City to address Rathbone drainage issue

A few residents in the Rathbone area of Marietta, located just east of Muskingum Drive along Davis Avenue, may see relief from some chronic stormwater problems, thanks to a drainage project proposed by the city engineer’s office during Thursday’s joint meeting of city council’s finance and streets and transportation committees.

“This won’t be an end-all solution for everyone in that area, but it’s probably a good start,” said Eric Lambert, project manager with the engineer’s office.

He said the project would impact a half-dozen homes near the Davis Avenue end of the Rathbone area, and would only cost an estimated $7,000 in materials with city crews providing the necessary labor.

“We plan to install two catch basins in the city-owned area behind the houses, and install a French drain parallel to Rathbone and Lee streets to help minimize stormwater flow,” he said, adding that four-inch downspouts from the houses would tie into the drainage line to carry water away from those properties.

“It’s not much more than a Band-Aid approach. We’re trying to help about six residences with this project,” Lambert said. “But I hope everyone on this committee will be on board when I present the final plans to council.”

Councilman Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward, noted the city had performed two or three studies on the Rathbone area drainage problems that cost more than $7,000.

Fellow Councilman and former mayor Michael Mullen, I-at large, said estimates to do a major fix of all the drainage issues facing that area came in at more than $600,000 for a previous council that had engineering studies performed on Rathbone.

In other business Thursday, the committee members agreed to appropriate $213,521 to purchase a new street sweeper for the streets department.

And streets committee chairman Denver Abicht, D-at large, requested an appropriation of $4,000 to enter into a contract with David Haney, managing principal with City Telecommunications Consultants Ltd. of Columbus, to develop a right of way ordinance for the city of Marietta.

The other committee members agreed the funding should be appropriated to move forward with the proposed ordinance which would give the city better control over utilities and other companies doing work within the city right of way.

“This appropriation is just putting the money in place so we can enter into the contract with City Telecommunications, although I believe it may cost more than $4,000,” said finance committee chairman Tom Vukovic.

But Mullen noted Haney had already done a lot of work on a similar ordinance for a previous council in 2009, and the same document could be used to develop a new right of way ordinance.

City law director Paul Bertram III agreed.

“The document is probably 85 percent done, but needs to be reviewed and updated before it can be introduced for legislation,” he said.