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Council approves plan to apply for grants

Marietta City Council authorized the pursuit of a couple of grants Thursday during its regular business meeting.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

By unanimous approval, council authorized the pursuit of an Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Recreation Trails Program grant Thursday for a total project cost of $146,000.

Following the meeting, Marietta Law Director Paul Bertram corrected what exhibits were provided to the Times.

Bertram explained that $44,000 is outlined in the proposal for design and engineering costs.

Another $72,000 is outlined for construction.

Then the city’s match, Bertram explained, would be “hard cash” for construction ($19,000) and for the design phase ($11,000).

The grant is a reimbursement program, putting the initial investment wholly on the city, according to the exhibit provided by the council clerk.

The deadline to apply for the grant, according to the application process sheet is March 15, with site visits and review by ODNR staff outlined between March 15 and Aug. 1.

The exhibit notes that recommendations and approvals would be awarded in the latter part of this year between October and November, requiring the city to sign an agreement to complete the project within 15 months to be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to 80 percent of the project cost.

If awarded, the $146,000 project is slated for improvements to East Muskingum Park and the Sacra Via parks on the east side of Marietta.

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER)

Bertram also asked council to approve the proposed introduction of additional staff at the city fire department if awarded a SAFER grant.

The grant proposal was discussed in a recent committee meeting where Fire Chief C.W. Durham spoke to cost savings of the program funding additional bodies within his department if awarded.

Councilwoman Cassidi Shoaf, who is the chairwoman of Employee Relations, shared Thursday that she was in support of the application, only if a special committee is built to address what would happen after the three-year grant would run out.

Council also considered nine ordinances Thursday.

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