tank itself was filled, the tank holds half a million gallons of water.  It passed the pressure test, it passed all the chlorination tests so the tank itself is a success and we are 100% confident it will be capable of doing what the City needs it to do.  We will be draining the tank and spoiling the water that is in there because of the testing and heavy chlorination.  We will dechlorinate the water and put that into the catch basin.  We have a training program scheduled with City employees on January 13th.  The final construction punch list meeting will be the 14th and then the tank will be considered operational.  It will not be on line until we remove the old tank behind the City Building which was built in 1929 and for structural reasons that will come down.  That will be coordinated with the filling and operation of the new tank and the old tank coming down.  That will be one of the main goals this year for the water system and the dynamics of water.  We will be very capable of having the means of close to a million gallons of water a day.  That is a great report for the development area at the St. Clair Commons.  Frank Sabatino:  Where are we with the EPA?  Jim Zucal:  I talked to Russell Flag who is now the acting Chief for the Southeast District last Friday.  He said there will be orders coming from the Ohio EPA.  They are at the Director’s level to be signed and the City should see them by the end of the week or the first of next week.  Then we know in writing all the components that we need to address.

Mayor, Kathryn Thalman:  I am happy to be here, I don’t have a report other than I have two days under my belt.  I have a lot of things that we have been looking at.  I appreciate all the help and all the positive feedback and all the people willing to help.  I am learning, it is a big learning curve but I promise you we are going to do some great thing in the City.  Thank You. 

Acting Police Chief, Mike Troullos:   I have a quick rundown of our activity for the month of December.  We had ten Criminal Arrests, Two Juvenile arrests, two warrants were served, one domestic, we made 68 traffic stops with 55 warnings and 13 citations. We had 240 calls and complaints. No special teem call outs, we had six accidents, and there were 12 parking tickets issued and 46 calls returned by officers.

Finance Director, Cindi Henry – Not Present

Jim Velas:  I talked to her today, she has been sick off and on all week, she was hoping to come this evening but she wasn’t able.

Planning and Zoning Administrator, Tom Murphy:

The census is in 2020.  Starting in 2019 the census sends the City a list of residential addresses.  What I have to do then is take that list and compare it to our list from the Utility Office.  I did that and added some addresses that they were missing.  I corrected that list and sent the information back in.  At that point they sent back whether they agreed with us or deny some of the changes.  They denied ten of the addresses which is mind boggling to me because I work for the City and I know pretty much where everything is.  I took those ten addresses and I gathered information that we had here at the City. I gathered Auditor information with proof that they are in the City, I took pictures or whatever need be.  I sent that appeal back to them and they approved all ten.  One of them believe it or not was the Senior Suites Building at St. Clair Commons.  That has the potential of 100 residents.  That was good news there.  Most of Council know that Council is part of the complete count committee that the census asked us to establish.  The expectation of City Council is too get the word out.  If you are aware of residents in your neighborhood that are elderly let them know that the census is coming up.  Starting March 12th to the 20th they are going to start sending notices too all the residential addresses within the City, Something different this year, you can go on the website and fill out the form.  There is only nine questions so it is not difficult.  One interesting thing I found out on the web site is the City has low response. St. Clairsville is lower than the national average.  The population in 2010 was 5,184 if 15% did not fill it out it could have been 5,961.  It is important to get the word out.

Frank Sabatino:  I noticed in the paper the public notice of the zoning changes.  Tom Murphy:  I have mentioned for about three meetings the rezoning process within the City.  That hearing will be before the Planning Commission on Monday, February 3rd at 6:00 p.m.  There are quite a few proposals in there.  These proposals the Planning Commission will review and make a recommendation to Council.  Council is then required to hold their public hearing according to City Code.  There are a number of sites within the City that fall into two categories.  One has been predominately commercial for years but for whatever reason they have been in a more restrictive zone not in the appropriate commercial zone that they should have been.  The second category are Community uses for example cemeteries, churches, school properties that are not in the appropriate zone.  Mayor:  Can you put that in an email and send it to the Council and Me?  Tom:  I can do that.

COUNCIL COMMITTEES

Finance, Mike Smith:  In the future I hope we get more detailed reports in case anyone has any questions.

Utilities, Beth Oprisch: We had a meeting this evening and Donnie had reported that they were doing regular maintenance in the Electric Department and the Sewer Department.  They are getting the dura-patcher as needed to fill pot holes.  There was a pretty big pot hole fixed in front of the school.  We talked a little about staffing levels in the departments. AEP is rebuilding transmission lines so St. Clairsville should be receiving some automatic switches and replacing the wood poles with steel poles.  The Hess station is under radio feed until the end of the month.  Anita passed out the customer adjustments reports.

