ST. CLAIRSVILLE – St. Clairsville City Council heard updates on a range of issues at Monday’s council meeting.
Vandalism has become a problem in the park and the amphitheater. Security and Services Director Jeremy Greenwood said obscene and vulgar graffiti was found outside the washrooms and facilities.
“It started last week. It was a Friday. There were a few children there ”, Greenwood said after the meeting.
Mayor Kathryn Thalman issued a stern warning to the perpetrators.
“I spent part of Saturday trying to clean the graffiti from the playground, picnic tables and benches,” Thalman said.
“The police will examine the camera recordings. The people who did this and put this graffiti will be treated harshly and severely. “
In other areas, Greenwood referred to the city’s credits and said money was saved in 2020 compared to previous years. He said the appropriations for 2020 stood at $ 11,088,521.84, including government assistance for losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you take out the $ 451,508 we spent because of COVID… we’re down to $ 10,637,013.84” he said.
Greenwood compared this amount to 2019 credits of $ 12,283,979.96; the 2018 appropriations of $ 12,843,474.80; and 2017 credits of $ 13,074,691.14.
“The city in general since 2017 has saved more than 3 million dollars”, said Greenwood.
“We try to be a lot wiser with our money.”
Greenwood said that good financial practices such as “Watch what we are doing, do not expand too much” helped the city save money in a number of small ways.
He also said that the city, in previous years, had paid attorney fees for lawsuits and hired a public relations company to promote a plan to sell the water and sewer system in the city. city.
He noted that the savings occurred during a period when the city was tasked with upgrading the aging water system to comply with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
“It’s just being more fiscally responsible with things”, said Greenwood.
“We had an external consultant who ordered computers from us”, he said of past practice and added that more recently the city has instead bought directly from the Dell government site. “Basically things that make price shopping. … We try to be fiscally responsible with taxpayers’ money.
He said another positive move was to hire a wastewater superintendent for $ 65,000 plus benefits, for a total of almost $ 90,000 per year. He said this led to savings of around $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 per year, since the city had previously contracted out with a private entity to oversee the system for $ 105,000 per year.
“(We save) $ 10,000 here, $ 20,000 there. It adds up pretty quickly, “ said Greenwood.
Greenwood also briefed council on the condition of the water system. The city is still awaiting clearance from the Ohio Department of Transportation to operate a new permanent waterline below Interstate 70 after a water leak was discovered in the main line that ran under the freeway between the water treatment plant and the rest of the city during the summer. .
“We are still waiting for an opinion. There is no deadline for that yet ”, said Greenwood.
Plans call for the new line to use the channel from the old waterline. It would be less expensive than digging a new path under the highway.
Water is currently routed by a temporary line laid on the surface of Reservoir Road, which crosses I-70. Greenwood hopes the project will be completed before winter.
“I know the time will start to turn, but we have a few options with the temporary line”, he said. “All of our water is flowing in there so it shouldn’t freeze, but there’s no guarantee that it won’t.” If that happens, we’ll go put heating tape and blankets around the temporary line where it’s exposed.
He said about 1,000 feet of line are exposed.
In other areas, council approved amending the ordinance to solicit bids for street paving not exceeding $ 200,000. Greenwood said the first order set the limit at $ 185,000.
“The bids amounted to $ 190,000”, Greenwood said, adding that the legal director had informed him that he could not remove one of the streets, but that the council would have to change the legislation to allow more money to be spent. Offers were received on September 3.
The city received offers of $ 237,863.20 from NLS Paving; $ 196,456 from Shelly & Sands; and $ 190,297 from Cast & Baker. Streets or portions of streets to be paved include Forest Lawn Avenue, Broad Street, Crescent Street, Center Street, Edinburgh Way, High Street Extension, McBeth Court, Overlook Court, Reservoir Road and South Marietta Street.