City looks to lease renewal for well site

The city of Marietta is poised to renew a 10-year lease with the Washington County Fair Board for a portion of fairgrounds property on which one of the city’s nine water wells is located.

“Our number 4 well, which is our best-producing, and several monitoring wells, are located on the fairgrounds property,” water superintendent Jeff Kephart said during a meeting of city council’s water, sewer and sanitation committee Tuesday.

The city leases the property by providing 366,630 cubic feet of water to the fair board annually. If that amount of water is not used by the board in a year, the city pays the difference in cash, based on the current rate being charged for water service.

If more than 366,630 cubic feet of water are used, the board pays the difference.

City safety-service director Jonathan Hupp said the fair board members were basically OK with the proposed lease renewal.

“But there was some concern about language about drilling in the new contract,” he said. “They were concerned that there could be new well drilling, but I told them the drilling referred to in the contract only means drilling that could be needed to maintain the current well.”

City law director Paul Bertram III, agreed, saying he put the word “drilling” in the contract in case more monitoring wells were needed or in case the main well would become contaminated and a new well would have to be drilled at the same location.

“I’ll change the language to clarify what is meant by drilling,” Bertram said.

The new lease should be ready for action at the next council meeting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 in the community building at Lookout Park.

Also on Tuesday Hupp said the city streets, wastewater and water departments need a location to store soil, asphalt and bricks that are not suitable to use as fill dirt.

“We can’t dump that material at Jackson Hill Park because we’re trying to redevelop that area,” he said. “And the River Trail is being built behind the wastewater treatment plant, so we can’t dump material there either.”

Hupp said the material can be temporarily stored behind the city streets department garage on Alderman Street, but another location will be required because that area is within the 100-year floodplain.