City of St. Clairsville
City of St. Clairsville

July 6, 2021 Council Minutes


July 6, 2021 Meeting

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 7:30 pm. President Velas led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance. Members of the public were thanked for their attendance.


Basile              HERE                                     Oprisch           HERE

Bukmir            HERE                                     Sabatino          HERE

Butler              ABSENT                                Smith               HERE

Jordan             HERE            Six (6) Present             One (1) Absent

MINUTES: President Velas confirmed all councilmembers received the minutes from June 21st Council meeting. Councilwoman Oprisch made a motion to approve the minutes from June 21, 2021 Council meeting; motion seconded by Councilman Basile.


Basile              YES                                        Oprisch            YES

Bukmir            YES                                        Sabatino          YES

Butler              ABSENT                                Smith               YES

Jordan             YES

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

NEW BUSINESS: A motion was made by Councilwoman Oprisch to appoint Jacob DeBertrand as Clerk of Council effective August 1, 2021; second by Councilwoman Jordan.


Basile              YES                                        Oprisch            YES

Bukmir            YES                                        Sabatino          YES

Butler              ABSENT                                Smith               YES

Jordan             YES

Roll Call Vote:      Six (6) YES         Zero (0) NO        One (1) Absent            Motion Carried

Councilwoman Oprisch read a letter from Jane Kalonick thanking the Police department for allowing the block party on Hanson Dr. Councilwoman Oprisch stated the Mayor’s office received a phone call from Darlene Nun [from Kentucky] whose car broke down in town and received assistance from Officer Greg Clark; she wanted to thank him and commend him for going above and beyond the call of duty.

REPORTS: Mayor Kathryn Thalman reports the Community festival on June 26th was a huge success and wanted to thank the members of the Rec Board, Rec department, employees, and volunteers of the community. Mayor thanked Riesbeck’s and Unified Bank for sponsoring this event. July 3rd at 10 am they dedicated the new National Road Mile marker in front of the Court House. The City hosted a kids bike parade on July 3rd and had approximately 40 kids on bikes. Mayor thanked all who donated and assisted with the parade. Following the bike parade, was a car parade through town. Mayor stated she participated in an HR meeting, Belmont Regional Council for grant possibilities, Mayor’s Court on June 30th, and meeting with Bill Johnson regarding Care Funding.

Councilwoman Oprisch asked if we know any more details on the Cares Funding; Mayor stated Annette has more information on the Cares Funding.

Service Safety Director Jeremy Greenwood reports he is still researching the old water tank inspection reports, working on the public records request for the East end of the City, and the paving list has been distributed to Council. Mr. Greenwood stated Council will need to have executive session to discuss personnel issues tonight. Mr. Greenwood participated in several meetings, including a Drop Submission for Utilities, RCAP webcast meeting, HR lawyer meeting, met with employees on various issues, citizen service line/water line issue, and with an insurance claims agent for a waterline break causing potential damage to a property. Continuing with dam repairs but have cleaned up and filled holes and seeded the area. Utilities window awning has been installed. Community Day was a June 26th and was a success. Light pole at the corner of Main St. and Marietta has been replaced. Mr. Greenwood reports we completed a Federal EPA Risk and Resilience report on our water and the Ohio EPA Consumer Confidence report for our water. Upcoming projects, include a South Park meeting on July 7th at 7 pm at the Rec Center, repairing curbs, sidewalks and driveways, additional training on NIMS [National Incident Management System] for employees, Inflow and Infiltration Control Plan, and smoke testing training. Building projects still progress, include touchless fixtures in the City and Rec Center restrooms, Train Station renovation, and road/utility access. Belmont County Soil and Water is no longer interested in renting the building on S. Sugar St. and the building remains vacant. Mr. Greenwood states they are still updating the Administrative Policies and Procedures with HR firm. Senior Suites sent a letter with water allegations and left out parts of the report; Mr. Greenwood states the full report is available to anyone who would like to see it. Electric department is working on the East and Hess substations, Henderson Road connector, new services, powerline work, equipment repairs for bucket truck, repaired lights at Rec Center, banners on Main St., and outages due to storms. Water/Wastewater department sampled some fields, hauling sludge from the main plant, #3 screw pump is back in service, new digester blowers are running, lab drawing oven is ordered, West End plant’s #3 bed is running, #2 and #1 bed will be cleaning and sealed soon, new incubator to run our E-Coli tests, and East End Water Connection is out to bid and due July 9th at 11 am; Mr. Greenwood will inform Council of bids when all are in. Street department crews are mowing, hot patching, repairing streets and alleys, repairing equipment, street sweeper, and culver and drain maintenance. Rec Center has a fishing tournament on August 4th, deadline for flag football signups is August 27th, concert is tonight, South Park meeting tomorrow, and taking reservations. Police department is looking at a grant for new body cameras, had a phone call from a traveler thanking Officer Clark, and a request to look into speed bumps in certain areas. Employee of the Month for July 2021 is Officer TJ Weyand and Officer Michael Duplaga with the Police department; Officer Weyand has worked at the City for 5 years, graduated from both Ohio and West Virginia Police Academy, and many drug interdiction trainings. Officer Duplaga has worked at the City for 3 years, current School Resource Officer, Bachelor’s from West Liberty, and graduated from Ohio Police Academy. Both Officer Weyand and Duplaga combine efforts on drug interdiction have resulted in some of the largest drug seizure in this department’s history and the largest felony drug trafficking court sentencing in County history. Mr. Greenwood would like to present a Safety Award to Officer Keven Yates for saving a life from February 28th. Mr. Greenwood welcomed our new Wastewater Superintendent. Mr. Greenwood reported the City was awarded $250,000 from OMEGA towards the water distribution project. Belmont County EMA has list of cooling centers, and they are posted around the City building. Columbia Gas is doing free energy audits [1-877-644-6674].

