Upgrades coming to St. C.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE On the recommendation of Service Director Dennis Bigler, city council took measures to safeguard power at Bumgardner Subdivision, also called Randland Subdivision, during Monday night’s meeting.

Mayor Robert Vincenzo was authorized to enter into a contract with a company to commence a project immediately rather than bid the work out, due to a clear and present emergency.

Bigler noted that the primary distribution lines for the subdivision are underground and were installed more than 30 years ago, before the current standards requiring the lines be placed inside plastic conduits.

“It wasn’t done back then. It was direct buried. The practice of the day,” he said. “Over time those lines are breaking. When that kind of high voltage breaks it creates virtually an explosion.”

Such an accident occurred two weeks ago.

“It blew transformers. It caused damage inside of people’s houses,” he said, adding that the entire subdivision is at risk.

The line will be replaced. Bigler said currently the line is laid on top of the ground in a conduit as a temporary measure to restore power.

The project calls for the line to be placed underground. The line is about a mile in length and will be installed through directional boring. Pits will be dug at sections where it is necessary to bend the line.

Work should begin in two weeks and take a total of six weeks. Gudenkauf out of Wheeling will complete the work. Bigler noted that seven companies were solicited and Gudenkauf was the only one to fit their criteria. Cost of the project will be about $70,700.

About 75 houses are served by the line.

In other matters, after some debate, council authorized the mowing of grass at an unmaintained property on Norris Street in the interest of public safety. Cost was estimated at $580. Due to the owners’ circumstances, it is unlikely the city will be reimbursed despite placing a lien on the property. The vote was 4-3, with Council Members Perry Jones, Libby Heintzelman and Jim Weisgerber in opposition. The mayor noted a precedent for future cases. He also pointed out other instances when the city has been unable to reach out-of-state owners of unmaintained properties.

Thanks went to the Church of Christ for allowing the city a right of way to install the Bethel Lane waterline from Bethel Lane to Woodrow Avenue. It had been a dead-end line. Other ongoing projects include extending a four-foot storm sewer under Thompson Drive. It will hopefully be completed by the end of the year.

Also, planning for the citywide meter upgrade continues, with further meeting set for October. Work is continuing on the city building roof.

Council authorized Vincenzo to enter into agreement with CGI Communications, Inc. to enter into the Community Video Tour Agreement and to accept a cost-free community video network. St. Clairsville is one of two Ohio cities to be chosen to be represented at the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities in 2013. Vincenzo noted the benefit to the city’s publicity and added that there will be no cost to the city. CGI Communications will make arrangements to begin preliminary filming.

Also, council held the third reading of an ordinance prohibiting or restricting parking on certain streets

Chief Jeff Henry reported the department’s goal of $2,000 for additional training for the police dog has been achieved, thanks to donations from the American Legion and a $1,000 donation from an anonymous businessman in recognition of retired Police Chief Martin Kendzora’s service to the city.

The police committee will meet this Thursday at 1 p.m.

The Cumberland Trail Fire District will hold an open house Oct. 13, 2-5 p.m. The theme is the prevention of kitchen fires.

A sizable pothole was reported on Clark Road.

In matters of recreation, registration is being accepted for Bantam Basketball for boys and girls, kindergarten through sixth grade. The Halloween Costume Contest will be held Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m. for children one to 13. There is no fee. Also, KNS Painting will begin staining the amphitheater this week.

Council approved a request from Tri-County Help Center to hold its Domestic Violence Awareness March Oct. 16, 6 p.m.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com