Delay seismic mapping

Imagine my dismay upon arriving home from work on Thursday, June 13, to read a front page article detailing the fact that seismic mapping trucks will once again pass in close proximity to our historic home. I attended a city council meeting the prior week to remind our legislative leaders what happened last time seismic mapping trucks passed through this area (July 9, 2012). I stated that the homes slated to be passed this time were much more vulnerable in terms of age. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that re-routing the trucks would somehow solve the problems that occur compliments of this magnitude of ground vibration.

I wrote a lengthy platform to the Times last year, detailing my personal experience that day (horrendous). Shortly after that, The Marietta Times also detailed damage done to our brand new Courthouse.

July 9 of 2012, our city was caught unawares. At the time, I had no idea that these trucks existed, and certainly none that they would pass within 200 yards of our home. However, we know better this time around and I’ve spent the time to research these companies. It is unconscionable that our city leaders would allow these trucks within the city limits a second time. My experience with the last seismic mapping company that passed this way is that they talk a good line, say they have insurance, but when it comes to actually proving that anything which happened to your home had something to do with these vibrations, good luck! If your water pipes or your gas pipes or your chimney or your walls have problems in the coming years, it’s just because you own an old house! And there are very few in Marietta who don’t live in an old house. The fact that these companies feel the need to emphasize that they have large insurance policies should raise a giant red flag. Our business owns a truck that passes over these same roads; we certainly never have the need to assure homeowners of the size of our insurance policy.

ODOT has seen fit to grant these companies the right to do this mapping on all our state roads in Ohio. However, we have the right to control this kind of activity within the city limits via our city legislative body. The trucks can map to the city line, travel through the city, and start mapping on the other side. I urge our city council leaders to pass legislation that will outlaw these giant trucks from mapping through our town a second time. And if the “client” company for whom they are making these maps has further needs, I suggest that they buy the maps that have already been made by the seismic mapping company that came through here last year.

We are an old historic city with antiquated infrastructure. We struggle to keep our water and sewer lines intact. What we don’t need is for private companies to use our publicly funded roadways to generate profits for themselves (and related companies) at the expense of private homeowners and taxpayers.

I strongly oppose allowing this mapping to happen. At the very least, the council should pass a measure delaying this mapping so that there is time for public discussion.

If you wish to read the platform that I wrote last June, it is available here:

ohiocitizen.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/To-the-Editor-of-the-Marietta-Times.pdf

Barbara Stewart

Marietta