Members of Marietta City Council's lands, buildings and parks committee are deciding whether to accept the donation of two properties from some former city residents.
Committee chairman Harley Noland, D-at large, said the city recently received a letter from Susan (Snedeker) Newman, daughter of the late Roy Snedeker who owned the former Elston Lumber Company in the Harmar district.
"She and her brother, Brian Snedeker, who no longer live in this area, wanted to donate the properties to the city in memory of their parents," he said. "The city could have them free and clear to sell. If we only received a nickel from them, that's a nickel we don't currently have, and the city can always use the money."
The properties, consisting of a couple of lots each, are located at 820 St. Marys Ave., and 997 Gilman Ave., according to city law director Paul Bertram III. The assessed value was not immediately available, but he said there are no structures on the land and the properties would be saleable.
"The properties are free and clear, but there is some question about the ingress and egress access to the one on Gilman Avenue as the CSX railroad tracks run in front of the property," he said.
A small access road currently crosses the tracks to the property, but Bertram said CSX is in the process of trying to eliminate such crossings. Another means of access could be Leland Avenue that runs off of Groves Avenue and parallels the west side of the railroad tracks in that area.
The city of Marietta has been offered a donation of two properties by former city residents Susan (Snedeker) Newman and her brother, Brian Snedeker, in memory of their parents.
The properties, at 820 St. Marys Ave. and 997 Gilman Ave., once belonged to their father, the late Roy Snedeker, owner of the former Elston Lumber Company.
But Bertram said Leland Avenue may not extend all the way to the Snedeker property and could require an easement from a neighboring property owner.
The St. Marys Avenue property, in the northern area of the city, sits on an embankment about midway along the 800 block.
"It will be up to city council to decide what to do with the properties," Bertram said. "They can accept the donation, or not do anything and leave it in the current owners' hands. If they want to accept the properties, legislation would be required for the deed to be transferred to the city of Marietta."
Noland said he wouldn't favor developing the properties into a city park or green space, although they could be used for a community garden area if needed.
"But this would also serve to set a precedent that other people could donate land to the city if they want," he added. "And we could use the income, or develop those properties."
Mayor Joe Matthews said he would have no problem accepting the Snedeker properties if they're going to be sold.
"But we can't do any more community gardens or parks," he said. "Our city crews have enough grounds maintenance work to do already. I knew the Snedeker family, and this is an outright donation by their kids. You never know who might want to buy the property, but the city of Marietta should not be going into the real estate business."
Bertram said he's finishing up research on the properties and will bring the information back to the lands, buildings and parks committee soon.