City of St. Clairsville

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June 1, 2020 Council Minutes

Posted on June 16th, 2020 by

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

ST. CLAIRSVILLE CITY COUNCIL

June 1, 2020 Meeting

[Teleconference format in compliance with temporary changes to Ohio’s Open Meetings Act]

Jim Velas, Council President                                             Kathryn Thalman, Mayor

Perry Basile, Council, 1st Ward                                        Open, Public Service/Safety Director

Mark Bukmir, Council, 3rd Ward                                     Annette Williams, Finance Director

Terra Butler, Council, 4th Ward                                        Elizabeth Glick, Law Director

Linda Jordan, Council-At-Large                                       Don Smithberger, Super. of General Services

Beth Oprisch, Council-At-Large                                       Tom Murphy, Planning & Zoning Administrator

Frank Sabatino, Council 2nd Ward

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large

The meeting was called to order by Council President Jim Velas at 7:36pm after some technical difficulties. President Velas led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL:

Basile              HERE                                     Oprisch           HERE

Bukmir            HERE                                     Sabatino          HERE

Butler              HERE                                     Smith               HERE

Jordan             HERE                     Seven (7) Present                        Zero (0) Absent

NEW BUSINESS:  No new business

MINUTES:  President Velas confirmed all councilmembers received the minutes from the May 4, 2020 and May 18, 2020 meetings and had no questions or corrections. The May 4 minutes were amended from the last meeting.

Councilman Smith made a motion to approve the minutes from the May 4 meeting; motion seconded by Councilman Basile.

ROLL CALL:

Basile              YES                                         Oprisch           YES

Bukmir            YES                                        Sabatino     ABSTAIN

Butler              YES                                        Smith               YES

Jordan             YES

Roll Call Vote:            Six (6) YES    Zero (0) NO    One (1) Abstention          Minutes Approved

Councilman Smith made a motion to approve the minutes from the May 18 meeting; motion seconded by Councilwoman Butler.

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                                 Minutes Approved

CORRESPONDENCE: No correspondence.

SUPERINDENTENT OF GENERAL SERVICES UPDATE: Work will start on Route 9 North with ODOT’s assistance installing a culvert. Otherwise, business as usual.

Councilman Sabatino passed along a resident’s request to work on the alley near them. Resident lives at 110 Newell Avenue.

REPORTS:

Mayor Thalman has conducted employee interviews with the street and utilities departments. FOP contract negotiations continue. She has met with engineer Jeff Vaughn about the hydraulics of connecting into Belmont County’s water lines. Also being worked on is an EPA permit to allow for the discharge and dechlorination of effluent water. A meeting with OMEGA regarding funding took place. CARES money has not been released yet. Summer concerts through June have been canceled. Depending on the mandates from the governor, decisions will be made for the rest of the summer’s concert series. The mayor met with Councilwoman Beth Oprisch, utilities chair, and Anita Robinson about utilities penalties and disconnections, keeping the same procedure from previous months. Many communities are looking at the same for July as well. The mayor expressed her condolences to the family of Karen Iles Burge, who served on the city’s Board of Architectural Review and thanked her for her long standing years of service.

Police Chief Matt Arbenz reported there have been 129 calls last month, including high felony drug arrests. Council will be receiving the new burn ordinance drafted by himself and Cumberland Trail Fire District Chief Tim Hall. Over $13,000 has been collected for a K-9 unit. An impound lot is being considered.

Council President Velas asked about the condition of Lt. Troullos. Chief Arbenz said he has healed and plans to be back to work on June 3. Councilwoman Oprisch asked where the impound lot would be located. Chief Arbenz said Thomas’ back parking lot is a possibility, only requiring a security camera to be installed. Also being considered is the gravel area on the left before the sewage treatment facility. An estimate obtained to build a fence there amounts to $7,700; also required would be lighting and a security camera.

Finance Director Annette Williams provided financial reports to council to show receipts from recent months due to the pandemic. Receipts are down from last year, but pretty much on target. She reported expenditures are low, thanking departments for their efforts.

Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy reported Allegiance Homes, a home construction company, will be locating downtown at the former Pizza Milano. An historic preservationist has met with the owners of 166 East Main Street. The grant application to demolish 104 Jefferson Street was submitted to Belomar. Mr. Murphy noted the city should know by July if we have been approved, after asked by Councilwoman Oprisch. Mr. Murphy also noted Resolution 2020-15 will be before council this evening. The legislation is to adopt the Hazard Mitigation Plan of the county, identifying natural hazards our city may face and how to reduce their effects. St. Clairsville is most plagued by snow and rain events. Underground water detention, which the city requires, would be an example of mitigation. All communities in Belmont County were sent the same legislation to adopt.

Councilwoman Oprisch also asked about the 2020 Census. Mr. Murphy said that 70.9% of residents have reported – the highest in the area. Enumerators will be sent out June to October.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Finance Chair Mike Smith had no report. Councilman Sabatino thanked Lee Anne Pytlak for her years of service to the city in the finance office after she was dismissed last week by the mayor. Councilwoman Jordan also thanked Ms. Pytlak for being an asset to the city, adding her 30 years of experience with the State Auditor’s Office.

