St. Stephen Catholic Church Asks for Meeting with Oil City Concerning Fencing Around Church

| February 14, 2020

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – Representatives of St. Stephen Catholic Church have requested a meeting with Oil City Council concerning the City’s request to have fencing surrounding the church removed.

At the January 23 council meeting, city resident Bob Fry addressed the Oil City Council about his concerns regarding fencing that has been in place around St. Stephen Catholic Church about two years ago after structural issues to the church were discovered.

OC Resident Says Fence Around St. Stephen Causing Safety Issues

Fry believed that the fencing was actually causing more problems than the building itself, and the City agreed, sending the Church a letter requesting the fencing be taken down.

Now the church wants to meet with the City to discuss the fencing.

“The Church has requested a meeting with the (Oil City) solicitor (Robert Varsek) and I to discuss the fence issue,” Oil City Manager Mark Schroyer told the Oil City Council at its meeting Thursday, February 13. “I don’t know what their intent is. But the solicitor is coordinating the meeting with their council, which they have involved now, So, we will address that.”

Schroyer said the Church has not made any requests at this point in time other than a meeting.


The Council gave permission to the Zonta Club of Oil City/Franklin to hold, in conjunction with the Oil City YWCA, a Pack the Plaza rally in conjunction with International Women’s Day Sunday, March 8.

The event will be held in the Central Avenue Plaza from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

“The celebration is meant to energize and engage attendees,” Deb Lutz, representing the Zonta Club said. “Even though it’s International Women’s Day, we welcome and encourage everyone to attend and help us pack the plaza that day.”

Brea Hall Schmidt, the daughter of Oil City residents Dave and Connie Hall, will be the keynote speaker.

“She is a motivational speaker,” Lutz said. “We’re very excited to have her in conjunction with this rally.”


The Council also granted additional requests for events and space usage within the City including:

  • The annual Fatherhood Initiative Soapbox Derby to be held on Central Avenue July 11, 2020.
  • An Easter Egg Hunt and Bike Giveaway in Justus Park being sponsored by the First Church of God for April 4.
  • The use of Justus Park by The Good Hope Lutheran Stay & Play Program and the Keystone SMILES Weed & Seed Program Saturday, May 23, for a children’s program awareness event. The goal of the event is to raise awareness of programs available to the children and families of Oil City during the summer and throughout the school year.
  • The 55-plus Softball League use of the Mitchell Avenue Softball field for its 2020 summer league. Games would be played from 8:00 to noon Mondays and Wednesdays from May 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020.
  • The Oil City Police Association’s Back the Blue 5K event. This will be the first year the Oil City Police Association will be in charge of the event, which will take place June 13. The suggested route for the event would be Oak Grove Street, Woodland Drive, Park Avenue, Summit Drive and Oil City High School. Schroyer asked police chief Dave Ragon if the money raised would still be used to buy equipment for the police department. Ragon said that is his belief. Schroyer said he just didn’t want to see money raised from the event going to the Police Association’s budget for use on what he termed political activities and the like.
  • The annual Oil City Uncorked Spring Wine Walk being held April 24, 2020.


In other business the council:

  • Accepted the retirement of Richard Cook as the Property Maintenance Inspector/Zoning Officer.
  • Approved a five-year agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to provide winter maintenance on Commonwealth-owned roads within the City. The contract pays the City $14,743.00 per year. Schroyer said at best the City breaks even on the contract and probably loses money on it, but the benefit to City residents is that the City gets the roadways cleaned faster than PennDOT would be able to. “Hopefully, we cover our costs,” Schroyer said.
  • Passed the annual resolutions regarding the Section 504 Officer and grievance procedure as for fair housing.

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