Due to landslips in the area, members of Marietta City Council's streets and transportation committee have recently considered the possibility of vacating a northern section of Bellevue Street on Harmar Hill. But some concerns were expressed against that plan during a streets committee meeting Wednesday.
"Vacating a street in front of someone's home lowers the property value, and I do not want that street closed off," said Duane Murray, who lives at 100 Bellevue St.
City engineer Joe Tucker said the city could seek Ohio Public Works Commission grant funding to do the major work needed to reinforce the steep landslip-prone hillside below that portion of Bellevue Street. He did not have an estimate for what that project would cost.
Murray said the city should pursue that grant and fix the landslip, keeping the street open for emergency vehicles that he said often use Bellevue Street to access the Marietta Care and Rehabilitation Center on nearby Bartlett Street.
Tucker assured him that the city would try for a grant, and noted a local match of 10 percent would be required from the city if any grant funding is awarded.
"I'm not trying to make anyone mad, and vacating the street would be a last option, but we have closed streets before due to slippage," he said.
If you go
- Marietta City Council's planning, zoning, annexation and housing committee and the finance committee will meet beginning at 3 p.m. today in the second floor conference room at 304 Putnam St.
- All council and committee meetings, except executive sessions, are open to the public. For more city information, visit http://www.mariettaoh.net/
Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, said the committee is just looking at all the options at this point.
"Closing the street is an option we have to consider in the process, but it doesn't mean we will do that," he told Murray.
In other business, contractor Shelly and Sands is expected to wrap up the 2012 citywide asphalt paving program this week, according to Wayne Rinehart, project manager with the city engineering department.
"And our OPWC grant application for the 2013 asphalt paving program has received 425 out of a possible 430 points," he said, noting the city should be able to obtain the grant funding around $400,000.
Tucker thanked Rinehart for his work on the grant funding, adding that the council committee could consider the money a "parting gift" from Rinehart, who plans to retire at the end of this month.
Also on Wednesday, Judge Janet Dyar-Welch expressed some concern that the open space located at ground level beneath the new Municipal Court building is being considered as a location for city council chambers.
"That was never designed for an assembly area, and no electricity is available there," she told council's lands, buildings and parks committee.
Welch said if the area is usable, she would use it to store files and records the court is required to keep. She's currently leasing space for records storage.
Mayor Joe Matthews said the administration was not yet ready to discuss the possibility of developing city council chambers at the new municipal court location.
Council had originally considered locating chambers in the former space occupied by the municipal court on the second floor of Marietta's City Hall. But Matthews said if council chambers were developed in that area it would prevent the city police department from being able to move out of the department's current location in the basement of city hall.
In additional business Wednesday, Jarrod Schultheisz, project manager with the city engineering department, said Grindline Skateparks, Inc., of Seattle, Wash., had submitted the apparent low bid for the second phase of the city skate park project at Indian Acres Park.
He said Grindline, which also built the first phase concrete "flowbowl" at the skate park, had submitted a bid of $42,880 for the project which was significantly lower than the engineer's estimate of $54,350.
Schultheisz said he hoped to award the bid by next week.
On a related issue, Andy Coleman, city development director, said he had been successful in obtaining an extension for an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Nature Works Grant for the project that totals $34,562.
Coleman said the new deadline for use of the grant funding is June 2013, which will provide plenty of time to complete the project-a new concrete "street course" running from the current flowbowl area to the parking lot at Indian Acres Park.