Marietta Council accepts plat for subdivision

Marietta City Council unanimously approved a resolution accepting a plat for the proposed North Hills Subdivision during a special session at Lookout Park Tuesday afternoon.

The resolution, adopted for records purposes only, allows local developers Bruce and Ben Brunton to begin marketing approximately eight building lots that measure about two-thirds of an acre each in the subdivision that will be located off Colegate Drive in the old North Hills School area.

“We’ve had conversations with the Bruntons, and our engineering department is comfortable with the plat,” said Councilman Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward, who chairs the planning, zoning, annexation and housing committee.

He said the Bruntons need the resolution so they can register the project with the county and continue plans for the housing development.

“Passage of this resolution is in keeping with this council’s intent to make the process easier for developers who want to build homes within the city,” said Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward.

Third Ward Councilman Steve Thomas added that he would welcome the new homes in his ward.

In other business Tuesday, council president Walt Brothers voiced his objection to a multi-page document that was apparently distributed to several residences throughout the city.

The unsigned document basically criticizes council for not using local contractors to paint the city’s water tanks and questions whether lead paint is being used for the project. The document includes several pages listing the effects lead paint can have on the human body.

“This leaflet attacks council with information that’s false and misleading,” Brothers said. “It shows complete misunderstanding and should be considered an illegal piece of campaign literature.”

Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward, asked city law director Paul Bertram III to investigate the document and “take whatever appropriate action is necessary” against those responsible for distributing the literature.

Councilmen Vukovic and Harley Noland, D-at large, said they had each received a phone call from constituents asking about the document.

“I had one constituent call and tell me about it,” Noland said. “But we don’t know who distributed this.”

Vukovic said his phone call came from a resident asking why the city was not hiring local contractors for municipal projects.

“Bid requests are sent out for every project,” he said. “And local contractors can bid on the jobs along with anyone else.”

Noland noted there are some jobs, like lead paint investigation and abatement prior to the city hall renovation project, that cannot be contracted locally because no area contractors can do that work.

But he added that council and the engineering department do attempt to hire local contractors. He said the city engineer follows a template that awards extra points for local contractors who apply for a city project.

The document distributed to residents this week was possibly in reference to new paint that had to be removed from the interior of the solids contact tank at the city’s water treatment plant last month because the contractor mistakenly used the wrong paint, although the paint used was not lead-based.

The contractor, American Star of Marietta, used paint recommended by another city-hired contractor/consultant, KTA-Tator, Inc. of Pittsburgh, to put the initial coat of paint on the tank’s interior. But it was discovered the paint was not National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified for use in potable water tanks.

The first coating had to be completely removed and an approved paint was then applied to the tank, according to city water superintendent Jeff Kephart.

Law director Bertram said the mistake was not American Star’s fault as the paint used was one of three brands recommended by KTA-Tator, which was responsible for ensuring the paint was NSF certified for contact with potable water.

Bertram said the city may have to pursue legal action in order to recover the additional cost of the painting project due to KTA-Tator’s mistake.