Work on Marietta City Hall is now on schedule to begin this month after Marietta City Council members unanimously approved four ordinances to move the project forward during a special session Thursday night.
The ordinances approved transfers and appropriated just over $2 million for the project, which will be completed by Steubenville-based Grae-Con Construction, Inc.
"Grae-Con is a very reputable contractor. They are well-known in our area and it's good to know they'll be using local workers," said Marietta City Councilman Denver Abicht, D-at large.
The company has a Marietta location on Industry Road.
Grae-Con is also responsible for the construction of the press box at Don Drumm Stadium and the Marietta College Legacy Library, added councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd ward.
Though it is not mandated in the ordinance which awards Grae-Con the contract, work on the building at 301 Putnam St. will have to begin by Dec. 27, said councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th ward.
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That is why a special session was necessary in order to approve the funding and contract in time for the engineer to move forward on the project, he added.
Renovating the city's 1937 city hall building is important for a number of reasons, said councilman Harley Noland, D-at large, but most importantly because it will mean the building is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"There will be an elevator, a new ramp outside, the doors will be ADA compliant," said Vukovic.
Once renovations are complete, Marietta Police Department offices will be moved from the building's basement onto the second floor. Offices that currently reside in 308 Putnam St., such as the city treasurer's office, will also be moved into the building. This will enable the city to sell 308 Putnam St., hopefully by the end of 2014, said Noland.
Vukovic said his one regret was that the city was not able to fit chambers for city council and an office for council clerk into the renovation plans.
The city council also approved a revision of a contract with Cardo ATC for asbestos abatement work in the building to allow up to $3,600 to be spent on the job.
"This is a matter of health and safety," said Noland, adding that the amount of asbestos in the building now is fairly minimal.
Council also discussed when it will repay the $100,000 that it voted to move out of the General Fund and into the Capital Improvement Fund Thursday night.
McCauley expressed concern that council would not be able to repay the money by the June 1 date listed in the ordinance, but council is expected to have that money by May 16, when they refinance a bond anticipation note through Fifth-Third Bank. Vukovic expects that bond anticipation note will be for $2.6 million.