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May 15, 2019 Council Minutes (Special Meeting)

COUNCIL MINUTES

May 15, 2019

St. Clairsville City Council met for a Special Meeting in the Mayor’s Office on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 with the following present:

Tim Porter, Council President                        Terry Pugh, Mayor

Mark Bukmir, Council 3rd Ward                     Richard Myser, Law Director

Linda Jordan, Council-At-Large

Beth Oprisch, Council-At-Large

Frank Sabatino, Council 2nd Ward

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large

Jim Velas, Council 4th Ward

The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Porter.

Law Director, Richard Myser

Introduced Resolution No. 2019-10 authorizing the Mayor to file an application with ODOT for a transportation Alternative Program for the Bike Trail.

There was presented and read to Council on its first reading by title only; RESOLUTION NO. 2019-10, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR, ON BEHALF OF THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE, TO FILE AND APPLICATION WITH THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES PROGRAM (tap) AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  Linda Jordan moved that the rules requiring Ordinances and Resolutions to be read on three separate readings be suspended and declaring an emergency:  Frank Sabatino seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile               Not Present              Sabatino           Yes

Bukmir            Yes                             Smith               Yes

Jordan              Yes                           Velas                Yes

Oprisch            Yes

Roll Call Vote               Six (6) Yes       One (1) Not Present                 Motion Carried

There was presented and read to Council on its third and final reading by title only, RESOLUTION NO. 2019-10. A motion was made by Frank Sabatino and seconded by Jim Velas that Resolution No. 2019-10 be passed by Council.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile               Not Present                Sabatino           Yes

Bukmir            Yes                               Smith               Yes

Jordan             Yes                              Velas                Yes

Oprisch            Yes

Roll Call Vote               Six (6) Yes       One (1) Not Present                 Motion Carried

Resolution No. 2019-10 was declared adopted.

There being no other business to come before Council, a motion to adjourn was made by Linda Jordan and seconded by Mike Smith.

May 15, 2019 Council Minutes


May 6, 2019 Council Minutes

COUNCIL MINUTES

May 6, 2019

St. Clairsville City Council met in Council Chambers on Monday, May 6, 2019 with the following present:

Tim Porter, Council President                         Terry Pugh, Mayor

Perry Basile, Council 1st Ward                         Cindi Henry, Finance Director

Mark Bukmir, Council 3rd Ward                       Richard Myser, Law Director

Linda Jordan, Council-At-Large                       Don Smithberger, Director of General Services

Beth Oprisch, Council-At-Large                      Jim Zucal, Director of Public Services

Frank Sabatino, Council 2nd Ward                  Jeff Henry, Police Chief

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large

Jim Velas, Council 4th Ward

The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Porter

MINUTES:  Minutes of the April 15, 2019 meeting were distributed to Council.

Voting to accept the minutes was tabled until a few corrections are made.  Minutes with corrections will be voted on next meeting.

CITIZENS HEARINGLarry Barnes, Commander, American Legion Post 159

This letter was written in support from different Veterans for Mayor Pugh and Jeff Henry.

To the Honorable Mayor, Terry Pugh.  We want you to know that the local Veterans totally support you and Chief Henry though this ordeal.  If you ever need our support we will gladly be there.  We cannot condemn enough the untruths and leaking of untruths committed by those who have an agenda of self-motivation and greed and jealousy.  You have the local Veterans support.  Tim Porter and Council Members: Thank You.

Louis Snead & Shirley Brown:  My name is Shirley Brown and I have lived in St. Clairsville since 1965.  About a month ago I had a man come down taking pictures.  I just happened to be on the porch.  He said are these your cars?   I said yes and he said they will have to be moved, not even nice.  Beth Oprisch:  Where do you live?  Shirley Brown:  Jefferson Street, down by St. Clair Lumber.  It is a dead end.  Since I have been there we have had cars sit on the street with no plates and I told him I will move the cars and put them in the yard.  OH no you can’t do that with expired plates.  Why am I paying taxes if they can tell me what I can do with my property?  That was my main concern of coming here tonight.  Also because it is a dead end cars come flying down thinking they are on St. Clair Avenue.  I would like a sign put up because my greatgrandchildren play in the yard and they are little and I don’t want them getting hit.  Since I have been there, no snow plow no street cleaner has ever come to the end of the street and I would like for that to happen.  Beth Oprisch:  Do you know who was taking the pictures?  Mr. Snead:  It was a City employee.  Shirley Brown:  It was Tom Murphy.  I told him that is why I have a door bell.  All he had to do was ring the door bell and ask me if they were my cars.  If they are parked beside my house naturally they are my cars.  Not only that it cost about $200 because we had to get plates or tow them.  All of this was uncalled for because of it being a dead end.  You ride all over St. Clairsville and you see cars broke down, on jacks, on blocks with no plates so what is going on?  Mr. Snead:  There was one car that was parked on the street for over two years with no tags on it.  They just removed it recently.  If you are going to come and do one person you should do all of them.  Everybody should be treated equally.  Mayor Pugh:  We have zoning requirements in St. Clairsville.  Mr. Murphy goes out, I can show you a very thick file where people are brought into Mayor’s Court because they won’t comply.  The thing is we are only trying to insure that property values remain steady in St. Clairsville.  That is Mr. Murphy’s job and he does it very well, he does it by code and he sends a letter out usually with pictures of whatever the offense was and the code.  If there is no action taken the Law Director sends the next letter out and they are invited to Mayor’s Court.  This is done all over St. Clairsville.  I would be happy for you to come into my office and I will show you the file.  Mr. Snead:  There was a green Pontiac parked for two years on Ruggles with no tags on it.  I never saw anybody do anything about that car. I think everyone should be treated equal.   Mayor:  I assure you Mr. Murphy tries his best, I do, the Police Officers are out and if they see cars without tags on them it is brought to Mr. Murphy’s attention.  I am not saying the City is perfect but we try to take care of every road in the City whether it needs plowed or swept.  We never had a street sweeper until last year.  They are out using it and they are supposed to be covering every street in the city.  Jefferson Street need to be re-tarred, it is all cratered.  They put some rocks down but they need to be tarred before the rain washes them away.  Mayor:  I assure you we will be out to look at Jefferson Street.  Tim Porter:  We thank you for your comments, we will see what we can do for you.