Utilities Chair Beth Oprisch reported Anita Robinson and Mayor Thalman have met to discuss penalties and late payments on utilities. Around 167 delinquent accounts will be reviewed. Efforts to be compassionate are being made during the pandemic. Ms. Robinson noted that another utilities meeting will take place to discuss when disconnections will resume.

Police Chair Mark Bukmir: No report

Streets – North Side Chair Terra Butler: No report

Streets – South Side Chair Beth Oprisch: No report

Safety Chair Terra Butler: No report. Meetings are still on hold.

Building and Grounds Chair Perry Basile: No report

Planning Commission Chair Frank Sabatino: No report

Fire Chair Frank Sabatino commented on the great job our responders are doing. The next Fire Board meeting will be Wednesday, June 10 at 3pm at the ECOESC building.

Councilwoman Oprisch asked if call volume has increased in the last few months. Councilman Sabatino was unsure, but will try to get those figures.

Recreation Chair Linda Jordan reported the board decided to cancel all June concerts as well as Community Day. A determination for July will be coming tentatively on June 15.

Park District Chair Linda Jordan had no report. Mayor Thalman asked when a decision regarding Allen Pool will be made. Councilwoman Jordan answered a decision has not yet been made, but will be coming soon. Katie Banks can be contacted for any questions about the pool.

ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS:

Law Director Elizabeth Glick explained the three pieces of legislation before council. Resolution 2020-13 was explained by Mr. Murphy earlier. Ms. Glick added the legislation has emergency language because the county requests the paperwork by July 1. President Velas added that the city would not be eligible for FEMA funding or federal disaster relief if not passed. Ordinance 2020-14 regards charter amendments, which were recommended by the Charter Review Committee, passed by council in 2019 and were to appear on the November 2019 ballot. The charter amendments were not received by the Board of Elections last year. This legislation allows for them to appear on the November 2020 ballot. Resolution 2020-15 regards waiving past due penalties for city utilities for the month of June.

Councilwoman Oprisch asked why the Board of Elections never received the charter amendments last year and further asked when the deadline to appear on the ballot is. Law Director Glick only knew that the deadline was missed. This year’s deadline is August 5, so emergency language is not necessary, but available. President Velas attempted to have the charter amendments placed on the 2020 primary ballot, but the deadline was in December. Councilwoman Oprisch asked who will be delivering the charter amendments to the Board of Elections this year. Council Clerk Garczyk stated he would. Councilman Smith commented that he is not in favor of passing the legislation on an emergency basis because he wants to review it further and read it again. President Velas noted the legislation was passed last year and passage only allows it to be placed on the ballot for the voters.

A motion was made by Councilwoman Oprisch that the rules requiring three separate readings be suspended on Resolution No. 2020-13 and that the resolution be passed on an emergency basis; seconded by Councilwoman Jordan.

RESOLUTION No. 2020-13: A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE 2020 BELMONT COUNTY HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN AS THE OFFICIAL MITIGATION PLAN OF THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

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     Rules requiring three separate readings suspended

Vote to pass Resolution No. 2020-13:

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 Carried

A motion was made by Councilman Sabatino that the rules requiring three separate readings be suspended on Ordinance No. 2020-14 and that the ordinance be passed on an emergency basis; seconded by Councilwoman Jordan.

ORDINANCE No. 2020-14: AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ELECTION OF AMENDMENTS TO THE CITY CHARTER PURSUANT TO THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE CHARTER REVIEW COMMISSION; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

ROLL CALL:

Basile              YES                                        Oprisch           NO

Bukmir            YES                                        Sabatino          YES

Butler              YES                                        Smith               NO

Jordan             YES

Roll Call Vote:     Five (5) YES      Two (2) NO      Rules requiring three separate readings suspended

Vote to pass Ordinance No. 2020-14:

ROLL CALL:

Basile                          YES                                        Oprisch           YES

Bukmir                        YES                                        Sabatino          YES

Butler                          YES                                        Smith               NO

Jordan                         YES

Roll Call Vote:            Six (6) YES                  One (1) NO                                      Motion Carried

A motion was made by Councilwoman Oprisch to suspend the rules requiring three separate readings be suspended on Resolution No. 2020-15 and that the resolution be passed on an emergency basis; seconded by Councilwoman Butler.

RESOLUTION No. 2020-15: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A WAIVER OF DISCONNECT ORDERS AND A WAIVER OF THE PAST DUE PENALTY ASSESSED ON ALL UTILITY BILLS OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE MUNICIPAL UTILITIES FOR THE BILLING PERIOD OF 06/01/2020 TO 06/30/2020, ONLY; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

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     Rules requiring three separate readings suspended

Vote to pass Resolution No. 2020-15:

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 Carried

OLD BUSINESS: No old business

EXECUTIVE SESSION was called by Mayor Thalman per ORC §121.22 (G) (1) to discuss personnel matters. President Velas explained that residents may continue to stay on the line during the Executive Session.

A motion was made by Councilwoman Oprisch to enter Executive Session; seconded by Councilman 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

Executive Session entered at 8:33pm.

Regular Session resumed at 9:29pm.

ADJOURNMENT: With no action taken and there being no further business to come before Council, Councilwoman Butler made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Councilman Sabatino. Meeting adjourned at 9:30pm.

Next meeting will be Monday, June 15, 2020 at 7:30pm via teleconference.

June 1, 2020 Council Minutes