City of St. Clairsville

April 17, 2023 Council Minutes

Posted on May 2nd, 2023 by

Once approved, a link to the official council minutes will be at the bottom.


April 17, 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                   ABSENT

Jordan                 HERE                                              Thrash                  ABSENT

Lipscomb            HERE                                              Vincenzo              HERE

Oprisch               HERE

Five (5) Present                              Two (2) Absent

MINUTES: President Jim Velas confirmed all Councilmembers received the minutes from the April 3rd Council Meeting. Councilwoman Butler made a motion to approve the minutes from April 3, 2023, Council Meeting; motion seconded by Councilwoman Lipscomb.


Butler                   YES                                                Smith                   ABSENT

Jordan                 ABSTAIN                                      Thrash                 ABSENT

Lipscomb            YES                                                 Vincenzo             YES

Oprisch               YES

Roll Call Vote:    Four (4) YES    Zero (0) NO    One (1) ABSTAIN    Two (2) ABSENT

NEW BUSINESS: Councilwoman Oprisch reported that a resident had contacted her about concerns about sewage in the creek near the Efaw Lift Station. Mr. Greenwood reported that the Efaw Lift Station had failed, and the City had placed a backup pump, but when there were periods of high flow, the pump couldn’t keep up overflowing into the creek. Mr. Greenwood stated that the City had repaired the lift station, contacted the EPA, and followed their guidance on cleanup.

Councilwoman Oprish reported receiving calls from residents concerned about a change in the RITA Tax. Ms. Whealdon stated that the percentage that the City gets in RITA Tax has remained the same. Ms. Whealdon noted that if there are any questions about the tax, contact RITA.




Mayor Kathryn Thalman [ABSENT] No report.

Service/Safety Director Jeremy Greenwood reported that the water and sewer rate study is being evaluated to determine the best option for the City. Door hangers are being hung in the neighborhoods where the Water Distribution Project is starting. There will be hydrant flushing during the week of April 24th. The pipe liner is tentatively set to be installed on May 22nd for the I-70 Waterline Project. Furthermore, Mr. Greenwood reported that a contractor would trim trees around powerlines in the City. Information will be provided at the next Utility Meeting regarding letters that will be sent to residents who had violations during the recent Sewer Smoke Testing. Moreover, there is a Trench Safety course scheduled for May 3rd. The Street Department has started mowing in the City. Lastly, Mr. Greenwood reported an employee off in the Waste Water Department after a non-work-related injury.

Councilman Vincenzo asked if the EPA had fined the City for the overflow at the Efaw Lift Station. Mr. Greenwood stated there would be no fine and that the EPA advised him to clean up the debris and put Lyme in the creek. Furthermore, Mr. Greenwood noted that in the event of another lift station failure, the City is getting a larger spare pump to ensure that that pump can keep up with the flow.

Councilman Vincenzo asked what the necessity is of Hydrant Flushing. Mr. Greenwood stated that due to the age of the water pipes, it is necessary to flush the line to remove all sediment.

Councilman Vincenzo asked who cut the Jr. Sports Baseball Fields. Mr. Greenwood stated that a contractor cuts the fields twice a week.

Police Chief Matt Arbenz reported that the Department is updating policies and procedures. The Police department has received several thank you letters from neighboring departments for assistance from the K-9. Lastly, Chief Arbenz wanted to commend Officer Andrew Gazdik, whose recent investigation led to three felony arrests of drug traffickers.

Finance Director Annette Whealdon asked that the Ordinance that will be read at the meeting needs to be passed Emergency for operating expenses. Ms. Whealdon explained that an unemployment claim was not budgeted for, and the recent donations to the Rec Department put the anticipated revenue over budget.

Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy reported that the Ad for the Public Hearing before Council was in the April 7th printing of The Times Leader. Furthermore, Mr. Murphy noted that the Zayo Group is nearing completion of their project and is confirming that they are leaving the City in better condition than before they started. Lastly, Mr. Murphy stressed the importance of getting building permits before any construction in the City to ensure that the structure is up to code and is not over any vital utilities.


Finance Chair Don Vincenzo No report.

Utilities Chair Terra Butler reported that the Utility Committee met for a special session before the Council meeting. They continued to discuss the recent Water and Sewer Rate Study and the next steps the City needs to take to ensure the Water Department can remain funded.

Police Chair Mike Smith [ABSENT] No report

Streets – North Side Chair Mike Smith [ABSENT] No report.

Streets – South Side Chair JC Thrash [ABSENT] No report.

Safety Chair JC Thrash [ABSENT] No report.

Buildings and Grounds Chair Beth Oprisch reported the Building and Grounds Committee meeting on April 25th at noon.

Planning Commission Chair Kristi Lipscomb No report.

Fire Chair Linda Jordan reported that the men and women of the Fire Department are going door to door in the District to provide information and answer questions regarding the Levy on the May 2nd election.

Recreation Chair Kristi Lipscomb reported that there are still ten spots available at the Community Garden. The Rec Center will be closed on May 2nd to host the Election. Lastly, there will be an adult pickleball tournament on April 28th and 29th for $40 per team.

Park District Chair Linda Jordan No report.

ORDINANCES & RESOLUTIONS: Law Director Elizabeth Glick



A motion was made by Councilwoman Jordan that the rules requiring three separate readings be suspended on Ordinance No. 2023-12 and that the Ordinance, be passed on an emergency basis; seconded by Councilwoman Butler.


Butler                   YES                                                 Smith                   ABSENT

Jordan                 YES                                                 Thrash                  ABSENT

Lipscomb            YES                                                 Vincenzo              YES

Oprisch               YES

Roll Call Vote:   Five (5) YES    Zero (0) NO    Zero (0) ABSTAIN    Two (2) ABSENT

Motion Carried

Councilwoman Butler made a motion to approve Ordinance No. 2023-12, the motion was seconded by Councilwoman Lipscomb


Butler              YES                                        Smith               ABSENT

Jordan             YES                                        Thrash             ABSENT

Lipscomb        YES                                        Vincenzo         YES

Oprisch            YES

Roll Call Vote:   Five (5) YES    Zero (0) NO    Zero (0) ABSTAIN    Two (2) ABSENT

Motion Carried

ADJOURNMENT: With no further business to come before Council, Councilwoman Butler made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Councilman Vincenzo. The meeting was adjourned at 7:42 P.M.

The next meeting will be Monday, May 1, 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.

April 17, 2023 Council Minutes