Bill Brooks:  I am back again about the water situation.  I made some recommendations that a committee be appointed.  That an outside contractor look at our plant and tell us how much it will cost to get it in operating condition and approximately how much it will cause our bills to go up.  As of yet none of this has happened, however, it was in the paper that he is not going to appoint a committee, but they took two citizens and Councilman Velas to a town and I don’t think any of them have degrees in Chemistry or Engineering.  I am not going to stand up here and complain about the way things are being ran even though I don’t like the way they are being ran.  The Mayor refuses to let the Citizens decide if they want to sell their water.  The water belongs to everybody.  What are we going to do next, sell our oxygen, do we have to pay for our air?  We have people who are barely making it in St. Clairsville.  They are cutting their pills.  They are not paying a bill so they can pay another bill.  This company is not coming in here to bail us out from the goodness of their heart.  They are coming in here to make a profit.  It is easy for Council to say we are going to go with this other company because they are going to wipe out the dept.  That does not take care of the problem.  The citizens cannot afford this.  I am asking once again that we do not sell our water plant, that we look into fixing our water plant and look into professionals to tell us how much it would cost us to fix our water plant.  For some reason no one has gone to see if we can get grants, loans and nothing else.  It is a done deal.  Aqua takes you to a town that they know they are going to get a good report on and everybody comes back happy.  I am still going to ask the Council and the Mayor to once again investigate, to let the citizens decide if they want to sell their water plant or not.  It belongs to us, not just Council.  I appreciate you letting me have your time.  Tim Porter:  Thank you Mr. Brooks.  Beth Oprisch:  The Mayor is not going to appoint a committee? Mayor:  What we are looking at doing, and I have talked to a couple of engineers, is once the bids are open we are going to appoint a committee that will include technical people.  Jeff Vaughn is already on it.  He is the engineer for the County’s water system.   I will ask Mr. Brooks today if he wants to be on it that is fine.  I have talked to A. J. Smith who is an engineer with Hull and Associates.  He has done the engineering on our reservoir.  There is a lady who has a chemistry degree, she has come in a talked to us.  When the time is right we will have people that will be on a committee to evaluate this.  Mr. Brooks has said what he feels, it is going to be ridiculous for me to say what I feel because we are not going to agree on it but I am willing to talk any time but I am not willing just on emotions to say this is the best thing for the citizens of St. Clairsville because what we are going through with the EPA, money is no object with the EPA and if you think the rates are going to go up they are really going to go up if we keep being dictated to with what we have to do to comply with the EPA requirements.  Bill Brooks:  Anyone in here who has cable knows that every other month they add on 99 cents, they make you buy channels that you don’t want.  Mr. Mayor I am going to agree to be on the committee that you asked me to be on but I am going to say this much, we need a professional company to come in here and appraise, not people off the street.  A professional company to tell us what it is going to take to get that water plant into shape and approximately how much it is going to cost the citizens to get the water plant in shape.  You could get Miss Beth and Sabatino.  They could all come back with a story but they don’t know they are not professional in this expertise.  But the citizens know our water bill is going to go up, we know that but we still own the water, our kids will own the water.  They are not going to pay off eight million in debt out of the goodness of their hearts.  Mr. Mayor if you would just appoint the correct people, not even me.  I don’t know what it would take.  Get an independent company and let the citizens know, an independent company said this is the best way to go.  Beth Oprisch:  Did we hear anything from RCAP?  Bill Brooks:  Have we heard from anyone besides Aqua Ohio?  Jim Zucal:  We have two.

REPORTS:

Service Director, Jim Zucal

Thank you Mr. Brooks, I appreciate all of your Comments but I want the Citizens to know we have had Chemists, Engineers and private companies look at the Water Plant many times.  I can assure you the whether this comes to fruition or not the rates will go up.  We answer to the Ohio EPA and they look at future grants and loans.  The previous Administration was told that to replace that water plant it would cost in the 12 to 15 million amount.  It would take in the two to three million amount to band aid the plant and make it functional.  The problem is the city owns reservoirs which are surface plants.  The EPA states that to get grants and loans the minimum water/sewer bill for the City of St. Clairsville would have to be $136, we are currently at $42.  We would have to triple our rates.  Keep in mind that we have a surface plant with surface water, we do not have wells.  Mr. Brooks got out of control and was asked to take his seat by the Chief.

There will be yard waste pick up May 13th to 17th by Ward.    There will be hydrant flushing next week.  Our crews are very busy.

I did talk to Julie Ward at RCAP.  We had a nice conversation. You are welcome to call her.  Her number is available in my office.  Keep in mind I have been doing this for 30 years.  The RCAP Field day is coming up.  They are a service provider.  They do not administer funds, they are not a financial outlet where we can get money.  I did get a list of services that they do provide and an invitation to their field days.  I can tell you that the City’s water/sewer has been looked at back in 1984 by Burgess & Niple out of Columbus.  The City has spent thousands of dollars to get the same answer every time.

