Council salutes retired police officers

Marietta City Council honored four retired police officers Thursday at its regular meeting.

“These officers have all worked hard for this city in keeping us safe and I’m glad we can honor them tonight,” said Councilman Steve Thomas, chair of the Police and Fire Committee.

The following were honored Thursday:

¯ Mark V. Caldwell, who began his service with Marietta in 1987 and served for 28 years. Caldwell now works in retirement at the Marietta College Police Department.

¯ Robert L. Heddleston, who began his service with Marietta in 1982 and served for 33 years. Heddleston also now works in retirement for the Marietta College Police Department.

¯ Thomas Matt Hickey, who began his service in 1982 and served for 33 years.

¯ Ronald Greg Nohe, who began his service with Marietta in 1987 and served for 28 years. Capt. Nohe now works in retirement for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office as the Washington County Jail Administrator.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the city,” said Caldwell after he was honored.

Likewise Safety-Service Director Jonathan Hupp noted not only the time the officers and their families gave to the city over their years but also the leadership they provided to the department during their time in office.

Council also heard from several local residents concerning the Phase V extension of the River Trail out to the Walmart/Lowes shopping center on the eastern side of I-77 before a final reading concerning final funding changes for the project.

Ultimately council passed the legislation 6-1 with only Councilwoman Cindy Oxender voting against the legislation.

In closing comments which were only heard by the council and three members of the public who stayed to the ajournment of the meeting she stated that the vote was to honor those constituents that had previously voted down a proposed tax hike during the city’s primary election. The then-proposed hike would have increased the current city income tax from 1.7 percent tax to 2.2 percent.

“My vote this evening was a city taxpayer was to honor those taxpayers that gave us that warning shot,” she said. “Since its defeat we’ve denied the administration’s requests to add extra staff, we’ve denied employee overtime and we’ve made critical city supply cost cuts.”

Current construction estimates for the addition are projected stay under the budgeted $2.5 million.

Of the $16,535 change order approved Thursday, only $3,307 will be funded by a local match from the city to add the 0.84 miles of the trail crossing Duck Creek and running below the I-77 bridge.

Phase I of the project, from the Indian Acres boat ramp to the Putnam Bridge, was completed in 2005. Phase II extended the trail from the bridge, along Post Street, Ohio Street, and then along the Ohio River levee to South Fourth Street. Phase III added the span from South Fourth Street to Jefferson Street, behind Kmart. The project will next go out of order, with Phase V being the section leading to Walmart.

River Trail Phase IV has yet to be broached by the current city council for funding resources until the privately owned Historic Harmar Railroad Bridge can be renovated.

Phase V will continue the trail behind Kmart, around the I-77 abutment and head north toward the off ramp from the interstate before crossing Duck Creek across from the Quality Inn. It will continue behind that hotel and the Aldi before ending at Seeley Memorial Drive where the Pioneer Golf Center’s parking lot sits.

By the numbers

River Trail Phase V:

Financial Summary:

≤ Engineering and Environmental Cost: $240,789.

≤ Construction Inspection: $227,272.73.

≤ Construction Cost: $2.272,727.27.

≤ Right of Way Acquisition: $58,168.

≤ Total Project Cost: $2,798,957.

Funding Source:

≤ Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Grant: $871,162.40.

≤ Ohio Department of Natural Resources Clean Ohio Trail Fund and Recreation Trails Grants: $191,100.

≤ Ohio Department of Transportation Transportation Alternatives Grant: $1,552,932.

≤ Ohio Department of Transportation State Infrastructure Bank Loan: $254,800.

≤ $191,100 to be paid up front by the loan but to be reimbursed within a year by the ODNR grant after completion.

≤ $63,700 to be paid back over a 10 year period at a 3 percent interest rate.

≤ Total payments per year equal $8,128 including principal, interest and administrative fees.

Schedule Summary for Phase V:

≤ Half of plans complete by July 2014.

≤ Right of Way Appraisal complete January 2015.

≤ Stage 3 Plans submitted to ODOT May 2017.

≤ Stage 3 Plans (with current change order if approved next week) to be submitted by October 2017.

≤ Submit Final Tracings by November 2017

≤ Anticipated re-opening of current trail behind Wastewater Treatment plan by late November.

≤ Anticipated beginning of construction: May 2018.

≤ Anticipated completion of construction (on ODOT schedule): November 2019.

Source: Marietta City Engineering Department.