St. Clairsville council preps for projects

ST. CLAIRSVILLE City council heard updates on ongoing projects during Monday’s meeting.

Mayor Robert Vincenzo reported attending a meeting of mayors and county engineers at Salt Fork with Congressman Bill Johnson July 26. Numerous items were discussed, including concerns about the transportation bill and upcoming changes to health care. Also discussed was the aging infrastructure that require repairs.

“Everybody has funding issues,” he said.

They also raised issues involving the EPA, while the demands on power plants have increased, and the oil and gas interests and how to provide more needed services for the incoming industry.

He added that the industry will be a vital part of the economy, but many brought up questions for Johnson regarding the severance tax to benefit the industry.

“Why are we being left out on this, because it is our natural resource,” Vincenzo said. “We wanted answers on their end on what are they going to do for our area.”

In other matters, Vincenzo, the finance director and the planning and zoning administrator met with representatives from the Regional Income Tax Agency last Monday to develop a schedule of reporting and to discuss their operations.

Finance Director Cindi Henry noted that the county recorder’s office sees multiple oil companies, but many hire independent contractors and there are few means of tracing them. Henry is continuing to gather information who buy or rent and get that information to RITA so the individuals can be notified. Future meetings will be held with RITA.

Also, the city’s budget hearing will be held 3:30 p.m. today at the courthouse.

Service Director Denis Bigler reported meeting with Shelly and Sands and receiving projections for the upcoming paving project. Paving may begin in two weeks. They hope to begin near the schools and be completed with those areas before the school year starts.

Also, the utility committee is looking into waterline issues on Ruggles Avenue. It may be necessary to defer paving on that area until next year to bid for waterline work. The city is also looking into replacing the chemical building and the need for work on the city building roof.

A kickoff meeting will be held Aug. 14 for the automated meter reading project.

In other matters, Council Member Frank Sabatino suggested a traffic study might be in order in preparation for a proposed development across from Whitesides. Bigler said he would ask if a study had been completed.

Police Chief Jeff Henry reported the Sam Mumley 5K race is set for Saturday at 8 a.m. Main Street between Sugar Street and Marietta Street will be closed 5 a.m. until the end of the race. There will be no on-street parking at Hutchinson Drive, Sunset Drive, Market Street, North Marietta and South Marietta Streets 5 a.m. until the end of the race.

Council held the first reading of a resolution updating the city’s general government cash handling policy.

Council passed an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into an amended agreement with America electric power regarding supplies of wholesale electric power and related services.

Council passed a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into contract with Cooper Power Systems for an advanced metering infrastructure system.

Council passed an ordinance adopting the budget for 2014.

In other matters, the city is ready to begin construction of a new volleyball court near the amphitheatre. A flag pole was donated.

The fire district will meet Aug. 21, 4 p.m.

Council granted a request from Warren Ellis for permission to cross a portion of alleyway owne by the city. Ellis will maintain the portion and assume liability.

Due to the rainy summer, there has been considerable growth around homes. Residents are asked to cut the shrubbery around their meters so they can be read.

DeFrank can be reached at