City of St. Clairsville
City of St. Clairsville

April 19, 2021 Council Minutes


April 19, 2021 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 7:32 pm. 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

President Velas stated that due to technical difficulty at the last Council meeting, Council was asked to email their vote for the new Rec Center Board members to ensure the votes were tallied correctly. The email votes were emailed to the press, Council members, and will be part of the official Council minutes. President Velas asked Council if they would want to voice revote or have the email votes read and Council confirm their votes; nominations will not change due to the fact they were made in an open Council meeting. Councilwoman Oprisch asked if the vote was legal; Law Director Elizabeth Glick stated that in a live Council meeting the votes would have been a voiced roll call vote, but due to technical difficulty we could not hear. Law Director Elizabeth Glick stated the votes should have been read in open Council last meeting, but it did not get done.  Law Director Elizabeth Glick stated Council can rescind their vote and revote or confirm their email votes. Councilman Bukmir asked the Law Director for her legal opinion on how to handle this; Law Director Elizabeth Glick stated if Council wants to rescind their vote, a motion to rescind must be made and then they can voice vote on the matter, and it would correct any question on the last vote. All Council members agreed to read the email votes and Council confirm their vote. Council Clerk Shaw read the votes:

Councilman Smith – Alisha Freeman and Diane Schubert

Councilwoman Oprisch – Lisa Amos and Alisha Freeman

Councilman Sabatino – Alisha Freeman and Diane Schubert

Councilman Basile – Lisa Amos and Diane Schubert

Councilwoman Butler – Lisa Amos and Diane Schubert

Councilwoman Jordan – Diane Schubert

Councilman Bukmir – Alisha Freeman and Diane Schubert

All members confirmed their votes.

Six (6) Diane Schubert           Four (4) Alisha Freeman         Three (3) Lisa Amos

MINUTES: President Velas asked if all Council members received the minutes from the last meeting. Councilman Smith and Councilwoman Oprisch stated they never received the minutes. Council Clerk Shaw stated they will be resent to their City email. All other Council members confirmed receiving the April 5th Council minutes. President Velas stated we will delay approving the minutes until next Council meeting [May 3rd].

REPORTS: Mayor Kathryn Thalman read a thank you letter from the Barton Volunteer Fire Department. The fire hydrants are being flushed this week and residents may expect interruption in service and discoloration; any question please call the Utilities office at 740-695-1410. The Street crews will be picking up yard waste from April 19th to April 23rd, including yard trimmings, garden waste, and leaves only; Mayor reminds residents to bag waste in a paper lawn or leaf bag [no plastic] and to leave bag near the curb. Waste pickup will be organized by Ward -Ward 1 on Monday, Ward 2 on Tuesday, Ward 3 on Wednesday, Ward 4 on Thursday, and Friday for any arranged collection pick up; please call 740-695-1324 or 740-695-0156 for arranged pick up. Debbie and Sean, Rec Center, have spoken with the dietitian at Belmont County Senior Services and will hold a class on good nutrition and food choices for the Life Skills Class [dates TBA]. The Rec Center’s Car Care class is April 27th at 3pm. The Rec Center will be available for rentals with Covid guidelines that must be followed; Mayor, Sean, and Law Director Elizabeth Glick are forming a waiver that will be required to sign. Mayor had several meetings, including with Quicksall to discuss issues with Dorothy Place Water Tower, current candidates for the Wastewater Superintendent, Mayor’s Court [March 31st] with 2 no shows, Chief Hall and Asst. Chief Grady concerning hydrant flushing, Senator Frank Hoagland [via Zoom] to discuss the 2nd round of Covid funds, board meeting for East Ohio Regional Hospital, and with Belmont County Water, Kelly Porter, Josh Myer, Mr. Greenwood and Mr. Smithberger to discuss the upcoming connection to the County water system. Mayor spoke at the Welcome Home Vietnam Vets ceremony and commended all the men and women who served.

Councilwoman Oprisch asked the status of the water tower on Dorothy Place; Mayor stated it is still not operating as it should and a couple different solutions were discussed. Mr. Smithberger, Mr. Mottle, and Mr. Denham are going to implement some of these solutions.

