City of St. Clairsville
City of St. Clairsville

November 2, 2020 Council Minutes


November 2, 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                                        Jeremy Greenwood, Public Service/Safety Director

Mark Bukmir, Council, 3rd Ward                                     Don Smithberger, Super. of General Services

Terra Butler, Council, 4th Ward                                        Annette Williams, Finance Director

Linda Jordan, Council-At-Large                                       Matthew Arbenz, Chief of Police

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

Frank Sabatino, Council 2nd Ward                                   Elizabeth Glick, Law Director

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large

The meeting was called to order by Council President Jim Velas at 7:31pm. President Velas led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance. Members of the public were thanked for listening.


Basile              HERE                                     Oprisch           HERE

Bukmir            HERE                                     Sabatino          HERE

Butler              HERE                                     Smith               HERE

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

MINUTES: President Velas confirmed all councilmembers received the minutes from the last meeting. Councilwoman Butler made a motion to approve the minutes from the October 19, 2020 Council meeting; motion seconded by Councilman Basile.


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

REPORTS: Mayor Kathryn Thalman discussed meetings in which she had recently participated. Additional information requested by the EPA was recently sent. The city will be receiving 220 rapid screen tests; tests will be going to the school, police department, and fire department. These tests will produce faster results for COVID testing. In the last two weeks, the city has had three employees quarantined because they came in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. The city recently received two deep sanitizing machines, which have already been used in several city buildings, police cruisers, etc. The mayor encouraged anyone interested in learning how to operate the machine to contact Mr. Greenwood. The mayor suggested letting city businesses make use of these machines. She urged continued vigilance during this pandemic. The mayor thanked all those involved to make the Halloween costume judging contest a success as well as the Boo on the Bike Path. She also thanked the crews for all their work, especially during a recent water line break. Congratulations were also given to the St. Clairsville football team on their continued victories, as well as the girls’ soccer team for winning districts.

Service/Safety Director Jeremy Greenwood reported the electric department will be conducting interviews for potentially two positions. A water employee rescinded his resignation; his employment will continue. The city recently received a mutual aid call to Woodsfield and assisted. The new deep sanitizing machine was used to decontaminate the Rec Center after the costume contest; it will be used before and after Election Day, as well as to decontaminate flag football equipment. The street department is picking up leaves. Residents can call the city to be placed on the pickup schedule. Orders for COVID supplies and equipment are being received or awaiting arrival. Continued discussion on Plexiglas in the utilities office, touchless fixtures, iPads for Council, and additional laptops for the police cruisers. Bellview residents were sent letters instructing downspouts to be disconnected from the combined storm and sanitary sewer system. All city residents will receive a similar letter in the spring. More information about storm water management can be reviewed on the city’s website. Discussions will commence this winter about 2021 paving projects. Hot patch is being used where needed now. Mr. Greenwood has continued meeting with employees individually. Meetings with ASFCME, Ohio EPA, Belomar, American Municipal Power (AMP), and other various organizations have continued to take place.

Police Chief Matt Arbenz updated Council on recent events and reported the new cruiser is on the road. Gas masks are being obtained. The department recently joined the Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Program. The digital fingerprint scanner is in operation and trainings will take place soon.

Finance Director Annette Williams has been out of the office due to her granddaughter awaiting COVID testing. Legislation expected at the next meeting.

Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy reminded candidates that election signs must be removed from city right-of-ways within seven days after the election. Any sign or poster left in the right-of-way and determined to be in violation of code will be removed and – if not claimed within ten days after the election – discarded. Updates to the city’s GIS system continues. Gill Construction & Design, a new retail furniture/construction business, has opened at 165 E Main Street. Physicians Regional Surgery Center will open on Plaza Drive. Mr. Murphy added 2020 Census data is expected by March 31, 2021 or sooner.


Finance Chair Mike Smith: No report. Meeting to be held when convenient for the committee.

Utilities Chair Beth Oprisch reported the committee met prior to tonight’s Council meeting. Administrative policies are being sought for waivers and sewer credits. Drafting an ordinance to create a budget program is also in discussion. Anita discussed CARES Act funding recently assigned to Belmont County to assist in rent, mortgage payments, and utilities bills. She also discussed HEAP and FEMA assistance programs. Information will be sent with utilities bills. Discussion ensued whether to charge utility reconnection fees and possible funding sources.

A motion was made by Councilwoman Oprisch to suspend/waive reconnection fees through the month of November; seconded by Councilwoman Butler.

Discussion continued regarding suspending reconnection fees and funding sources.


Basile               YES                                        Oprisch           YES

Bukmir             NO                                         Sabatino           NO

Butler               YES                                        Smith               YES

Jordan              NO

Roll Call Vote:            Four (4) YES                Three (3) NO                                    Motion Carried

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 

Building and Grounds Chair Perry Basile discussed the recent sanitization of buildings and encouraged councilmembers to learn how to operate the new deep sanitizing machines.

Planning Commission Chair Frank Sabatino: No report

Fire Chair Frank Sabatino reported the Fire Board will hold a special meeting in executive session on November 10 to review résumés. It is not known how many applicants there are.

Recreation Chair Linda Jordan reported the Board would like to thank the sponsors for flag football: DiCarlo’s Pizza, Ohio Valley Podiatry, Farmers Insurance, Zel Properties, Beauty Bar, K&K Professional Cleaning, Allegiance Homes, and Buckeye Pest Management. Candy was donated for the recent Halloween costume party and thanks goes to: St. Clairsville High School Interact Club, St. Clairsville High School National Honor Society, Riesbeck Food Markets, Inc., Wendy’s, Ebbert’s Farm, Porterfield Drive Thru, Nancy Z’s Catering, Miss Kelsey’s Dance Academy, Whiteside’s of St. Clairsville, as well as the following individuals: Courtney Rodak, Tammy Poppe, Pam Shields, Jamie & Courtney Deaton, Donna Gray, and Ed Bober.

Park District Chair Linda Jordan: No report.

No ordinances or resolutions were before Council this evening.

ADJOURNMENT: With no further business to come before Council, Councilman Sabatino made a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 8:39pm.

Next meeting will be Monday, November 16, 2020 at 7:30pm via teleconference.

November 2, 2020 Council Minutes