St. Clairsville making preparations for spring

ST. CLAIRSVILLE City council held its regular meeting Tuesday to review ongoing projects to be taken up once the weather clears.

Thanks went to the residents for their patience and cooperation during the worst winter the area has seen in years. He noted the crews have continued plowing and spreading salt since November. The city currently has 125 tons of salt in storage, with 75 tons on order.

Mayor Robert Vincenzo added that next Tuesday he would attend the Ohio Municipal Electric Association’s annual mayor’s reception, including legislators from both Houses of the state government. The meeting will include an opportunity to discuss issues with the area representatives. They will discuss issues such as the proposed severance tax. Vincenzo said the hearing and testimony from local officials has encouraged lawmakers to lobby on behalf of increasing the local percentage.

Service Director Dennis Bigler noted that a first-class lineman would be leaving March 3 and the process of obtaining a new one has begun. The job will be posted.

The city is looking into potholes on Route 40. They are considering the possibility of obtaining a skid-steer mounted planer to begin work on the problem areas. An RVC shaft has also broken, which may mean a cost of about $12,000. A light pole at the Huntington Bank was also knocked down, with a cost of about $5,000-7,000. The company that knocked down the pole has been identified.

Also, replacement of meters has begun. Work should take about a month.

In response to questions about the oil bids coming in next week, Bigler noted that they do not know where the companies will extract the oil from. He added that St. Clairsville cannot prevent drilling inside the city limits.

Council discussed plans to apply for an ARC grant. Before passing an ordinance authorizing the application, several council members asked to discuss the road project and its implications. The grant would be for approximately $335,000.

Bigler noted the ordinance should be passed as an emergency, since they lacked time for the full three-reading process.

Vincenzo added that his office and Bigler’s were open and they would be available to answer questions.

Finance Director Cindi Henry noted that the winter budget was under control but would likely see an increase when the time came to repair potholes.

Council Member Libby Heintzelman noted the disruption in snow plowing caused by residents parking on the streets. Police Chief Jeff Henry suggested the snow ordinance be amended. Currently, the city may only tow cars between midnight and 6 a.m. when snowfall is at two inches.

Vincenzo also pointed out that some businesses are not adhering to ordinances requiring their sidewalks be clear of ice for the benefit of individuals with walkers.

The fire district will hold its regular meeting 4:30 p.m. today.

DeFrank can be reached at