Mayor, Terry Pugh: 

The Charter Review met for the last time last week.  Law Director, Richard Myser will put it in Ordinance form and present it to Council for approval.  A couple of the Committee members are here tonight and I would like to thank them for taking their time to serve on the committee.

I have the April Police Report which will be available in the Mayor’s Office.  I appreciate the Officers being out in the neighborhoods and doing a good job for us.

Tim Porter:  I want to say at our last meeting I said that I was to keep our meeting in order and under control.  As we know there was a ridiculous outburst by our Mayor accusing Council for releasing a report to the public.  That did not happen by anyone on this Council.  There were many copies of that report out before Council received it.  That being said I think the Mayor should apologize to this Council and myself for his actions.  Mayor Pugh:  Mr. President I meant every word I said.  You were given the draft, no one else was, so I stand by every word.  Tim Porter:  The next time this happens, any person or persons who gets out of order will be removed from the meeting. Perry Basile:  Just for the record.  Tim and I have been discussing this for a while with the city and did not ask for an outside investigation, where we found out was from you Mayor during a meeting in your office and we were quite surprised that somebody was hired to do this.  Mayor Pugh:  I don’t know why because I stated in the meeting that when you accused me of being part of it that I would have to get someone outside to do the investigation and that is what I did.  Perry Basile:  I am just saying we didn’t ask for it.  Mayor Pugh:  You asked for it.

Police Chief, Jeff Henry:  No Report.  Frank Sabatino:  Thank you and all your officers for all you do.

Finance Director, Cindi Henry:

You all have copies of Resolution No. 2019-09, many years ago the City collected deposits on people who lived here.  The amount has changed over the years.  It should have been refunded in a short period of time but that did not happen.  We have worked on this for three plus years and finally got it ironed out.  They have given every one their deposits back throughout the city that we had records of.  As a result of that there is $37,550.86 left in the Utility Deposit Fund.  Due to the fact that we cannot find out who it belongs to we are putting a Resolution in place to remove these funds from the Utility Fund and placing them in the General Fund.  If by chance someone has a receipt feel free to bring it in and we will refund your money.

Frank Sabatino:  The infamous report from Clemens Nelson that Mr. Porter and Mr. Basile initiated, what has the cost been to the City and the Citizens?   Cindi Henry:  It is between $14,000 and $15,000 just for the investigation and the report associated with the investigation.  Sabatino:  Is that tab still running?  Cindi Henry:  Every month I get a bill if something is added, yes. Perry Basile:  How much was it just for the report?  Cindi Henry:  $14,000 to $15,000.  Beth Oprisch:  Who did the investigation?  Cindi Henry:  Carrie from Clemens Nelson.

Planning & Zoning Administrator, Tom Murphy:  Not Present

COUNCIL COMMITTEES:

Finance, Mike Smith:  No Report

Utilities, Frank Sabatino:

Utility Committee met tonight.  Don Smithberger had nothing to report.   Meeting consisted of discussion of privation of the water and sewer plants in St. Clairsville.

Police, Mark Bukmir: No Report

Street North Side, Jim Velas:

Do you have a date for the paving on North Market?  Jim Zucal:  Not yet.  We are still in the process where the companies are picking up the bids.  We have had two picked up so far.  My goal is mid-summer to get it done before school starts.

Street South Side, Beth Oprisch:   No Report

Safety, Jim Velas:   The Safety Meeting for this month will be the last Thursday of the Month and the program will be Defensive Driving.

Building Perry Basile:  No Report

Planning Commission: Mike Smith:  No Report

Fire District, Frank Sabatino:  Fire Board Meeting will be Wednesday, May 22nd at 3:00 at the Main Station

Recreation, Linda Jordan: Next meeting will be Monday, May 20th

Park District, Linda Jordan:

Pool passes are available at Riesbeck’s and Kirke’s Ice Cream.  They are discounted thru Memorial Day.  Pool Passes are $100 for family, $60 for individuals and $45 for seniors.  The next meeting is Monday, May 13th.

On behalf of the public Bible Reading I would like to thank Council for letting us hold the event, thank the Belmont County Residents who came out, thanks to County and City Officials Mark Bukmir, Jim Zucal and Mayor Pugh who not only opened us up on the first day but came back on a second day when we needed a fill in.  I want to commend the Mayor for the powerful statement that he made before you did your proclamation.  It obviously brought down the house, Thank You.

Perry Basile:   Can we go back to the investigation?  Just for the record.  Tim and I have been discussing this for a while with the city and we did not ask for an outside investigation, where we found out was from you Mayor during a meeting in your office and we were quite surprised that somebody was hired to do this.  Mayor Pugh:  I don’t know why because I stated in the meeting when you accused me of being part of it that I would have to get someone outside to do the investigation and that is what I did.  Perry Basile:  I am just saying we didn’t ask for it.  We asked you to look into it.  Mayor Pugh:  You asked for it when you accused me of being part of the cause.  Perry Basile:  That’s true.  Mayor: Therefore I couldn’t do the investigation.  Perry Basile:  Also if we can see a receipt for the investigator.  Cindi Henry:  Just like what you asked for before?  Perry:  Yes.  Cindi:  I can get those for you.

Law Director, Richard Myser:

This evening we have one piece of legislation to come before Council.  That is Resolution No. 2019-09, this is the Resolution that Cindi Henry talked to you about.  We can read this Resolution tonight and pass it on an Emergency or we can read it three times.  Cindi Henry:  It makes no difference to me.

