No-interest loan fills hole in city paving budget

A $22,000 no-interest loan will help fund Marietta’s 2014 citywide asphalt paving program, according to action taken by Marietta’s City Council Thursday.

“This loan will be repaid over a 10-year period from the city’s second $5 permissive tax fund,” said Councilman Denver Abicht, D-at large, who chairs the streets and transportation committee.

Last month city engineer Joe Tucker announced the city would be approved for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to pay for Marietta’s 2014 paving program, but the amount of the grant would be less than the full $400,000 requested.

During a November meeting with the OPWC’s executive committee the agency’s executive board asked each community receiving a 2014 grant award to accept $22,000 less than the full amount.

But the OPWC also offered to provide the city with a $22,000 loan at zero interest to help make up for the lower award.

On Thursday council unanimously approved legislation to accept the OPWC loan, which will be repaid at a rate of $2,200 a year over the next decade.

In other business Thursday, council approved six resolutions authorizing the potential use of eminent domain to obtain rights of entry to six properties near the Seventh, Pike and Greene streets intersection.

“This will allow the city to declare eminent domain-if needed-for rights of entry to those properties in order to proceed with the Seventh, Pike and Greene streets intersection improvement project,” Abicht explained.

The six properties include Apex True Value at 600 Greene St.; Captain D’s, 104 Pike St.; Food 4 Less, 110 S. Seventh St.; Marietta College, Seventh and Greene streets; Qdoba, Seventh and Pike streets; and Sheila’s Hair Shoppe and Tanning, 109 Pike St.

Letters notifying the owners and interest-holders of all six properties that the city intends to purchase the rights of entry at fair market value were mailed out Oct. 28 or 29, according to city law director Paul Bertram III.

Earlier this year council appropriated $227,000 for right-of-way acquisition related to the intersection project.

During a streets committee meeting Tuesday Bertram emphasized that adoption of the authorizing resolution would not mean council will actually take eminent domain action against any of the properties.

Abicht noted Thursday that letters from all six property owners, consenting to the rights of entry, had to be returned to the city before Dec. 16, which is the deadline set by the Ohio Department of Transportation in order to keep the intersection project on schedule.

The sale date for the intersection safety improvement project will be March 13, according to Tucker.