Revisiting the proposed revitalization district and deciding what, if anything, will be done to improve the safety of the Pike, Greene, and Seventh Street intersection will be high on the list of priorities for Marietta City Council this year.
"The revitalization district, this is going to be coming back up again, possibly in the next couple months," said Council President Walt Brothers after a special year-end council session Monday.
The proposed revitalization district could qualify Marietta's downtown district for as many as 15 additional liquor permits.
The project was broached last summer but hit a standstill when it was found that there was an unused liquor license in Marietta that had flown under the radar since 1968, said Brothers. Now that license has been obtained by Front Street business Over the Moon Pizza and Pub and the doors are reopened to explore the project, he said.
"For a business development, for a small restaurant coming into the area, having a liquor license is vital for their economic viability," added Brothers.
Councilman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward, said he hopes council will be able to hash out a decision on the Pike Street intersection project this year.
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Marietta City Council will meet Thursday in the community building at Lookout Park at 7:30 p.m. All council meetings, except executive sessions, are open to the public.
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Several plans have been proposed over the last three years and more than $300,000 has already been invested toward the ultimate goal of making the busy intersection safer.
Monday was the deadline for the public to submit their feedback about the project to the city engineering department.
Kalter also hopes to tackle the International Property Management Code early this year. The current code was put in place in 1999.
"We're 13 years behind," said Kalter.
The code deals with regulations involving abandoned houses, junk vehicles and safety requirements, he said.
Council accomplished many of the things on Brothers' 2012 "to-do" list, he said.
"I feel very good about this year. I think we've worked very well together to get a lot accomplished," he said.
Among those accomplishments was establishing a single point of contact for new businesses (director of development Andy Coleman), making progress on the Armory Square project and updating several technology systems used throughout the city.
Brothers did express a desire to look into the city's water systems next year.
"Myself and others are concerned that we planned to replace a mile of water system every year and that's been difficult to reach at times," he said.
One thing discussed during Monday's special session could make that goal a bit easier.
Marietta Water Superintendent Jeff Kephart asked the city to approve an additional laborer position within the Water Department that would help work on emergency incidents, such as water line breaks, and would also facilitate the replacement of water lines.
Kephart also asked that his clerk's position be expanded from part-time to full-time.
City Safety-Service Director Jonathan Hupp also brought up the possibility of adding two new positions in the Marietta Police Department. The city is looking to fill one of three vacant positions in the department, said Hupp.
"In addition, MPD would like to fill, on a part-time basis, one of the clerk positions that was done away with years ago," said Hupp.
Patrolmen are spending valuable enforcement time typing up reports, he said.
"It's easier to have a clerk than to have an officer type them at $25 an hour," said Hupp.
Councilmen Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward, and Kalter both agreed that a clerk position would be money well spent.
Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, said he would like to see a metric that proves that a clerk in the department would equate to officers spending more time on enforcement.
Council did not yet vote on any of the proposed positions.
Council also discussed whether or not the salary of the city treasurer should be lowered for the 2014 fiscal year when a new person will step into the position. Current treasurer Valerie Holley has said she won't run for re-election.
"I have no problem rolling it back to where the current treasurer was when she took office," said Vukovic.
Council did not make an official decision to change the salary. City Law Director Paul Bertram III said council must make a decision before the Feb. 6 filing deadline in place for candidates who wish to run in the May primary.
Council also approved the transfer of certain unused funds into an account for unappropriated funds and renewed the authorization for Mayor Joe Matthews to establish a Housing Revolving Loan Fund to administrate funds the city will receive this year for all housing program income.
Finally, the council delayed voting on a resolution that would designate a Construction Project Evaluation Matrix for city projects involving more than $50,000 of taxpayer funds. The matrix, which balances cost efficiency with a company's ability to adequately handle a project, has already been used for three projects, but has not officially been adopted, said Kalter. Council delayed the vote because a copy of the matrix was not immediately available.