There was presented and read to Council on its first reading by title only, RESOLUTION NO. 2019-09: A RESOLUTION TO TRANSFER BALANCE OF ALL FUNDS FROM THE UTILITY DEPOSIT REFUND FUND TO THE GENERAL FUND AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.

NEW BUSINESS:        

The Mayor’s Collection for April was $4,381.90.  A motion to approve the Mayor’s report was made by Linda Jordan and seconded by Mike Smith.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile              Yes                              Sabatino                      Yes

Bukmir             Yes                              Smith                           Yes

Jordan              Yes                              Velas                           Yes

Oprisch            Yes

Roll Call Vote:   Seven (7) Yes                        Zero (0) No      Motion Approved

The Next Council Meeting will be Monday, May, 20, 2019 at 7:30 in Council Chambers.

There being no further business to come before Council a motion to adjourn was made by Mike Smith and seconded by Jim Velas.

May 6, 2019 Council Minutes


April 15, 2019 Council Minutes

COUNCIL MINUTES

April 15, 2019

St. Clairsville City Council met in Council Chambers on Monday, April 15, 2019 with the following present:

Tim Porter, Council President                         Terry Pugh, Mayor

Perry Basile, Council 1st Ward                        Cindi Henry, Finance Director

Mark Bukmir, Council 3rd Ward                      Richard Myser, Law Director

Linda Jordan, Council-At-Large                      Tom Murphy, Planning & Zoning Administrator

Beth Oprisch, Council-At-Large                      Jim Zucal, Director of Public Services

Frank Sabatino, Council 2nd Ward                  Jeff Henry, Police Chief

Mike Smith, Council-At-Large                         Don Smithberger, Director of General Services

Jim Velas, Council 4th Ward

The meeting was called to order by President, Tim Porter

MINUTES:  Minutes of the April 1, 2019 meeting were distributed to Council.  A motion was made by Jim Velas and seconded by Linda Jordan to approve the Minutes of April 1, 2019.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile              Yes                              Sabatino                      Yes

Bukmir             Yes                              Smith                           Abstain

Jordan              Yes                              Velas                           Yes

Oprisch            Abstain

Roll Call Vote: Five (5) Yes         Zero (0) No  Two (2) Abstain          Motion Approved

COUNCIL PRESIDENT, Tim Porter:  As president of this City Council I am responsible for running the meetings and keeping them in order.  We have an Ordinance that people who wish to speak at the Council meeting must submit a written request by the Friday before the meeting.  Currently we realize that we are dealing with multiple issues in various departments in our City.  At this time many of the issues have become complicated and difficult for us to resolve. As you know our organization is part elected and part appointed.  We are obligated to run the various affairs and requirements of this city by its Charter that is in place.  At this meeting I am asking the Council and the Administration to work together in an ethical way so we can resolve these difficult issues that we are all aware of.   We all desire to keep our City a great prosperous place to live.

CITIZENS HEARING:

Wendy Anderson, St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce:  I would like to thank Tom Murphy and Chief Henry for their help with our Art Walk.  As Tim said we are trying to bring a lot of recognition to St. Clairsville, some excitement to St. Clairsville.  On April 25th we are going to have an Art Walk.  It is going to begin at Window Fashions by Beth and end at Kelly’s at Suite II.  In between there we are going to have a lot of businesses open up their doors and host different artists.  Newellstown Diner will be open for the event.  I understand that there will be Bible reading in front of the Sherriff’s Museum so we are moving some of our events down the street so we will not affect that area.  I just want to thank everyone for being a part of it.

Brewster Martin:  The Mayor asked me if I would be interested in going on a tour to visit three facilities that Aqua Ohio owns and operates.  I want to thank the Mayor for the privilege of serving the community.  Along with us were Ernie Schlatt and Councilman Velas.  Mr. Schlatt is not here tonight so he dictated a letter concerning the trip and the Mayor asked me to read it.

Ernie Schlatt, a St. Clairsville resident, admits that he was a little skeptical about a pending proposal to sell the City’s water and sewer assets after reading available information and speaking with other residents of St. Clairsville.  After a trip to Northeast Ohio to discuss the privatization option with other community leaders who have had years of experience with a private operator Mr. Schlatt’s concerns were addressed.  Recognizing that water and sewer utility rates will go up regardless, Mr. Schlatt feels that the City should sell these assets at this time.  The first stop was in Green, Ohio, where its Mayor spoke to the representatives from St. Clairsville.  The Mayor Gerard Neugebauer  is a Civil Engineer by training.  He explained that Greene couldn’t keep up with the new City’s growth by itself which is why in the mid- 1900s it turned to a private contractor.  The Mayor had good things to report about working closely with a private contractor to meet Green’s needs for water and sewer services.  City Council members from Struthers, Ohio and the Village Administrator of Jefferson, Ohio also reflected positively on their communities’ experience with a private contractor.  All the feedback from these community leaders was positive in regard to the current operations and relationship with the contractor.  When any glitch has occurred, the private contractor had employees with the knowledge to solve the problems without the need to hire outside consultants.  The elected appointed officials also reported that most citizens of their communities also are happy with the quality of the services under privatization.  Following the new information presented, these meetings and tour of the water facilities in Struthers, Ohio, Mr. Schlatt’s opinion is that any future rate increases would be higher if the City of St. Clairsville were to undertake the needed reconstruction project to the Water Treatment Plant on its own.  The bottom line is the private contractor has the expertise in- house which makes these and other system upgrades affordable for all utility customers.