Police, Mark Bukmir:  Chief Troullos wants to have a meeting after the Council Meeting.

Street North Side, Terra Butler:  No Report 

Street South Side, Beth Oprisch:  No calls about the South Side. 

Safety, Terra Butler:  We had the Safety meeting a couple of weeks ago.  It was really a great meeting very positive and informative. 

Building and Grounds, Perry Basile:  I think this applies.  Terra was contacted by the Halloran Family, owners of Home Pizza that just recently closed.  They wanted to know if it would be possible to relocate the Pizza Man to Halloran Park.  Tom Murphy:  There is no zoning issue at all.  Home Pizza has been in St. Clairsville for years, the Pizza Man is kind of iconic for a small community and we would hate to see it disappear.  If the parties are agreeable if it was moved up there and put in an appropriate location I think it would be a great thing for the community.  Elizabeth Glick:  I think at this point you just need a motion to look into moving it.  A motion was made by Terra Butler and seconded by Beth Oprisch to look into moving the Pizza Man from Main Street to Halloran Park.

ROLL CALL:

Basile                          Yes                              Oprisch            Yes

Bukmir                        Yes                             Sabatino          Yes

Butler                          Yes                              Smith               Yes

Jordan                         Yes

Roll Call Vote:            Seven (7) Yes              Zero (0) No     Motion Approved

Planning Commission, Frank Sabatino:  No Report

Fire District, Frank Sabatino: In December the Times Leader ran an article about the new ambulance and when they did the article the new ambulance had been delivered and has 1,000 miles on it already.  We had a record number of calls last year.  This ambulance should be a more comfortable ride for the patients.  We want to thank the voters in the Cumberland Trail Fire District for supporting us.  Our next meeting will be Wednesday, January 15th at 3:00 at the Main Station.

Recreation, Linda Jordan:   The next meeting will be January 21st at 4:30 at the Rec. Center.

Park District, Linda Jordan:  No Report, Next meeting will be January 13th.

ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS:

Law Director, Elizabeth Glick:   I am under the understanding that they tied up everything from 2019 and we are starting with a clean slate.  We have no Ordinances or Resolutions.  Jim Velas:  I want to congratulate you on you new position and I hope you will enjoy being here.  Elizabeth Glick:  Thank you very much.

New Business:  The discussion of appointing a Council Clerk.  Mike Smith:  I want to nominate Roberta Mertz as Council Clerk.  Perry Basile seconded the motion.  Linda Jordan:  What is the reason for letting Kathy go?  Mike Smith:  It is time for a change.  Linda Jordan:  That is the only thing?  Mike Smith:  That is my thing.  Linda:  So we are not going to open it up too anybody?  Mike:  That is my nomination.  Linda:  Do we want to discuss this in executive Session?  Jim Velas:  Is that something that meets the criteria for executive session?  Elizabeth Glick:  Yes.  Jim Velas:  Mike I think you need to withdraw that motion and we need a motion to go into executive session.  We can’t have two motions on the floor at once.  Mike Smith withdrew his motion of Roberta Mertz as Council Clerk.

Executive Session:

A motion was made by Mike Smith and seconded by Beth Oprisch to go into executive session to discuss personnel.

ROLL CALL:

Basile                          Yes                              Oprisch            Yes

Bukmir                        Yes                              Sabatino          Yes

Butler                          Yes                              Smith               Yes

Jordan                         Yes

Roll Call Vote:            Seven (7) Yes              Zero (0) No                 Motion Approved

Return to Regular Session:

A motion to return to regular session was made by Mike Smith and seconded by Perry Basile.

ROLL CALL:

Basile                          Yes                              Oprisch            Yes

Bukmir                        Yes                              Sabatino          Yes

Butler                          Yes                              Smith               Yes

Jordan                         Yes

Roll Call Vote:            Seven (7) Yes              Zero (0) No                 Motion Approved

A motion to appoint Roberta Mertz to be the Council Clerk was made by Mike Smith and seconded by Beth Oprisch.

ROLL CALL:

Basile                          Yes                              Oprisch            Yes

Bukmir                        No                               Sabatino          No

Butler                          Yes                              Smith               Yes

Jordan                         No

Roll Call Vote:            Four (4) Yes                Three (3) No                Motion Approved

New Business: 

A motion to appoint Beth Oprisch President-Pro-Tem was made by Perry Basile and seconded by Mike Smith.

ROLL CALL:

Basile                          Yes                              Oprisch            Yes

Bukmir                        No                               Sabatino          Yes

Butler                          Yes                              Smith               Yes

Jordan                         Yes

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

The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 7:30 in Council Chambers.

There being no further business to come before Council a motion to adjourn was made by Beth Oprisch and seconded by Linda Jordan.

January 6, 2020 Council Minutes