Councilman Sabatino asked when will the paving start; Mr. Greenwood stated as soon as he can get the specifications out and hoping within the next 2-3 weeks. Councilman Sabatino recommended getting the road surrounding the school done first before school begins; Mr. Greenwood agreed.

Councilman Basile asked if he is looking for the old water tank inspections; Mr. Greenwood stated yes he is still researching them.

Police Matt Arbenz reports 345 calls, 11 accidents, 90 traffic stops, 7 criminal arrests, 1 warrant, and 1 domestic. Chief Arbenz stated the department has had a few traffic stops resulting in drug trafficking arrests; one stop resulting in half pound of meth being recovered. The K9 unit was requested to assist the Belmont County Sheriff’s office on a burglary and flee case; K9 Odin was deployed and lead officers to wooded area where suspects surrendered. Chief Arbenz had a meeting with Councilwoman Oprisch and representatives from Strategies for Youth to finalize the Juvenile Justice Jeopardy program and preparation for implementation this school year. The department has applied for a Department of Justice grant to replace the worn-out body cameras, a cloud storage system, and a file transfer system.

Finance Director Annette Williams stated there is a public budget hearing on Friday at 6 pm. Legislation must be passed at the July 19th meeting and due to the County on July 20th. Ms. Williams received an email from the Office of Budget and Management of Ohio concerning the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021; Ms. Williams will be submitting the documents on Friday and provide some budget information.

Councilwoman Oprisch asked if there is a figure that will be submitted; Ms. Williams stated no you can not submit a figure but there is $422,000,000 available. Ms. Williams stated she will forward the email to all of Council.

Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy reminds Council the Planning Commission will be meeting July 19th at 6 pm regarding approval of the plans for the CFM Express. Mr. Murphy is in the process of setting up [end of August] the final plan approval for the Bell Stores project in front of the Planning Commission. Mr. Murphy is setting up a public hearing regarding updating the Planning and Zoning map and text changes; starting the process over and meeting the Planning Commission on September 7th. Mr. Murphy is working with the Bell Store engineer and AEP on the new substation; EPA requires a storm water management plan for each project and must be approved.


Finance Chair Mike Smith: Not report.

Utilities Chair Terra Butler [absent]: Councilwoman Oprisch reports that at tonight’s committee meeting they approved a citizens request for sewer credit, Mr. Smithberger updated on staff training, and East End water bids are due Friday. Mr. Smithberger informed them that an insurance claim has been filed for damage to regulators and switches due to squirrels.

Police Chair Beth Oprisch: Councilman Oprisch commends the department on their work. Next committee meeting is Monday, July 12th, at 7 pm in Council Chambers.

Streets – North Side Chair Perry Basile: Councilman Basile stated he received a call from a resident regarding overgrowth and water problem areas and will review with Mr. Smithberger.

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 Wednesday, July 14th, at 3 pm in the Main Station.

Recreation Chair Linda Jordan: Councilman Jordan stated she has nothing to add to administrations report. Next committee meeting is Thursday, July 15th, in Council Chamber.

Park District Chair Linda Jordan: No report.

ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS: Council President Velas addressed one piece of legislation before Council.


EXECUTIVE SESSION was recommended by Jeremy Greenwood per ORC 121.22 (G)(1) to discuss personnel.

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


Basile              YES                                        Oprisch            YES

Bukmir            YES                                        Sabatino          YES

Butler              ABSENT                                Smith               YES

Jordan             YES

Roll Call Vote:      Six (6) YES         Zero (0) NO        One (1) Absent

Executive session entered at 8:07 pm.

Councilman Sabatino made a motion to exit Executive Session and resume open Regular Session; seconded by Councilman Smith. Regular Session resumed at 8:21 pm.

ADJOURNMENT: With no further business to come before Council, Councilman Sabatino made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Councilman Smith. Meeting adjourned at 8:23 pm.

Next meeting will be Monday, July 19th, 2021 at 7:30 pm. All Councilmembers will be present at the City building for the next meeting. Members of the public are welcome to join the in-person meeting in the Council Chambers.

July 6, 2021 Council Minutes