Chemical warfare vs. odor continues

Odor control chemicals will continue to be added during the sludge dewatering process at Marietta’s Wastewater Treatment Plant until the second phase of the treatment plant upgrade is completed sometime next year, according to a discussion during a council water, sewer and sanitation committee meeting Tuesday.

Wastewater superintendent Steve Elliott asked for $40,000 to be budgeted to purchase VX-456, an odor-reducing chemical the plant has been adding to the sewage treatment process for more than a year now after stores and restaurants near the treatment plant expressed concerns that the sewer odor was impacting their businesses.

“We’ve nearly spent the last of the $32,000 we received last year to buy the chemical, and want to budget another $40,000 to get us through 2014,” Elliott said. “Since we started using the VX-456 we’re not getting complaints about the odor like we were before the chemical was added.”

The second phase of the wastewater plant upgrade, currently under way, will include improvements that will help eliminate odors, but until that phase is completed the odor-reducing chemical will be needed, Elliott said.

In other business Tuesday, city development director Andy Coleman asked council’s lands, buildings and parks committee members for legislation authorizing the city to enter into a contract using Ohio Public Works Commission funds to purchase 21 acres of property, generally located between Cisler Drive and the Oak Grove Cemetery, from Bob and Betty Boersma.

The $126,169 in grant funds was awarded the city earlier this year to purchase the platted property for permanent green space that can be used for hiking and biking trails. The Boersmas will also contribute $42,056 back to the city to provide matching funds for a total $168,225 in available grant funding.

Councilman Roger Kalter said once the property transfer is completed volunteers will begin developing trails for mountain biking and hiking through the area.

There are currently more than 1,000 acres of green space located within the city of Marietta.

In other business, city safety-service director Jonathan Hupp said he and Mayor Joe Matthews had developed a potential list of city-related projects that area Boy Scouts could do to earn their Eagle Scout badges.

“The mayor and I have to meet with area scoutmasters to determine what projects can be done, but we currently have three to five scouts who need a project for their Eagle designation,” Hupp said.

Some of the proposed projects include re-setting and repair of gravestones in city cemeteries, creating an observation deck, landscaping and picnic area behind Armory Square, improving the area around the boat ramp at Indian Acres Park, painting handrails and improving flower beds at the Campus Martius Museum, and building a pavilion and picnic tables at Jackson Hill Park.