Brewster Martin: That was a pretty positive review.  My review however is not quite as rosy.  I am not here to say that I oppose privatization but I think there might be a rush to accomplish this with still a lot of unanswered possible problems to be addressed.  I do have a concern.  After meeting with Aqua Ohio people and Government officials from the three communities which was very positive, I think we have to remember Aqua Ohio is basically a monopoly.  They have no competition.  That concerns me right off the bat because we don’t want to give our water plant away.  I really think the Mayor said it is going to go out for bid but I think Aqua Ohio will be the only bidder because they are the only one qualified one to bid it in the state of Ohio.  I think myself as a resident and I would hope everyone in the City would be concerned that we would be getting the true value of our water plant in the sale of it.  Right now I don’t know if that will happen.  Let me say that I am certainly willing to meet with anybody and express my views.  I have some thoughts about maybe solving the city’s problems without a private contractor.  Here is what I noticed.  I have a feeling that Council thinks that if the plant is sold in a very short period of time problems will disappear.  That concerns me because Jefferson, a town that is slightly bigger than St. Clairsville in square miles, has fewer water customers than we do, fewer citizens than we do has been owned by Aqua Ohio for going on 40 years.  The Mayor said we have 10 miles of line that needs replaced.  I asked the Administrator of Jefferson how many they had replaced.  He said he did not know but he knew how big it was in square miles.  It turns out that St. Clairsville  is 2.4 square miles.  Jefferson has been going through a water line replacement program for 17 years.  That concerns me because talking to the Mayor and Councilman Velas, they recognize the need for water line replacement.  This is something I did not know until this trip.  The water plant puts out 600,000 gallons of water per day but only bills for 300,000 because of leaks or unmetered use.  The feeling is that the problems will go away, just telling you that Jefferson has gone through water line replacement for 17 years and it still is not done.  We toured a very nice new facility, a maintenance facility in Struthers.  They employ 22 people in that facility that do nothing but maintenance.  Struthers is not that big of a city to demand 22 maintenance people.  I didn’t ask but I think the facility in Struthers was probably like a hub that went out other than Struthers.  That is something that concerns me because in Northeast Ohio there seems to be several communities that have sold their facilities to Aqua Ohio.  I am concerned that St. Clairsville might be a satellite situation where the need to make emergency repairs for water line breaks or other emergency we might have will not happen out of our local facility but they will have to come from two hours away to make major repairs.  Minor things would probably happen with local employees.  The City Administrator of Jefferson told me that there are only two people employed in Jefferson by Aqua Ohio.  I am not against it, I just think there are a lot of concerns that need to be addressed.  I am willing to meet and talk about it.

Chris Musser:  128 Franklin Street

I want to thank the Mayor for some changes that have been made that improved the parking.  I do have one minor problem, the no parking sign that they did put up is right on the corner of my driveway.  I would like to talk to somebody about the potential of moving that down a little bit.  Another question is that parking a temporary situation or can people just park there without any timeline.  People on our street will park there for days and weeks at a time without moving their vehicles.  I went to the meeting at the Rec. Center on the Water Treatment Plant and will be glad to get that information.  Living on Franklin Street we have had a water problem forever.  If more citizens knew what was out there and had taken the time to attend that meeting they would try to get it resolved.  I urge Council to try to get it resolved whether it is privatization or bringing it up to standard.  If people has taken the time to attend that meeting there would be a lot more people here trying to get it resolved.  There is nothing better than good water.  This time of year it is not even drinkable out of the faucet.  Beth Oprisch:  Do we know about the parking sign?  Mayor Pugh:  That sign has to be replaced, I talked to Darin Pytlak and he has ordered new signs.  Chief Henry:  As long as a vehicle is parked in front of your residence except the people who live on the no parking side.

Tim Porter:  While we are talking about the water, I did a little research on my own.  I made some phone calls to some different organizations.  I talked to someone at RCAP (Rural Community Assistance Program).  I am sure the Mayor and Jim are aware of this program.  What they offer is a program that they can come in and talk to the city, go through our program and see what they can do to maybe help us get some money or assistance from another organization through them.  Maybe they can help us with our situation.  There is not a lot of information here but I just wanted to introduce this.  They will do the initial evaluation for free.  They do training, help you with development and they have a support team that will work with us.

REPORTS:

Service Director, Jim Zucal

I will follow up with the Council President’s suggestion.  I am very familiar with RCAP.  I will have to ask Cindi but I do believe we are a member of RCAP.  When we looked at utility rates we went to RCAP first, if you remember the Quicksall Company came in cheaper so we used them.  I will be glad to look into it but the problem is we are a city, RCAP is mainly for rural communities.  We don’t meet their usual formula based on our medium household income and our utility rates.  They do rent equipment, they really don’t give anything away.  They are more of a training board.  They train the financial officers, your operators and the people in the field.  I will be glad to follow up and get back to Council.

I thank Mr. Martin for his report.  Anyone who hasn’t been to the Water Plant, I encourage you to do so.  I think Council knows that we have been working for two years to find a solution.  I am new in 2016 to the City but I can tell you our directives come from the Ohio EPA.  As we continue to move forward we continue to get more violations.  The EPA doesn’t look at how much money we have they just want results.  The EPA’s formula for rates are you have to be within 1.8 to 2.3 % of your medium household income.  In St. Clairsville the medium income is $68,000.  At 2% that is $136.00 per month for a minimum water and sewer bill.  Currently St. Clairsville is at $42.00.  We would have to triple our rates to be eligible for a loan.  I want to do what is best for the Community, I want Council to be informed.  This is what I do, I have been doing it for 30 years.  A lot depends on what decision the Council makes.  There is a document in place.  The whole team has worked together to put this information together If you find the time to come and talk with us we will be available.  An ad was in the paper yesterday that will run for three weeks advertising for privatizing the water/sewer department.  We have been contacted by companies that do this sort of thing.  I think we all agree it is about the future of the city.  Everyone who talks to us want better water.  The constituents of this city deserve clean, safe drinking water.  If you want to talk to the EPA I would be glad to provide names and phone numbers.

