City of St. Clairsville
City of St. Clairsville

February 6, 2023 Council Minutes


February 06, 2023 Meeting

Jim Velas, Council President                                             Kathryn Thalman, Mayor

Don Vincenzo, Council, 1st Ward                                     Jeremy Greenwood, Public Service/Safety Director

Kristi Lipscomb, Council, 3rd Ward                                  Don Smithberger, Super. of General Services

Terra Butler, Council, 4th Ward                                        Annette Whealdon, 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 Jim Velas at 7:00 pm. President Velas led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance. Members of the public were thanked for their attendance.


Butler                   HERE                                                Smith                   HERE

Jordan                  ABSENT                                           Thrash                  HERE

Lipscomb             HERE                                                Vincenzo              HERE

Oprisch                HERE

Six (6) Present                One (1) Absent

MINUTES: President Jim Velas confirmed all Councilmembers received the minutes from the January 17th Council Meeting. Councilwoman Butler made a motion to approve the minutes from January 17, 2023, Council Meeting; motion seconded by Councilwoman Oprisch.


Butler                   YES                                                Smith                   YES

Jordan                  ABSENT                                        Thrash                  YES

Lipscomb             YES                                                Vincenzo              YES

Oprisch                YES

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

NEW BUSINESS: Council President Jim Velas addressed an oversight that occurred at the previous meetings of the new year. Council failed to appoint a President Pro Tempore of Council. Council President Velas asked Council to appoint a President Pro Tempore of the Council so that if there is a time when the Council President cannot be at a meeting, the President Pro Tempore can preside over the meeting.

Councilman Mike Smith made a motion to appoint Councilwoman Beth Oprisch as the President Pro Tempore of the Council; Councilwoman Butler seconded the motion.


Butler                   YES                                               Smith                   YES

Jordan                  ABSENT                                        Thrash                  YES

Lipscomb             YES                                                Vincenzo              YES

Oprisch                YES

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




Mayor Kathryn Thalman reported that February is American Heart Month, when everyone can focus on cardiovascular health. Furthermore, Mayor Thalman raised awareness on how 1 in 3 women are diagnosed with heart disease annually. The Mayor asked all residents to reflect on their habits and to conform to a more heart-healthy lifestyle.

Service/Safety Director Jeremy Greenwood reported that the City had purchased a 2023 GMC Sierra Truck to assist the Wastewater Department. The Ohio EPA has awarded the City a $50,000 grant to buy a new generator for the Water Plant. Contracts have been executed for the Water Distribution System Project; the Contractor can now begin ordering supplies and materials. Moreover, the City has received the Ohio Public Works Clean Ohio Funding to purchase 7.8 acres at the Southern End of the Bike Trail; Ohio Public Works will contribute $41,465 to the purchase of the property, leaving the City responsible for $13,822. There are two candidates for the Wastewater Superintendent position and one candidate for the Assistant Electric Department Superintendent. Furthermore, the I-70 Waterline Project has begun; upon further inspection of the waterlines underneath I-70, it appears both were broken. Belmont County Water asked to extend the City’s switchover to County Water to May. The City has sent a letter to the EPA seeking an extension until October. There has been one waterline break this year to date. Lastly, contract negations will begin soon.

Councilman Vincenzo asked if the Water Department will need to allocate more funds, as they will be making water further into the year than planned. Mr. Greenwood stated that the Water Department should not need any more funding.

Councilman Thrash asked if a pre-bid meeting had been scheduled with the Contractor for the Water Distribution Project. Mr. Greenwood stated there has yet to be a pre-bid meeting but hopes to have one soon.

Councilwoman Oprisch asked Mr. Greenwood to update Council on the Gas Aggregation Program. Mr. Greenwood stated that all necessary paperwork had been submitted. The City is now waiting on Trebel to tell them when to sign an agreement.

Police Chief Matt Arbenz reported that in January, there were 457 calls for service, 15 crashes, 44 arrests, two warrants served, two domestic violence calls, and 139 traffic stops. Officers are completing various training, state-mandated and department-wide training for the new kinetic breaching tool.

Finance Director Annette Whealdon [ABSENT] No report.

Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy reported that he submitted the Grant for the ODOT Oil and Shale Roads Program; no decision is expected until spring. ICR Property Management LLC. is seeking a zoning change for a 17.56-acre parcel on the City’s west side near exit 215. The Rezoning Public Hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 13th, at 6 pm in the Council Chambers. Lastly, Mr. Murphy informed the Council that he had renewed the City’s System for Award Management, which allows the City to be eligible to receive federal grants.


Finance Chair Don Vincenzo reported that Council had received the Budget and asked Council to ask any questions to Annette. Furthermore, Councilman Smith advised that if Council wants any changes to the Budget to reach out to Annette as soon as possible.

Utilities Chair Terra Butler reported that the Utility Committee met before the Council meeting, where they reviewed January’s billing report and discussed Gas Aggregation and the new ACH automatic payment system.

Police Chair Mike Smith No report.

Streets – North Side Chair Mike Smith reported that the property across the Laundry Mat has a pipe draining into the property. The water is not that deep but empties onto the road once it gets so high. Councilwoman Butler asked the Street Department to look at the road to the Jr. Sports Complex.

Streets – South Side Chair JC Thrash No report.

Safety Chair JC Thrash Councilman Vincenzo attended the Safety Meeting; he reported that the meeting was very informative and that all employees were engaged in the meeting.

Buildings and Grounds Chair Beth Oprisch reported that the Building and Grounds meeting on January 20th discussed property acquisitions and potential funding sources. Moreover, the committee discussed future projects for the City. The next Buildings and Grounds meeting will be on Friday, February 17th, at 2 pm in the Council Chambers.

Planning Commission Chair Kristi Lipscomb No report.

Fire Chair Linda Jordan [ABSENT] No report.

Recreation Chair Kristi Lipscomb reported that the floors in the front of the Rec Center would be replaced to match the floors in the rest of the building. Oglebay Art Institute contacted the Rec Center to use the meeting rooms as a permanent art studio for the Institute to offer more classes year-round; more details are to come. The Summer Concert Series is being finalized; Councilwoman Lipscomb noted that corporate sponsors, not the City, fund the series.

Park District Chair Linda Jordan [ABSENT] No report.

ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS: Law Director Elizabeth Glick



ADJOURNMENT: With no further business to come before Council, Councilwoman Lipscomb made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Councilman Thrash. The meeting was adjourned at 7:46 P.M.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at 7:00 P.M. All Councilmembers will be present at the City Building for the next meeting. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the meeting in the Council Chambers.

February 6, 2023 Council Minutes