ST. CLAIRSVILLE The city council addressed several ongoing projects and plans for 2014 when they closed out their 2013 meeting Monday night.
Service Director Dennis Bigler outlined the planned repairs to the North Portal on the bikeway tunnel, to be finished using grant funds from the Ohio Department of Transportation. He said the city is able to schedule the work for 2014 or 2015. Plans will be finished by the end of 2013. Council Member Terry Pugh suggested waiting until the first of the year before making a decision in order to give council time to review the budget and expenses.
The work involves drainage work on the north liner and filling a void above the tunnel. The project carries an overall cost of $450,000, with grants covering 80 percent.
"The entire tunnel project is, at its heart, a safety project," said Bigler. He added that his door is always open to council members with questions about city projects.
In other matters, Council Member Frank Sabatino noted the new potholes in the area. Mayor Robert Vincenzo said patchwork has been ongoing.
Sabatino also brought up the ongoing issue of the planned St. Clair Commons, suggesting that a special meeting be held with ODOT officials invited to update the project and dispel rumors concerning both the project and the controversial I-70 road improvement plan.
Bigler agreed about the importance of remaining informed. He noted that ODOT's continued involvement depended on the commissioners' support and funding of the Transportation Improvement District.
"The entity that's holding the most grants is the Transportation Improvement District," he said. "If all parties are not pulling together for this road, the road will end."
In other matters, the 911 Center will install a new recorder for the city radios for 911 lines and private lines. They will pay the cost for the digital recorder, but the city will take over the yearly $1,000 maintenance. The current equipment was purchased in the mid-1990s.
Vincenzo noted that the recorder is a mandatory and necessary part of city business and often used in investigations and trials.
"It's vitally important for our own protection that these recorders are in our police station," he said.
Brenda Ponzani was re-appointed to the board of architectural review.
Sabatino noted that the fire district held a meeting last Wednesday and approved a utility trailer purchase and station remodeling. A vehicle will be re-bid. The next meeting will be Dec. 30, 9 a.m. and will include a reorganizational meeting.
The Cumberland Trail Fire District also thanked the city for the use of the rec center and for support during the funeral services of late Chief Kenneth Saffell.
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