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Joint committees discuss properties

Marietta City Council will consider legislation to rid the city of claim to three pieces of land next week following a joint committee meeting Tuesday.

Streets, Finance and Lands, Buildings and Parks committees met together in 304 Putnam St. to discuss a request for forfeiting right of way behind homes on Grandview Avenue in the first ward, and also for entertaining a potential sale of city property surrounding the historic Bosworth house on Third Street.

The right of way request first came before the 2018-19 legislative body by way of Athens lawyer Phil Lee, representing the Nichols family who resides on Grandview.

Though Grandview has been part of multiple Streets Committee discussions in recent months over the city street slipping and a dispute over residents at the other end closing the road from local traffic passing through, this request does not address those concerns.

“But it will need to be considered by council as we decide on this,” confirmed Streets Chairwoman Susan Boyer Tuesday.

Lee explained that the forfeiture requested is for an alley that only exists on plat maps but was never developed.

“We believe it was platted sometime in the 1800s,” he noted.

Both Boyer and First Ward Councilman Mike Scales noted that the remaining land where the platted alley would continue southwest is also slipping–making it not financially plausible to develop as an alternative street to slipping issues affecting Grandview Avenue.

Bosworth historic home

The 4,600-square-foot house, originally built in 1868 by Marietta-area merchant Martin Pomeroy Wells, sits at 316 Third St., directly behind City Hall in Marietta and across the parking lot from the city’s main fire station.

In 2007 Bosworth Partners bought the home from the Marietta Chamber of Commerce for $150,000. The chamber had purchased the property from the city of Marietta in 1983, and had located offices there for more than 20 years before moving to its current location in the Riverview Building on Front Street.

But since that 2007 sale, City Law Director Paul Bertram explained, the property has not seen life, though it now has an interested buyer.

The catch — the structure’s property does not include the green tree lot between the house and the Loughry, Buell and Sipe law firm at 322 Third St. nor the land immediately out the back step of the home abutting the city alley.

Both parcels are owned by the city of Marietta.

Council was approached Tuesday by the interested buyer of the home, asking for council to consider selling both.

Bertram informed legislators present that they could legally entertain bids for the parcels.

Other business

The committees also discussed a potential independent audit of street lights and lamp posts for energy efficiency analysis and proposed reposting for mile-markers along the River Trail.

Councilman Geoff Schenkel and Mayor Josh Schlicher said they would take the mile marker reposting proposal for a review of the Enrich Marietta committee to discuss color and design recommendations.

“There are three different discussions going on about design of wayfinding signs, from Enrich, Josh’s vision and what Jean Yost is looking at all with different color schemes,” Schenkel explained.

Schenkel noted a need to coordinate rather than duplicate or design clashing color schemes.

The posts are a proposed free replacement of the Peoples Bank mile markers on the trail, which haven’t been updated since phase two of the path was completed.

Phase I of the project, from the Indian Acres boat ramp to the Putnam Bridge, was completed in 2005. Phase II extended the trail from the bridge, along Post Street, Ohio Street, and then along the Ohio River levee to South Fourth Street. Phase III added the span from South Fourth Street to Jefferson Street, behind Kmart. The most recent phase was completed last year, connecting the trail to the Walmart/Lowe’s/Aldi shopping center on Pike Street.

Council next meets today in a joint Streets/Planning, Zoning, Annexation and Housing Committee at 4 p.m. in the second-floor conference room of 304 Putnam St.

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