March 20, 2023 Council Minutes
Once approved, a link to the official council minutes will be at the bottom.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE CITY COUNCIL
March 20, 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
Five (5) Present Two (2) Absent
MINUTES: President Jim Velas confirmed all Councilmembers received the minutes from the March 6th Council Meeting. Councilwoman Lipscomb made a motion to approve the minutes from March 6, 2023, Council Meeting; motion seconded by Councilwoman Butler.
Butler YES Smith YES
Jordan ABSENT Thrash YES
Lipscomb YES Vincenzo YES
Roll Call Vote: Five (5) YES Zero (0) NO Zero (0) ABSTAIN Two (2) ABSENT
NEW BUSINESS: None
CITIZEN HEARING: Mike Bianconi, a Pease Township Trustee, and a Board Member of the JB Green Team, spoke to Council about JB Green Teams’ upcoming Community Cleanup Days. For information on all locations and times, please visit https://www.jbgreenteam.org.
Mayor Kathryn Thalman reported that she is thankful for getting through winter unscathed. Mayor Thalman reported that she attended the unveiling of Cumberland Trail’s new fire truck, customized for the department’s needs in the area. Moreover, the Mayor stated she attended the Planning Commission meeting regarding the 17.5-acre property on the City’s west side. Mayor Thalman noted that there were people in attendance who supported the rezoning and those who did not. Lastly, the Mayor indicated that she has been contacting local and state officials to remind them of the exorbitant cost of the Water Distribution Project in hopes of securing more funds.
Service/Safety Director Jeremy Greenwood reported that the Arbor Day Celebration is scheduled at Central Park on May 19th at 11 am. Moreover, the City has purchased a used Truck for the Electric Department. The I-70 Waterline Project is continuing; the existing concrete pipe has been verified to be safe running underneath I-70; the contractor has purchased the lining for the pipe and hopes to have it installed as soon as it comes in. Furthermore, Mr. Greenwood announced that the Gas Aggregation Program letter would be mailed out soon, allowing the residents to opt out of the program. The City has been meeting with a contractor regarding the recently collapsed culvert creating a sinkhole. The City will have a planned power outage caused by the AEP work being done in the City; a Code Red Alert will be sent out to inform citizens of the date and time of the outage. A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 24th, for the Water Distribution Project, materials for the project are being ordered, and a laydown yard is being established. Moreover, the Electric Department has two job openings; please contact the City if interested. Lastly, Mr. Greenwood announced that Officer TJ Weyand and K9 Ruger were March’s employees of the Month for their work going above and beyond the call of duty during a recent drug arrest and seizure.
Councilman Vincenzo asked Mr. Greenwood about the timeframe of the I-70 Waterline Project. Mr. Greenwood stated that he waited to order the liner until the existing culvert was deemed safe for use; now, the liner is ordered once it comes in, and it should be about a week before the project is complete.
Police Chief Matt Arbenz No report.
Finance Director Annette Whealdon reported that she would be attending Ohio Municipal League Training and hopes to bring some new ideas to the City. Furthermore, the Finance Director announced that there will be a Police Levy renewal this year and expects upcoming legislation to approve it to be on the ballot. Lastly, the Finance Director reported on the Finance Committee meeting before the Council Meeting, where she gave monthly financial reports.
Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy reported that the Planning Commission met on Monday, March 13th, to hold its Public Hearing regarding the proposed rezoning of a 17.5-acre parcel on the City’s West Side. At its meeting, the Planning Commission voted to recommend to Council the rezoning of the property. Due to legal requirements, the official recommendation of the Planning Commission will be read at the next Council meeting. Once the official report is read to the Council, the Council will instruct the Planning and Zoning Administrator to set up a Public Hearing for Council on the proposed rezoning, which will be on May 15th. Furthermore, Mr. Murphy reported that he would be submitting the annual Storm Water report to the OEPA. Lastly, Zayo Group informed the City they would start their project in the coming weeks.
Councilman Smith asked Mr. Murphy why Council had to wait so long for the Public Hearing for the proposed rezoning. Mr. Murphy stated that the City has to advertise and follow the code which includes scheduling a public hearing.
Finance Chair Don Vincenzo reported that the Finance Committee met before the Council Meeting, where they reviewed the February financial report showing that expenditures are at about 21% and revenues at about 22%. Furthermore, the Finance Committee discussed utility rates and how the City can invest its money in compliance with state standards.
Utilities Chair Terra Butler reported that due to discussions about utility rates and the recent water study, she would be moving the Utility Committee meetings start time ahead fifteen minutes from 6:15 pm on April 3rd to 6:00 pm on April 3rd.
Police Chair Mike Smith No report.
Streets – North Side Chair Mike Smith No report.
Streets – South Side Chair JC Thrash No report.
Safety Chair JC Thrash No report.
Buildings and Grounds Chair Beth Oprisch [ABSENT] No report.
Planning Commission Chair Kristi Lipscomb reported that she has a copy of the presentation at the Planning Commission meeting if anyone is interested in seeing it. Moreover, she encourages Council to speak with Mr. Murphy before the Public Meeting before Council.
Fire Chair Linda Jordan [ABSENT] Councilwoman Lipscomb read the fire report on behalf of Councilwoman Jordan. Councilwoman Lipscomb reported that the Fire Board voted to renew the Employee Assistance Program for full-time and part-time employees for $2,369. The Fire Board also voted to approve the annual Fire and EMS Contract between Cumberland Trail and Wheeling Township Trustees.
Recreation Chair Kristi Lipscomb reported that she passed out the Summer Concert Series schedule to Council. Gulfport Energy will be presenting the City with a check on March 21st at 10:45 am at the Amphitheater to purchase stage lights for the Amphitheater. Pittsburgh Pirates Charity will donate $11,000 to the Rec Department to rehabilitate the baseball/softball field at the Jr. Sports Complex. Lastly, Councilwoman Lipscomb announced Unified Bank at Central Park would sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt on April 8th at 10 am.
Park District Chair Linda Jordan [ABSENT] No report.
ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS: Law Director Elizabeth Glick
No Ordinances or Resolutions
ADJOURNMENT: With no further business to come before Council, Councilman Thrash made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Councilwoman Butler. The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 P.M.
The next meeting will be Monday, April 3, 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.