I did pass out the paving list.  I took the information from council members.  I appreciate everyone’s input.  We have put together a list we think is adequate.  The tonnage right now is estimated at 1,752 tons.  The rate last week for asphalt was $ 67 per ton.  The legislation allow for up to $150.000.  I think it is a good list.  We are contracting with the Township to pave some alleys and we will continue to dura-patch.

Mayor, Terry Pugh: 

The Mayor read the monthly police report for March.  The report is available in the Mayor’s Office

I do have the final report on the discriminatory harassment investigation.  I will distribute it to Council tonight.  I have some questions that I want to ask of each Council member and when it is over we will have discussion.  On March 11 I released a draft copy of the report on discriminatory harassment to Council.  Council were cautioned by our Law Director, Richard Myser that this was a draft copy and was not to disseminate to the public.  After the warning by the Law Director it appears that some members of Council saw fit to disseminate and publicize the draft report contrary to the Ohio Public Records statute.  Some members of Council also irresponsibly discussed the draft report with the media who have in turn mischaracterized it and inaccurately and selectively misquoted it.  I am going to release this report to you.  I want to say there is not much difference between the draft and the final copy except for the case subjects names have been redacted in the final report.  That is another reason it should not have been released to the public.  I am going to hand these out and ask a question that I would like to ask.  The Mayor asked Council President, Tim Porter if he released the information, asked if he asked anyone to release it and if he knew who did release it.  Mr. Porter answered the he absolutely did not do any of those things,  The Mayor repeated the same three questions to the seven Council Members to which each of them answered the did not release it and did not know who did.  Mayor Pugh:  Someone is lying. I think I know who is lying and I think this is all political and it stinks to high heaven.  I have a couple of statements I want to make and the first one is that I support Chief Henry totally.  This was an investigation of alleged discriminatory harassment occurring in the Police Department and the Mayor’s Office by City Councilmen.  City Charter requires the Mayor to conduct an investigation on any claims of discriminatory harassment.  I selected a well-qualified independent third party to conduct the investigation and issue a report to me.  Because the allegations were made against me I did not feel right that I conduct the investigation.   Some of the perseptonss provided by the persons interviewed were not flattering of the city generally and of the Police Chief, Jeff Henry specifically.  Jeff Henry is a lifelong resident and well respected in this community and a long serving member of the Police Department and our duly appointed Chief of Police and again I support him completely.  I am proactively working with Chief Henry to address some of the issues raised by the context of this report.  Chief Henry and I are absolutely committed to making our police department, our officers, our city the absolute best they can be.  It is important to remember that the purpose of this investigation was to examine an alleged discriminatory harassment within the Police Department.  Most important the investigator concluded that there was no violation of state or federal law related to the employment, discrimination or harassment and or retaliation.  This has turned out to be a huge black eye and as Mr. Zucal said it is toxic.  That is a minor word for what this is.  We are going to try to strive to straighten this out.  I can tell you the people involved, if you want to do something politically, I am running for Mayor, you are running for Mayor.  Let’s run on our backgrounds and experience instead of stooping to things like this.  Tim Porter:  I am not involved in this and I don’t want to hear it.  Mayor Pugh:  You and Mr. Basile are involved in this and Mr. Basile doesn’t do a thing that you don’t tell him to do.  He looks to you for a vote.  Tim Porter:  We are moving on.  Beth Oprisch:  The recommendation & Report, we will be following up?  Mayor Pugh:  Yes we will.

Police Chief, Jeff Henry:  No Report

Finance Director, Cindi Henry:  No Report

Planning & Zoning Administrator, Tom Murphy: 

Just a reminder to the public to apply for your zoning permits prior to construction and be sure you meet City code.  This time of year there are a lot of projects being initiated without a permit.  Most of them we can take care of but one started without a permit and started to put a post in near a storm line.

The State of Ohio has granted as of this last Friday the right for the Mid-East Building Department to handle our commercial building permits.

The City is working with Horizon Telecom.  Every so often there is a fiber company comes before Council asking for permission to locate on city poles.  We have been working with Horizon at a few different occasions.  They want to extend their lines to various businesses.  We are working with Don Smithberger.  We do have their proposals and they will most likely be at the next Council meeting.

A couple of times a year there is something called System for Award Management.  In order for us to do business with the Federal Government we must register in order to apply for grants.

COUNCIL COMMITTEES:

Finance, Mike Smith:  No Report

Utilities, Frank Sabatino:

Don Smithberger:  We are in the process of trimming trees.  If you have any problems call the Mayor’s Office or the Utility Office.  Since it is growing season, we ask you to keep your foliage back from your meters.   Frank:  I would like to commend the Mayor for taking a couple of our good citizens on the water trip.

Police, Mark Bukmir: No Report

Street North Side, Jim Velas:

Patching being done on North Market Street very much needed.

Street South Side, Beth Oprisch:  Pinecrest?

Safety, Jim Velas:

Safety Meeting scheduled for the last Thursday of the month.

Building Perry Basile:  No Report

Planning Commission: Mike Smith:  No Report

Fire District, Frank Sabatino:

The Fire Board met on Wednesday, April 10th. We accepted the resignation of one full timer and moved two people from part time to full time.  The resignations are mostly due to better opportunities. Approved the service contract with the Belmont County Commissioners.   Some work being done on the building.  Next meeting will be Wednesday, May 22 at 3:00 at the Main Station.

