St. C. schools stress safety

ST. CLAIRSVILLE During its Monday meeting, city council heard from School Resource Officer Jeff Gazdik, who gave an update on safety improvements in the St. Clairsville School District.

He presented an updated emergency management plan, noting the improvements were a result of two years of planning and had been completed before the Connecticut shooting.

Gazdik pointed out that the plan covers a wide variety of disasters and responses in and around the school, including evacuation plans. Other schools have been in contact with the district in the interest of improving their response plans. He added that a quick communications system is also in place.

In addition, he announced the completion of a $90,000 Homeland Security funded program to provide extensive blueprints of all Belmont County schools for the use of law enforcement and emergency responders in the event of an emergency. Five districts are complete, with the final two close to completion. Training in how to deal with emergency situations will commence soon.

Also, a city safety committee composed of school officials and emergency responders is meeting monthly. Gazdik has also taken law enforcement officers from diverse agencies on tours of the school buildings.

In other matters, Service Director Dennis Bigler reported bids were taken on the automated meter infrastructure project. The consultant is in the process of evaluation the bids. A recommendation is expected for next meeting.

Councilman Terry Pugh noted the high level of activity on the bike trail as the clearing by Route 9 continues. He suggested monitoring the work and temporarily closing the trail during times when activity could pose a safety hazard.

Bigler noted the work is being monitored and should be finished by September.

In other matters, Mayor Robert Vincenzo noted complaints of potholes in town. He said it was currently a bad time of year with regard to available materials. In addition, the weather has taken its toll. The city is taking measures to alleviate the worst sites until more can be done.

“It’s been a tough winter for the roads,” Vincenzo said.

Also, Code Administrator Tom Murphy reported that the safety committee is meeting with department heads. Also, he reminds individuals to obtain permits before any construction projects.

In addition, the utility committee reports frequent repairs have been needed at the wastewater plant. Also, pool meters are available at the utility office. Residents are encourage to fill their pools while the reservoir is high. Meters are in limited supply and offered on a first come, first serve basis.

In matters of recreation, Council Member Libby Heintzelman reported the Belmont County Tourism Counsel has awarded the rec department a $2,000 grant for the Second Annual Rib Fest Aug. 17. Also, the department is advertizing for teams for the varsity and reserve summer leagues shoot outs and classics. Regarding the summer concert series, they will be held Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m. at the band shell.

In addition, Council Member Perry Jones reported that a decision not to pass the upcoming .25 mills additional park levy will result in the park’s closing. He asked all voters to consider the park’s contributions to the area.

In other mattes, council motioned to allow the mayor to apply for a four-year $400,000 CHIP grant to assist in improving low to moderate income houses through improvements such as insulation and roof repairs. Vincenzo noted that the grant requires some homeowners to secure a loan first. He added that the grant is implemented through Belomar and is no cost to the city.

Also, council passed a resolution for the pickup of police pension through a payroll reduction.

Council passed a resolution authorizing the finance director to enter into agreement with the state auditor Local Government Services for the preparation of annual GAAP reporting.

Council also motioned to enter into the ODOT cooperative purchasing program.

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