St. C. eyes oil and gas

ST. CLAIRSVILLE During Monday night’s council meeting, the city leaders discussed progress in making connections with oil and gas interests and state and federal departments to make the most of upcoming economic opportunities.

Mayor Robert Vincenzo reported attending a meeting of the Economic Opportunity Development Agency with Planning and Zoning Administrator Tom Murphy this past Friday in Berlin, Ohio. The meeting was sponsored by OMEGA. The consortium of cities, villages, townships, counties, state and federal representatives in the southeastern district allowed the exchange of information and concerns. Representatives from the governor’s office and numerous state departments were present.

The meeting included a yearly report of different development opportunities in the area. A speaker from the gas and oil industry outlined the far-reaching changes in energy and products that the gas industry and operation will bring to Ohio. He also stressed the primary importance of this area of Ohio to the country’s future.

“Particularly Ohio but our area in particular, this whole southeastern part has been labeled as the most advanced energy development process. It is widespread. The tip of the finger so far,” he said. “It does have prospects for all of us, if we have property or not.”

Service Director Dennis Bigler reported 10 days of street sweeping are nearly concluded. Preparations for paving are underway, and city employees are determining where storm sewers must be replaced beneath the new pavement.

Vincenzo added that extensive patchwork is ongoing throughout the city. Anyone with a suggestion of an area in need of attention is invited to call the mayor’s office.

Council Member Libby Heintzelman inquired into the status of oil and gas leasing in the area. Bigler reported that oil and gas companies are not focusing on St. Clairsville’s properties at this time. He added that city representatives have met repeatedly with oil and gas interests, and there is considerable potential and plans, and the city will stay in contact. Bigler added that the situation is complimented by the lack of large tracks of land in the area.

Police Chief Martin Kendzora reported on research into the number of vehicles permitted to park on the street. He noted that motor vehicles are not permitted to remain parked continuously on a public street for more than 48 hours unless it is parked directly in front of and on the same side of the street as the premises owned, rented or leased by the individual in charge of the vehicle. The city cannot limit the number of vehicles unless they are in violation.

Kendzora noted several problem spaces created by an abundance of parked cars. Vincenzo added that because of the obstruction caused by their presence, street sweeping was not as successful as it should have been.

“We left a lot of areas not swept in the city,” he said.

In other matters, Murphy reported the planning commission met regarding the Sunset Drive subdivision regarding the creation of two new lots and home development. Approval was recommended to city council. An ordinance will be prepared.

Also, the recreation center is taking registration for junior high, junior varsity and varsity leagues and shootouts.

Spring Community Cleanup will be headquartered at the Richland Township Garage this Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Empty paint cans will be accepted.

Council Member Perry Jones asked residents to consider the school and park levies while voting today.

Hydrant flushing will be scheduled next week.

Pool meters remain available. Pool owners are asked to keep the areas around the meters clear of trees and shrubs.

The fire board will hold a special meeting today at 4 p.m. and their regular meeting is set for 4 p.m. May 22.

The next meeting is set for 7:30 p.m., May 20.

DeFrank can be reached at