Recreation, Linda Jordan: Next meeting will be Monday, May 20th

Park District, Linda Jordan:

Pool Passes will be available on May 1st at Riesbeck’s and Kirke’s – Next meeting, May 13th.

I want to say one more thing, Mr. Basile, when you give your media interviews and you refer to Council, please exclude Linda Jorden.  You do not speak for me.

Law Director, Richard Myser:

This evening we have one piece of legislation, it is Ordinance No. 2019-07, it is up for its third and final reading this evening.   This is the Ordinance directing the Service Director to solicit competitive bids for the resurfacing of streets in the city.

I have been contacted that we need to go into Executive Session to review personnel matters under Ohio Revised Code Section 121.22 (G) (1).

There was presented and read to Council on its third and final reading by title only, ORDINANCE NO. 2019-07. AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SERVICES TO SOLICIT COMPETITIVE BIDS FOR THE RESURFACING OF STREETS IN THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE AND AUTHORIZING AN EXPENDITURE NOT TO EXCEED $150,000.00 FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2019 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY.  A motion was made by Linda Jordan and seconded by Mike Smith that Ordinance No. 2019-07 be passed by Council.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile              Yes                              Sabatino                      Yes

Bukmir             Yes                              Smith                           Yes

Jordan              Yes                              Velas                           Yes

Oprisch            Yes

Roll Call Vote: Seven (7) Yes      Zero (0) No             Motion Approved

Ordinance No. 2019-07 was declared adopted.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

A motion to go into Executive Session for Ohio Revised Code Section 121.22 (G) (1) Personnel was made by Beth Oprisch and seconded by Mike Smith.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile              Yes                              Sabatino                      Yes

Bukmir             Yes                              Smith                           Yes

Jordan              Yes                              Velas                           Yes

Oprisch            Yes

Roll Call Vote: Seven (7) Yes      Zero (0) No             Motion Approved

RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION:

A motion to return to Regular Session was made by Mark Bukmir and seconded by Linda Jordan.

Roll Call Vote:

Basile              No                                Sabatino                      Yes

Bukmir             Yes                              Smith                           No

Jordan              Yes                              Velas                           Yes

Oprisch            No

Roll Call Vote: Four (4 ) Yes       Three (3) No            Motion Approved

The Next Council Meeting will be Monday, May, 6, 2019 at 7:30 in Council Chambers.

There being no further business to come before Council a motion to adjourn was made by Jim Velas and second by Frank Sabatino.


Ordinance Number 2019 – 12

ORDINANCE NUMBER 2019 – 12

AN ORDINANCE DETERMINING THE LOWEST AND

BEST BID FOR RESURFACING OF STREETS

IN THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE

AND AWARDING THE CONTRACT TO

SHELLY & SANDS, INC., OF RAYLAND, OHIO,

AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

 

WHEREAS, the City of St. Clairsville has received bids for resurfacing of streets in the City of St. Clairsville; and

WHEREAS, City Council condones the action of the Director of Public Services in acting to advertise and accept the lowest and best bid for the resurfacing project in the City.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OHIO:

Section 1:        That the bid of Shelly & Sands, of Rayland, Ohio, in the amount of $191,196.00 for resurfacing of streets in the City of St. Clairsville, and in accordance with the plans and specifications on file, is determined to be the lowest and best bid after competitive bidding.

Section 2:        That the Mayor is authorized and directed to enter into a contract with Shelly & Sands, Inc., to resurface streets in the City of St. Clairsville and the Director of Finance is authorized to expend the sum of $191,196.00 for this purpose.

Section 3:        That this Ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City of St. Clairsville for the resurfacing of streets.

Section 4:        This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by the Charter of the City of St. Clairsville, Ohio.

PASSED  at  a  meeting  of  the  council of the City of St. Clairsville on this 20th of May, 2019, by the affirmative vote of 7 members of the council.

Ordinance Number 2019 – 12


Ordinance Number 2019 – 11

ORDINANCE NUMBER 2019 – 11

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 2019 – 07

AND AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SERVICES TO SOLICIT

COMPETITIVE BIDS FOR THE RESURFACING OF

STREETS IN THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE

AND AUTHORIZING AN EXPENDITURE

NOT TO EXCEED $200,000.00 FOR THE CALENDAR

YEAR 2019 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

 

WHEREAS, the City has determined that various streets have fallen into a state of disrepair and need to be resurfaced; and

WHEREAS, the resurfacing of various City streets will improve the public peace, health, and welfare of the residents of the City of St. Clairsville.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OHIO:

Section 1: That Ordinance Number 2019 – 07 is hereby amended to allow the Director of Public Services for the City of St. Clairsville to be authorized and directed to accept lowest bids for the resurfacing of various City streets in the City of St. Clairsville, and to accept the lowest and best bid for the resurfacing and to authorize work for such resurfacing not to exceed $200,000.00 for the calendar year 2019.

Section 2: That the Director of Public Services is authorized to spend funds for the resurfacing of various City streets upon award of a contract.

Section 3: That this Ordinance is declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, welfare and safety of the residents of the City of St. Clairsville and for further reasons that delays in the resurfacing of the City streets will adversely affect the safety interests of the residents of the City of St. Clairsville and the financial interest of the City.

Section 4: This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by the Charter of the City of St. Clairsville, Ohio.

*

PASSED  at  a  meeting  of  the  council of the City of St. Clairsville on this 20th day of May, 2019, by the affirmative vote of 7 members of the council.

