Members of Marietta City Council finished the final regular session of the current board's two-year term by with passage of seven pieces of new legislation Thursday night, including a five-page transfer and appropriations ordinance.
"Most of this ordinance is simply a final cleanup of end-of-the-year financials," said Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward and chairman of council's finance committee.
But he noted one large appropriation of $2.9 million for capital outlay was "pass through" bond money that would be used for the ongoing wastewater treatment plant upgrades.
Vukovic said another $96,300 appropriation was made to cover a study of the sanitary sewer system in Marietta's west end.
Water, sewer and sanitation committee chairman Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward, said the study, to be performed by URS Corporation of Columbus, is needed before an overhaul of the west side sewer system can be done.
"We have to do a sewage collection study and a rebuild of the Harmar lift station," McCauley said. "We've had several sewer backups in that area and the (Ohio Environmental Protection Agency) could get upset. Also, sewerage from the Oak Grove area will eventually be passing through the west end system, so we have to get this done."
If you go
The newly-elected Marietta City Council will be officially sworn into office at 9 a.m. Jan. 1 on the front steps of Marietta's City Hall, followed at 10 a.m. by the first council meeting of 2014 in the community building at Lookout Park.
All council meetings, except executive sessions, are open to the public.
More city information is available at www.mariettaoh.net
Council also approved the sewer rates for 2014 on Thursday.
"We do not make a profit off of this, but we are doing a major renovation of our wastewater plant, and the sewer rates help pay for that," McCauley said.
The legislation sets the minimum bi-monthly sewer bill for usage not exceeding 500 cubic feet per month at $37.36.
But the typical usage of 1,000 cu. ft. per month would result in a bi-monthly bill of $60.06 for city sewer customers. The current bi-monthly rate for 1,000 cu. ft. of usage is $52.30.
New water rates, which do not require council legislation, were also set by the city administration earlier this week.
A typical bi-monthly water bill will be $50.90 for in-city customers who use 1,000 cu. ft. of water per month, and $76.40 every two months for customers living outside the city who use the same amount of water per month.
The city's new sewer and water rates become effective Jan. 1.
Also on Thursday, council approved a payment of $182,531 to American Star Painting LLC for additional work the contractor had to perform by re-painting the city's water plant solids contact tank after a consultant company prescribed the wrong paint for the job.
"The consultant we hired recommended three types of paint that could be used, but one of those paints was not usable with potable water, and that's the paint American Star ended up using," McCauley explained. "Work had to be stopped on the project and the tank had to be re-painted. We did everything possible to get the tank back up and operating quickly."
He noted American Star worked overtime to get the job completed and the solids contact tank is now back online.
But McCauley added that the extra work had delayed the painting of the city water tank on Glendale Road until next year.
Law director Paul Bertram III said the city is continuing efforts to recover the additional costs from the consultant, KTA-Tator, Inc. of Pittsburgh, that recommended the wrong paint to American Star.
A resolution indicating council's support for an ArtPlace America grant application by the Hippodrome Colony Historical Theatre Association was also approved Thursday.
Lands, buildings and parks committee chairman Harley Noland, D-at large, said the $500,000 grant would require no matching funds and would provide funding to help develop the downtown area into an arts and entertainment district.
The council members also expressed their appreciation Thursday to outgoing Councilman Denver Abicht, D-at large, and council president Walt Brothers who did not seek re-election this year for their service to the community.
"A lot of things this body does looks simple from the outside, but this is a complex job," Brothers said. "Thank you for a fine two years."
Abicht, chairman of the streets and transportation committee, said he felt council had accomplished a lot since he joined the board, filling the unexpired term of former Councilwoman Kathy Shively, D-at large, who stepped down in early 2011.
"These two years and eight months have gone quickly," he said. "And I believe this council has done a very good job. If anyone says differently they just don't understand what we've been able to accomplish."
Finally on Thursday, Mayor Joe Matthews said he wanted to publicly express his appreciation to all city employees for their hard work throughout this year.