St. C. council looking to 2017

T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK The St. Clairsville City Council assembled. Front row, left to right: Jake Olsavsky; Beth Oprisch; Frank Sabatino. Back row, left to right: John Tomlan; Mike Smith; J. Mark Bukmir; Jim Weisgerber (president); Linda Jordan.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The city is on the road to seeing many significant projects completed and others started during 2017. The Times Leader spoke with Mayor Terry Pugh and Safety and Service Director James Zucal, both of whom took office in 2016, to discuss the changing topography of the municipality.

Infrastructure leads the list, with major projects include analyzing the water system.

“One of the main goals that we’re doing is a comprehensive evaluation of the water system. We’re going to upgrade the dynamics of the system,” he said.

“We’re looking to do some major upgrades in the water system,” he said. “We’re going to do some flashboarding at the main reservoir to increase water. We’re going to increase the volume and get better quality for our water system, so we’re doing a comprehension evaluation of the water system.

“We’ve taken a positive approach to looking to the future of the city,” said Zucal. “I really appreciate working with the mayor. He’s had a very positive approach to all the dynamics of the city. We have a team approach here. We’re working as a group. We’re looking at the future of the city and the public infrastructure is a key component to growing your city.”

This has important connections to another development at the Commons Mall Crossing project.

“That’s another big project this year, with the Senior Suites and Equity Construction doing that, which is private, but we’re doing a sanitary sewer system upgrade out there.”

Zucal noted that the Young Lane waterline will be instrumental is providing water to the incoming facilities.

“A big project will be putting in Young Lane waterline … That’ll take water from Young Lane down to the new street, which is called Dorothy Place, and loop it back to Route 40.”

Zucal noted that this waterline project may be completed in March.

“That’s a key component in the system,” he said, noting that ASK Services out of Zanesville has begun work. He added this should result in better flow of water and better projection in the event of fire. The chief advantage, however, is in growing the water system and putting infrastructure in place to allow for economic impact.

“The Young Lane waterline project coming onboard and should start in a few weeks. It’s going to add a whole new facet to the water system, because that’ll bring in the water from Young Lane, and that’s going to go down to Dorothy Place where the new senior suites is being built, then it’ll go out to 40, the main street, and that’ll loop the system.”

Zucal added that about 100 units are expected to come with the suites.

“That’ll be a growth to the city and we’re confident there’ll be more retail or commercial out there,” Zucal said.

“Once they start construction on the senior citizen facility, it’s going to entice more people to come and show more interest in other opportunities to be built in that area,” said Pugh, adding that the project appears to be on schedule, with hope that the facility will be operating by the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018. “Very soon there’ll be pouring footers.”

He added that the next step in the process will be the installation of a new water tank with a capacity of more than 200,000 gallons. Some preliminary work is being down.

“The mayor and I have sat down with Scott Brown, our utility director, and we meet weekly and talk about the future of the water system, because we’re confident we can supply the water for the future of the city,” Zucal said.

He added that part of this would involve the flashboarding of the reservoir. This will involve increasing the level of the spillway elevation by one foot, which should increase the volume of water in the reservoir to about half a million gallons.

“The volume’s going to be increased. Also we’ve done major upgrades with the pumps and the intake on the distribution. We already completed some of that in 2016. We want to complete that in 2017, and then we’re working on the quality of the chemistry of the water,” he said, adding that they hope to be completed by spring. “We’re thinking years down the road but we’re confident we have a good grasp on all that.”

In terms of the sewer system, plans include a lift station upgrade and a sanitary sewer line project at the Commons Mall Crossing.

“It’ll roughly be around $190,000, and that’ll upgrade the sanitary sewer facilities out there,” he said.

Another significant sewerage project that will see its completion this year is the replacement of rotating biological contractors. Zucal noted that the project is practically completed, with all 10 RBCs complete and operating. The project began July of 2016.

“We’re going to finish up the RBC project,” he said. “Finishing the RBC system will put our wastewater system in compliance for the next 30 years.”

The city is also seeking a grant of $200,000 through Ohio Public Works for sanitary sewer line improvement on Legion Road, which should be completed in about four months. Zucal credited the city administration and city employees for their cooperation, which led to the quick approval of the grant. He noted that full or partial grant funding or tax-incentive funding was a part of all of these projects.

Another matter for consideration will be the city streets.

“We’re doing an evaluation of the city streets and putting together a new paving plan,” Zucal said, adding that the number of streets to be paved will be determined.

A street sweeping project is also set for the spring.

Pugh also noted that the city is working with Junior Sports at the baseball and softball complex in the proposed construction of two new fields, as well as working with the school toward the construction of a new soccer field on fairground property for the use of the school, the recreation department and the citizens of St. Clairsville. Pugh noted that the city has secured topsoil from another project and a local business has offered to provide surveying and elevations as a donation for the soccer field. The field could be playable in 2018. One of the Junior Sports fields could be playable this year.

“Those are two projects that we’re looking forward to collaborating with … to provide additional athletic fields for the use of all of the athletes in the area.”

“We’ve got a lot of good things going on,” said Zucal.

“We’re looking for many more positive goals to be reached, as we did in 2016,” said Pugh.