Service Safety Director Jeremy Greenwood reports he had several meetings, including with a citizen to discuss street conditions and several trees, Law Director on various projects, VCV on wastewater plant issues and update treatment procedure, AMP webinar, Quicksall on the operation of new tank issues, Belmont County Sanitary Sewer District on water rates for the County water, and Rec Board meeting. Mr. Greenwood is working on coordination of streets for potential paving. Spring Clean Up is scheduled for April 19th-23rd and reminds residents no garbage; if branches are left the Street crews will return with the woodchipper for large branches. Fire Hydrant flushing is scheduled for April 19th-23rd and reminds resident to not do laundry until water clears up. Community Garden will cost $30 per plot and contact Rec Center for more information to reserve a plot; beds will be 5’x20’-100 sq ft per recommendation of the Master Gardeners and will be ready approximately by the beginning of May. Mr. Greenwood said Council will need to discuss reconstituting the RITA Board. Mr. Greenwood stated they are looking at Inflow and Infiltration Control Plan [Wastewater] and to smoke test this summer. Building projects that are still in progress, include renting the building [S. Sugar] to Belmont County Soil and Water, the fire department building to Cumberland Trail Fire District, touchless fixtures for the City and Rec Center restrooms, and the Train Station renovation, Utility window awning, and EIFS was repaired for the Utility window. Mr. Greenwood states the inspection letter from the EPA reports a few issues; one part being the way the water is treated before going into the system. One resume was received for the Wastewater Superintendent position; in negotiation with this individual. Mr. Greenwood states they are still updating the Administrative Policies and Procedures, but the City’s contact person is no longer employed with Clemans-Nelson and waiting for a new contact. Appalachian Development Program Grant Agreement for the East End Water Connection was awarded $155,000 grant through OMEGA; this is half the cost, and the next step is to get OWDA (Ohio Water Development Authority) loan for matching that amount. Application for the Ohio EPA WSRLA (Water Supply Revolving Loan Account) was submitted for the Water Distribution System; submitting additional sources of income, including Appalachian Regional Commission, Governor’s Office of Appalachia, and potentially the new Covid funding. AFSCME contract is being finalized of typos and will email a finalized signed copy to Council. Mayor’s Court will have a couple items for the month of April. Continuing work on dam repairs. Electric department are working on utility locates, service work, and trimming trees. Water/Wastewater department crews flushed hydrants this week, working on the East End Lift Station, working on beds for West End Package Plant, and starting to monitor and treatment of Water and Wastewater discharge per OEPA requirements. The Street department crews have started spring cleanup, repairing streets and alleys, cold patching, and equipment repairs. The Rec Center has summer league basketball registration, planning Community Day, fishing tournament this summer, Red Devil Classic Track Meet, all 10 concerts are booked, starting to take reservations of the Rec Center, Life Skills Program on Car Care is April 27th at 3 pm; Mr. Greenwood thanked Whiteside and Dalton Showalter for helping with the Car Care program. The Rec Center received $1,100 from the Cause Connector Grant [ended April 9th] for programing. Police cruiser that was damaged in collision is out for body work. The Police department received the 2020 Lexipol Connect Award. Mr. Greenwood stated the part-time seasonal helpers have started. Mr. Greenwood reported no one is out sick.

Councilwoman Jordan asked the status of tearing down of the old water tower; Mr. Greenwood stated the old water tower will not be taken down.

Police Matt Arbenz reports one cruiser will be out of commission for approximately a week to get repaired from the collision. The K9 and handler have passed their certification; they are back on the road and have had a few cases resulting in drug finds. Two officers are scheduled to go to training on Narcotics Interdiction in Cleveland on May 1st. The department received the Gold Standard Award for Policy Management from Lexipol Connect.

Finance Director Annette Williams reports everything is going as planned for the year’s revenue and appropriation expenditures. Ms. Williams stated tonight’s piece of legislation is for housekeeping for the year.

Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy was not present.


Finance Chair Mike Smith: Councilman Smith reports there may be potential Covid funding coming to the City. Councilman Smith stated there is a statewide RITA meeting on June 17th. The Finance committee recommends that the City’s RITA board reconvene; Law Director Elizabeth Glick advised this will require Council’s approval.

Councilwoman Oprisch asked how many members, who appoints them, past members, and what is the term for the RITA Board; Mr. Greenwood stated Ms. Mertz is researching this information and will be sent to Council.

Utilities Chair Terra Butler: No report

Police Chair Beth Oprisch: Councilwoman Oprisch reports a Police committee meeting was held April 12th via teleconference. The committee discussed parking issues on Parshall Ave: Councilman Basile is going to contact the residents and report back next Police committee meeting. Chief Arbenz is going to do a drone demonstration after the next Police committee meeting, May 10th. Councilwoman Oprisch reports the K9 team is fully certified. A few officers will to be going to Cleveland and Columbus in June for training. Officer Justin Work has completed his new officer training. The Chief has spoken at two Rotary meetings regarding the Juvenile Education program. The cruiser that was damaged is currently getting fixed. Councilwoman Oprisch stated they discussed patrolling the Bike Trail. Next Police committee meeting is May 10th at 7pm via teleconference.

Streets – North Side Chair Perry Basile: Councilman Basile states he spoke with the residents on Parshall and will give Councilwoman Oprisch a full report, so she can bring it to Council.

Streets – South Side Chair Frank Sabatino: No report

Safety Chair Frank Sabatino: No report

Building and Grounds Chair Perry Basile: No report

Planning Commission Chair Frank Sabatino: No report

Fire Chair Frank Sabatino: No report. Next meeting is April 21st at 3pm.

Recreation Chair Linda Jordan: Councilwoman Jordan reports summer basketball registration is available until the end of May. Ponzani’s has donated mulch for the amphitheater. Outback is feeding the bands for the summer concert series. Riesbeck’s and Unified are sponsoring the fireworks for Community Day. The Rec Center will be holding their Life Skills class (Car Care) on April 27th at 3pm. National Day of Prayer will be May 6th in front of the Court House; anyone who would like to participate in the Bible reading please contact Councilwoman Jordan.

Park District Chair Linda Jordan: No report

Councilwoman Oprisch asked if the pool is opening this year; Councilwoman Jordan stated yes, she believes so but can let her know for sure.

ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS: Law Director Elizabeth Glick addressed one piece of legislation before Council.

A motion was made by Councilman Basile that the rules requiring three separate readings be suspended on Ordinance 2021-8 and that the ordinance be passed on an emergency basis; seconded by Councilwoman Oprisch.



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 Ordinance No. 2021-8:


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

ADJOURNMENT: With no further business to come before Council, Councilman Basile made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Councilman Smith. Meeting adjourned at 8:36 pm.

Next meeting will be Monday, May 3rd, 2021 at 7:30 pm via teleconference.

April 19, 2021 Council Minutes