St. C. council discusses state bond tax plans

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – During Monday night’s city council meeting, Mayor Robert Vincenzo reported on a recent visit to Washington D.C. to attend the American Public Power Legislative Conference, meeting with legislators to discuss their respective concerns and municipal projects.

Among the chief concerns for the future was a proposed bill for taxing municipal bonds.

Vincenzo noted that such bonds had been tax-free for more than 100 years and have proven attractive to investors. Vincenzo said the bonds have allowed people to invest in the community.

“St. Clairsville has never had any problem selling our bonds,” he said, adding that a tax may change this. “That does jeopardize any bondage projects.”

He added that this would impact projects such as building power plants, hydroplants, wind and solar energy construction undertaken by AMP of Ohio, the electrical association the city belongs to.

Vincenzo said legislators seemed attentive to municipal concerns. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Congressman Bill Johnson may visit the area in the future to hear more about local projects.

In other matters, Service Director Dennis Bigler reported on a recent meeting with the utility committee. He said they are looking into needed repairs at the wastewater treatment plant. An estimated $25,000 may be needed for four different pieces of equipment. The matter will be discussed with the finance director.

Also, he noted a camera examination of Criswell Drive’s wastewater line. The city is determining the condition of the line.

In addition, the city Christmas decorations are worn out and may need replaced. Council will consider doing so.

Finance Director Cindi Henry suggested contracting with the state auditor’s office rather than Ray & Associates to complete their Government Accounting and Procedures report. She noted quotes that suggest a $2,000 difference. A resolution will be before council next meeting.

In matters of recreation, the traveling soccer registration is being accepted. The indoor soccer league program is finishing with their last game March 30.

The Easter Egg Hunt for children as old as 12 will be held March 23, 9 a.m. The recreation department is still seeking donations for candy and prizes. A lack of funding may mean the event’s cancellation. Anyone wishing to donate may contact the recreation center at (740) 695-2037.

Also, Councilman Perry Jones reminded citizens the park receives no city funds. He asked voters who are deciding on the upcoming levy to consider the benefits of the park to the area.

“It is very important that this levy does get passed,” he said.

Council held the second reading of an ordinance for the pickup of police pensions through payroll reduction.

Council granted a request from the American Cancer Society for the use of the field behind the amphitheatre for the Relay Horse Thrill Show during the Relay for Life at the St. Clairsville Red Devil Stadium June 14. Shadow Montag, professional trick rider, and a drill team of local riders will be present. The ACS has secured arena fencing to be set up around the field and all riders will sign waivers and carry their own insurance for themselves and their horses. Only trained professional will ride. Spectators will be kept at a safe distance.

The event will run 7-10 p.m. June 14.

Council granted a request for the use of the use of the National Road bikeway trail by the Belmont County Animal Rescue League to hold their K-9 Classic 5-K walk-run race to raise money for the animal shelter Oct. 12, 10 a.m.-noon. The race will not be run on city streets.

The National Day of Prayer will be held May 2. A continuous Bible reading will begin April 28.

A fire board meeting will be held March 27, 4:30 p.m.

DeFrank can be reached at