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Finance Committee reviews 2021 spending recommendation

Marietta City Council’s Finance Committee reviewed an updated recommendation for expenditures of 2021 federal funds Monday, without the implementation or completion of a federally-required multi-year consolidated plan.

Finance Committee Chairman Mike Scales said he requested only the recommended spends for 2021, from the administration to move forward with introducing legislation.

The recommendation he solicited and purportedly forwarded on to his fellow finance committee members Mike McCauley; and Cassidi Shoaf, recommends the following spends:

¯ $30,000 toward the demolition of 115-117 Gilman Ave. for the removal of slum and blight.

¯ $10,000 toward the removal of unspecified slum and blight in the Indian Acres area.

¯ $5,000 toward the installation of two historic markers requested by the Civil War Roundtable.

¯ $25,000 toward ADA sidewalk repairs and ramps in the lower west side.

¯ $5,000, or two-thirds of the requested $7,500 local match toward the application for a Bureau of Workers Compensation grant for a wheelchair lift for Peoples Bank Theatre.

¯ $40,000 toward the Community Action Bus Line.

¯ $35,000 toward the requested ADA curb ramp and sidewalk needs of Ninth and Washington streets’ intersection.

¯ $4,500 for ADA upgrades to complete the Harbor renovation.

¯ $15,000, or three-fourths of the request for Marietta Main Street.

¯ $20,000 toward unspecified city aquatic center upgrades, without documented descriptions of eligible use under the federal program.

¯ $35,000 toward the installation of a new pickleball court with potential matching Ohio Department of Natural Resources funds at Indian Acres Park.

¯ $79,500 in unspecified administration of the federal program.

¯ $66,000 in unspecified administration of the federal program’s housing-related expenditures.

¯ $30,000 for the emergency repair program which has through city records declined in productive use for several years.

¯ $25,000 for the paint Marietta program which has also followed the same trend of productive use.

The two final programs, through ledgers obtained through public records requests made by the Times, show the funds are often rerouted to other small projects or used in construction and engineering projects instead of for slum and blight prevention through housing initiatives.

Scales said he plans to introduce legislation on the proposed budget on Oct. 1, at which point other members of council may:

¯ Move to table the ordinance,

¯ Move to amend the ordinance,

¯ Move to suspend the rules and dispense with the second and/or third readings of the ordinance,

¯ Or do nothing more at that time.

Scales said he intends to let the ordinance run for three full readings, with the second on Oct. 15 and third on Nov. 5.

The listed actions above are also open to voting members of council on Oct. 15 and Nov. 5, except for procedurally a change in the suspensions.

Then when called for a vote after either the suspension or completion of the ordinance’s third reading, council may approve or defeat the legislation with or without amendment.

Scales declined to comment in detail about what of his questions from a Sept. 3 meeting including Mayor Josh Schlicher, Safety-Service Director Steve Wetz, Development Director Mike Gulliver, Development Clerk Lisa Forshey, Planning, Zoning, Annexation and Housing Chairman Geoff Schenkel, the Times and three members of the Columbus field office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Robert Milburn, the present representative for Marietta; Brian White, the past representative for Marietta; and Anthony Forte, supervisor of Milburn and White) were answered after expressing confusion in that meeting that now allow for his confidence in moving forward for legislation.

Council is next scheduled to meet in regular session Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in room 10 of the Armory.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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