Council talks armory, marijuana legislation

Additional renovations work means the gym facilities at the Armory will soon be put to use for the first time in decades.

Ohio Valley Spray Foam insulation systems closed off the ground floor of the Armory to add insulation between joints in the ceiling Wednesday.

“The work is expected to be done sometime next week,” noted City Engineer Joe Tucker.

The renovation work is part of the final steps needed to reopen the gymnasium.

Council contracted with the city school system to renovate the gymnasium and put it into use first as additional practice space, but also for community exercise.

“My hope is by mid-August to be shooting hoops in there,” said Doug Mallett, president of the Marietta school board and at the helm of fundraising efforts for the renovation. “The city agreed to (financially cover) certain parts of the renovation, and we agreed to cover the rest, but my goal was never to have those funds come out of the school budget.”

And even with added safety padding along the walls, Mallett said, local donations will cover the school’s costs.

“We had a commitment to spend $60,000, but with adding some extra padding and safety measures the cost is nearly $73,000, and still no school funds are going to be spent when it’s all done,” he said.

While insulation went in at the Armory, Marietta City Council Planning, Zoning, Annexation and Housing Committee Chairman Geoff Schenkel said work is also continuing on medical marijuana legislation on buffer zones.

“My goal is for us to meet next week. I want Paul (Bertram, city law director) to have the language we requested written to fit the 1,250-foot buffer radius we talked about at our last discussion so that the committee can look at those written words for discussion,” said Schenkel.

He also said the intention is to confine commercial medical marijuana activities to only occur within a specific commercial district.

“So included in that draft we need to see language which confines the activity to C-4 and doesn’t allow any activity (related to medical marijuana) to bleed into the other commercial categories,” Schenkel continued.

Marietta City Council’s Police and Fire Committee also met Wednesday with council’s Finance Committee and moved forward on legislation on a request for funds from the fire department.

“Our current trailer was donated to us years ago to hold our confined space and high angle rescue equipment,” explained Assistant Chief Rodney Scott. “It’s still usable, but it’s not big enough for our needs with all of our equipment.”

Scott said the current trailer is approximately 15 years old and could be donated to another city department for equipment use.

Councilman Mike Scales said the Emergency Rescue Fund has the dollars to support the requested purchase, with the anticipation that it won’t exceed $3,400.

“You have $3,800 in that account right now,” Scales said. “I can guarantee you that by Aug. 1 it will pass.”

“And that money is all thanks to donations by city residents,” added Councilman Steve Thomas. “When I first started on council it only had around $400.”

Council is next scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. on Monday for Finance Committee in room 10 of the Armory but may use the secondary location of the meeting room in 304 Putnam St. if insulation work bleeds into next week.

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

If you go:

• Marietta City Council’s Finance Committee will take place at 2 p.m. Monday.

• Council’s Audit Committee will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, in 304 Putnam St., conference room.

• Council’s regular business meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

** Though most meetings are scheduled for Room 10 of the Armory, 241 Front St., insulation work in the building may change the locations of the public meetings.

** Check the city website calendar at mariettaoh.net/index.php/calendar for most current schedules.

Source: Marietta City Council Clerk.