Council reviews emergency spends

Marietta City Council’s Finance Committee reviewed emergency capital spends for the year during Thursday’s meeting.

“The way (previous Councilman Tom) Vukovic had us structure this was knowing sometimes there are capital expenses that need to get done,” explained Assistant Safety-Service Director Bill Dauber.

He said city administration had the discretion to spend up to $15,000 in capital funds on needed projects and improvements, so long as the tally is brought back to council.

“This is an accounting of what that pot of money was spent on,” Dauber added.

On the list was a 2,000 diesel fuel double wall gas tank installed at Jackson Park, tablets and their accessories for the Marietta Police Department, a pedestrian crossing sign replacement for Front Street, anti-virus software for 21 city servers and a police cruiser cage.

“The big one was the diesel tank,” added Finance Chairman Mike Scales.

Dauber explained that originally all city trucks using diesel fuel had previously filled up at the two on-site tanks at the water treatment plant and the wastewater treatment plant.

“But this now eliminates the other traffic in and out of those sites that are not specific to those operations,” he continued.

Scales also pointed out the added benefit of having a tank well above any floodplain in the city, and more easily accessible in times of high water than the wastewater treatment plant.

“Plus it’s good to have a third location in case of emergencies, or if we run out,” he added.

Dauber said the last time city crews ran out of stored fuel was during the derecho storm which hit in the summer of 2012.

Income Tax Levy

Finance Committee also heard from Daniel Hammer, president of the Marietta Firefighters Local #442 union, Thursday concerning the campaign for an income tax increase.

Hammer explained that union members plan to soon begin going door-to-door explaining the need for the 0.15 percent increase from the current income tax rate of 1.7 percent of earned income.

“We’ll make sure to point out that for a person that makes $50,000 a year the slight increase only costs $75 for the year, or roughly $1.44 per week,” Hammer explained.

Median income in Marietta is $33,670, according to the U.S. Census. The increase for that person would be 97 cents a week or $50 per year over the current $572.39 a year.

Councilman Mike McCauley pointed out that Hammer and the Citizens for a Safer Marietta Committee should also highlight the specific streets projects that additional income tax money would fund.

“And how that $304,705.18 will be leveraged for more projects,” he added.

Hammer said he is awaiting a list of specific projects that the city’s engineering department has in the wings if the income tax were to pass on Nov. 6.