May 16, 2022 Council Minutes
Once approved, a link to the official council minutes will be at the bottom.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE CITY COUNCIL
May 16, 2022 Meeting
Jim Velas, Council President Kathryn Thalman, Mayor
Don Vincenzo, Council, 1st Ward Jeremy Greenwood, Public Service/Safety Director
Mark Thomas, 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
JC Thrash, Council 2nd Ward Elizabeth Glick, Law Director
Mike Smith, Council-At-Large
The meeting was called to order by Council President Pro Tempore Beth Oprisch at 7:00 pm. President Pro Tempore Beth Oprisch led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance. Members of the public were thanked for their attendance.
Butler HERE Thrash HERE
Jordan HERE Thomas HERE
Oprisch HERE Vincenzo HERE
Seven (7) Present Zero (0) Absent
MINUTES: President Pro Tempore Beth Oprisch confirmed all Councilmembers received the minutes from the May 2nd Council Meeting. Councilman Thrash made a motion to approve the minutes from May 2, 2022, Council Meeting; motion seconded by Councilman Smith.
Butler ABSTAIN Thrash YES
Jordan YES Thomas YES
Oprisch ABSTAIN Vincenzo YES
Roll Call Vote: Five (5) YES Zero (0) NO Two (2) ABSTAIN Zero (0) ABSENT
NEW BUSINESS: Councilwoman Jordan spoke on behalf of the Bible Reading Task Force and thanked the City for its support during the National Day of Prayer and the Bible Reading Marathon.
CITIZEN HEARING: None
REPORTS: Mayor Kathryn Thalman reported that the past Friday was the first Food Truck Friday, where there will be a food truck in the front of the Courthouse every Friday until Labor Day. Moreover, the past Saturday was the Second Saturday event in the City. All the businesses are open with other activities around town; this event will be held every second Saturday of the month until Labor Day. The Mayor congratulated St. Clairsville Schools for the Lion King and Wizard of Oz productions. The Arbor Day celebration was held on May 6th, where the City planted 15 trees, one for every ten years of Arbor Day.
Service/Safety Director Jeremy Greenwood reported that four companies are currently interested in providing the City with a Gas Aggregation Program. The I-70 Water Line Project pre-construction meeting was held. Two out of the three Water Tanks have been inspected, and the inspector plans on completing the last one within the week. The Utility Office sent out notifications for Sewer Smoke Testing in May’s water bill. The West End sand bed is up and functioning. The new salt spreader was ordered and delivered. Furthermore, the lights have been fixed at the Jr. Sports Field. There have been eight water line breaks this year. The Reservoirs are getting their yearly HABs treatment. Lastly, Mr. Greenwood thanked the Police Department for all their hard work as it is National Police Week.
Councilman Thrash asked Mr. Greenwood when the Water Distribution Project would bid. Mr. Greenwood stated they are still waiting on comments from the EPA and further coordination from AT&T and Columbia Gas.
Councilwoman Jordan asked to please be forwarded all communications from the EPA.
Police Chief Matt Arbenz reported that the Police Department assisted with the St. Mary’s 5K Walk and the Second Saturdays Event with no incidents to report. Officer Yates received a certificate to teach the Law Enforcement Approach to Domestic Violence. The Police Force will complete more training on the use of Less Lethal Impact Weapons. Chief Arbenz informed Council that Officer Wheeler assisted the Ohio State Highway Patrol with a drone deployment during a recent crash on the interstate. Lastly, Chief Arbenz thanked the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Richland Township Police Department, and Cumberland Trail Fire Department for their assistance during the incident that occurred on Main Street.
Finance Director Annette Williams reported a Finance Committee meeting tonight, where Councilman Smith will go into greater detail on what occurred. The Revenue for 2022 is on target, while expenses are 11% under what was anticipated, in part because of not being able to get things due to the supply shortage.
Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy reported that permit requests have been picking up due to warmer weather. Mr. Murphy explained to Council his recent finding from the Council’s request to research the population in each Ward so Council could decide if they are following the Charter as written or determine that Council should revise the Charter. Mr. Murphy explained that for each Ward to be proportional, there would need to be 1,224 inhabitants in each Ward. Mr. Murphy found that Ward 1 has 793 inhabitants, Ward 2 has 1,777 inhabitants, Ward 3 has 1,289 inhabitants, and Ward 4 has 1,287 inhabitants. Furthermore, Mr. Murphy explained that if Council wished to follow the Charter correctly, there should be a committee set up to look at changing the boundaries of the Wards to conform to the Charter. But if the Council wished to stay with the geographical boundaries already in place, the Law Director could write legislation to revise the Charter.
Councilman Thomas explained that he feels that we should stick to geographical boundaries rather than change the wards to fit the population.
Council agreed with Councilman Thomas and expressed that they would like the Law Director to write legislation that would change the Charter to having Wards based on geographical boundaries.
Finance Chair Mike Smith reported that the City is in the early stages of preparing for the Audit. With the $5 million grant, the City would submit bills to the State from the waterline project so that they can pay them, so the City wouldn’t have to front any money. The Finance Committee discussed the Investment Committee, but the Finance Committee wants to gather more information before bringing its recommendations to Council. Councilman Smith asked the Council’s opinion on paving. Mr. Greenwood explained that the cost of paving had risen significantly. With the recent $5 million grant, only two options would be financially responsible for Council. First Council could choose to completely rebuild Edinburgh Way and a partial rebuild on Kilsythe Court for $236,000. The second option is that the Council could decide to pave certain roads that the waterline replacement will not touch in phase 1 but other phases. After a lengthy discussion between the Council on the pros and cons of each option, Council decided that Edinburgh Way and Kilsythe Court are in the direst need of replacement. Council asked the Law Director to amend the prior legislation from 2021 on paving to allow for more money to replace the two streets.
Utilities Chair Terra No report
Police Chair Beth Oprisch No report.
Streets – North Side Chair Don Vincenzo reported that residents of Green Tree had approached him about their dissatisfaction with the garbage company emptying the Legion’s trash at 4 am. Councilman Vincenzo asked if there was a remedy that the City could help provide. Chief Arbenz stated that the Legion is outside the City’s jurisdiction and recommends talking to the Legions Commander or speaking to the trash company.
Streets – South Side Chair JC Thrash asked Mr. Greenwood if he could set up a meeting with all the trash companies that operate within the City’s limit. The large size and heavy weight of the garbage trucks on some streets damage the roads. Councilman Thrash would like to ask the companies to use the smaller truck on residential roads to alleviate the risk of damage.
Safety Chair JC Thrash No report.
Building and Grounds Chair Linda Jordan No report.
Planning Commission Chair Mark Thomas No report.
Fire Chair Linda Jordan No report.
Recreation Chair Mark Thomas reported the Summer Concert Series would kick off May 26th at 6 pm, with Eli and the Mojo Kings performing.
Park District Chair Linda Jordan reported that the Park is on target to be open for Memorial Day. The Allen Pools will have free admission all Memorial Day Weekend.
ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS: Law Director Elizabeth Glick
No Ordinances or Resolutions
ADJOURNMENT: With no further business to come before Council, Councilman Smith made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Councilman Thrash. The meeting was adjourned at 8:06 P.M.
The next meeting will be Monday, June 6, 2022, at 7:00 P.M. All Councilmembers will be present at the City Building for the next meeting. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting in the Council Chambers.