7th, Pike project on fast track for ’14

Final design plans for pedestrian and traffic safety upgrades to the Seventh, Pike and Greene streets intersection will cost $265,730, including a local match of $53,146, according to information presented during Tuesday’s meeting of city council’s streets and transportation committee.

“This is a change order for the final project design by (W.E. Stilson Consulting Group),” city engineer Joe Tucker told the committee members.

He said the $2 million-plus project schedule had been placed on a fast track, and he planned to issue Stilson a notice to proceed with the final design by Monday.

“We hope to have right- of-way acquisitions completed by the end of November, and the project should go out for bid 90 to 120 days later,” Tucker said. “Construction should start in the spring of 2014, and the project is scheduled so it can be completed in one season.”

He also requested council approval of $34,435 for right of way consulting services on the intersection project from Transystems of Columbus.

In addition Eric Lambert, project manager with the city engineering department, asked for council approval to apply for $873,858 in Ohio Department of Transportation funding through the agency’s Transportation Alternatives program.

He said the money would be used for the fifth phase of the city’s River Trail project which will extend the pedestrian and bicycle pathway 0.8 miles from the current terminus at Fourth and Ohio streets to Cogswell Drive near the Walmart shopping complex.

“The project total is $1.4 million, and about 60 percent of that total is going into the bridge (to be constructed across Duck Creek),” Lambert said.

In other business Tuesday, city development director Andy Coleman presented members of council’s planning, zoning, annexation and housing committee with a packet of information designed to help new city businesses get started.

“This is still pending review by the city law director, but we hope this will help provide a one-stop point of contact for anyone wanting to start a business in Marietta,’ he said. “It’s something we can send or hand out to anyone interested.”

The packet contains information about permitting, licenses and utilities as well as explanations about tax incentives like locating within the city’s Community Reinvestment Area or tax increment financing.

There are also pamphlets with tips on state programs to help grow small businesses.

Councilman Mike McCauley-D, 2nd Ward, noted developing a new business start-up guide has been a goal of Mayor Joe Matthews’ administration.

Mobile vendors

Also on Tuesday, members of the planning, zoning, annexation and housing committee agreed to continue discussions about the possibility of allowing mobile vendors to sell ice cream and shaved ice in city residential neighborhoods. But the committee decided not to continue talks about allowing mobile hot food vendors to operate on city property.