Ordinance Number 2019 – 11


Resolution Number 2019 – 10

RESOLUTION NO. 2019 – 10

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR, ON BEHALF OF THE

CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE, TO FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR

TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES PROGRAM (TAP)

AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

            WHEREAS, the State of Ohio, through the Ohio Department of Transportation administers financial assistance for projects that advance non-motorized transportation facilities, historic transportation preservation, and environmental mitigation and vegetation management activities through the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP).

            WHEREAS, the City of St. Clairsville desires financial assistance under the Transportation Alternative Program.

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OHIO, AS FOLLOWS:

            Section 1:        That the City of St. Clairsville approves filing an application for The Transportation Alternative Program.

            Section 2:        That the Mayor or Director of Public Services is hereby authorized and directed to execute and file an application with the Ohio Department of Transportation and to provide all information and documentation required to become eligible for possible funding assistance.

            Section 3:        That this Resolution is declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and the safety of the residents of the City of St. Clairsville such that the Council for the City of St. Clairsville desires to apply for financial assistance with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the Transportation Alternative Program.

            Section 4:        That this Resolution shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by the Charter of the City of St. Clairsville, Ohio.

*

            PASSED at a Special meeting of the council of the City of St. Clairsville on this  15th day of May, 2019, by the affirmative vote of 6 members of council.

Resolution Number 2019 – 10


2019 Arbor Day Celebration

PRESS RELEASE

SUBJECT:       2019 ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION

FROM:           JAMES ZUCAL, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SERVICES

DATE:            MAY 10, 2019

RELEASE:      IMMEDIATE

The City of St. Clairsville is pleased to extend to the community an invitation to its 2019 Arbor Day Celebration.  The event will be held on Friday, May 17, at 11 A. M. in the Central Park complex (102 Fair Avenue, St. Clairsville).  Mayor Terry Pugh will issue an official proclamation to establish May 17 as Arbor Day, in recognition of the importance of trees and to promote efforts to protect them.

The guest speaker will be Lola Lewis, Regional Urban Forester, with the Division of Forestry, Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  Ms. Lewis will be joined by City officials, community leaders, and interested citizens.

The City of St. Clairsville once again has been awarded Tree City USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.  The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.

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Resolution Number 2019 – 9_Second Reading

RESOLUTION NO. 2019 – 09

A RESOLUTION TO TRANSFER BALANCE OF ALL FUNDS

FROM THE UTILITY DEPOSIT REFUND FUND TO THE

GENERAL FUND AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

WHEREAS, over the past 30 years, the Utility Department has accepted deposits from customers to open up individual utility accounts; and

WHEREAS, this practice has now stopped; and

WHEREAS, there is currently an excess of utility deposits in the Utility Deposit Refund Fund; and

WHEREAS, the Utility Department has made a diligent effort to return the excess utility deposits to the rightful owners; and

WHEREAS, there still exists the sum of $37,550.86 of unclaimed deposits in the Utility Deposit Refund Fund; and

WHEREAS, no good reason exists to continue to hold those funds and the account needs to be dissolved; and

WHEREAS, no injury will occur to any known customer or entity.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OHIO, AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1:        That pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code §5705.16, the funds currently on deposit in the Utility Deposit Refund Fund are hereby ordered to be transferred to the General Fund by the City’s Fiscal Officer.

Section 2:        That this Resolution is declared to be an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and the safety of the residents of the City of St. Clairsville so that the City can maintain normal operations.

Section 3:        That this Resolution shall take effect and be in force from and after the earliest period allowed by the Charter of the City of St. Clairsville, Ohio.

*

The council of the City of St. Clairsville held the Second reading of this legislation on this 20th day of May, 2019.

 


Hydrant Flushing will continue through May 17, 2019

PRESS RELEASE

DATE:                 MAY 6, 2019

FROM:                DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SERVICES, CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE

SUBJECT:            HYDRANT FLUSHING

RELEASE:           IMMEDIATE

The City of St. Clairsville’s Water Department crews will begin flushing hydrants throughout the City the week of May 13, 2018Crews will place signs along streets in advance of the flushing.

Residents are advised that there may be some temporary discoloration in their water and/or change in water pressure.

If residents have any questions, please call 740-695-1410 or 740-695-1161 from 8:30 A. M. – 4:30 P. M.  After normal business hours, please call 740-695-1410 for the Municipal Utilities Office answering service.

Thank you.

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May 2019_Hydrant Flushing_PR


Yard Waste Pickup Days Scheduled for May 13 – 17, 2019

PRESS RELEASE

DATE:              April 30, 2019

FROM:            CITY OF ST. CLAIRSVILLE

SUBJECT:        Yard Waste Pickup Days Scheduled

RELEASE:    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of St. Clairsville’s Utility Crews will pick up YARD WASTE ONLY on five (5) days in May:  Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17.  Yard waste includes small tree and/or shrub branches which have naturally fallen over the winter months, yard trimmings, garden waste, and leaves ONLY.

Residents are advised that the YARD WASTE ONLY must be placed near the curb but NOT on the sidewalk or City streets.

The yard waste collections will be organized by ward, beginning with Ward 1 on Monday, Ward 2 on Tuesday, Ward 3 on Wednesday, and Ward 4 on Thursday.  Please contact 740-695-1324 to arrange for any collection which might be needed on Friday, May 17, the final day.

All bagged yard waste must be in paper lawn and leaf bags (not plastic) since these bags can be composted easily.  Many local stores carry the required paper lawn and leaf bags.

For questions, please call 740-695-1324 or 740-695-0156 between 8:30 A. M. and 4:30 P. M. weekdays. Thank you.

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