MCS Levy traffic issues

I am a new to Glendale Road resident and have many concerns about the November, Marietta City Schools (MCS) Levy, most pressing being traffic and congestion. I am shocked to not receive any notice of four schools potentially being built at my property line, and the traffic such a major project will bring to both Glendale and Colegate Road.

In April I applied to the city for a minor variance. A notice went into the newspaper and additionally, my immediate neighbors received a copy of my application in the mail. So, on Aug. 15, I was shocked to learn of this initiative.

First, let me state that I sincerely believe that strong schools, along with other factors, can make for a strong community; however, the current proposed location, behind Washington State Community College, will do a great deal of harm to the property of many tax payers that live in the affected area.

My concern is the profound traffic increase on both Glendale and Colegate Roads.

It stands to absolute reason, it’s just a matter of time before the county has to widen Glendale Road to accommodate the major bus traffic. Many homes close to the road will be greatly impacted. I’m concerned about the continued congestion for all the staggered buses to pick-up and drop-off for every city student in one location, and how it will hinder emergency services going to places like Glenwood Retirement Community.

I also fear the fire station on the corner of Glendale and Colegate will be slowed down at peak rush times. In addition, I’m concerned the traffic will back-up on Colegate and hinder emergency services to and from Selby Hospital.

I am aware of the amount of traffic and impact studies Marietta College has to be involved with to potentially close Butler Street, and, to my knowledge no such scrutiny has been given to the Glendale/Colegate issue.

I only wish that the same consideration I am asked to give my community by supporting a levy for the greater good be given to me and my neighbors. The cost of the levy has been well documented in recent newspaper articles; however, I’d also like to know the future costs? This levy is not the end. At minimum we have the 2015 emergency levy set to expire next year, that we will have to again vote? Plus, from what I understand, the cost of maintenance and updates to the infrastructure of the proposed project have not been added into the current levy costs? If we pass this levy, property owners in Marietta can look forward to future levies and the continued increase in property taxes.

I would like to see us take a page out of Williamstown’s playbook by using an existing building footprint, the old Fenton Factory, as their new school location. Or, since a main goal of the levy is to have the high school link with Washington State Community College campus, then possibly only build a new high school very close to the campus. The other three schools could be placed together in one of the many abandoned/underused areas in the city/county. I want all my friends and neighbors to be safe and comfortable, and this levy doesn’t consider all community members, many in long-standing neighborhoods. Sadly, given the lack of community engagement, the failure to consider the impact of such a project on traffic patterns and emergency services, and the potential for additional increases to property taxes, I ask the readers of my letter to sincerely look at the full impact of the MCS levy.

Jolene Powell