Marietta Council praises Ortt

Members of Marietta’s City Council on Thursday expressed sadness at last month’s passing of Marilyn Ortt who dedicated much of her life to preserving the environment and making sure the Pioneer City had plenty of green space.

“I was saddened to learn that Marilyn Ortt had passed, and during a tree commission meeting this week there were plans being made to memorialize her,” said Harley Noland, D-at large, who chairs council’s lands, buildings and parks committee.

Councilman Michael Mullen, I-at large, said Ortt had left an incredible legacy to the city.

“It was a privilege and honor to work with Marilyn for many years,” he said. “And part of her legacy is that for 30-plus years in a row Marietta has been designated as a Tree City U.S.A. with an urban forest that’s second to none.”

Council member Roger Kalter, D-1st Ward, agreed.

“She did an incredible amount for this city,” he said, noting a tree would be selected along the newest section of the River Trail to serve as a memorial to Ortt.

Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, noted that Ortt played a key role in encouraging him to vote for the city to set aside the Kris-Mar Woods property for permanent city green space.

“I’m glad I listened to her,” he said. “And I just don’t know how you can inspire someone else to become a Marilyn Ortt in order to fill her shoes.”

In other business Thursday, council approved a $74,682 change order to add a fire training room to the ongoing city hall renovation project.

“This training room is for the fire department,” Noland said. “Right now in order to conduct training they have to pull a truck out of the garage and train inside the bay, and the department does a lot of training throughout the year.”

Council also approved a change order of $11,570 for the North Hills water tower painting project that will be used to replace a drain pipe and to sandblast a rusting riser pipe, according to water, sewer and sanitation committee chairman Mike McCauley, D-2nd Ward.

Also on Thursday, council approved 11 ordinances authorizing the acquisition of rights of way needed for the traffic and pedestrian safety upgrade project at the Seventh, Pike and Greene streets intersection.

The city will pay a total $195,639 for the rights of way to six parcels of property required for the intersection project.

The six parcels and amounts to be paid for the rights of way include $12,420 to Apex True Value at 600 Greene St.; $73,910 to Captain D’s, 104 Pike St.; $898 to Food 4 Less, 110 S. Seventh St.; $50,000 to Marietta College, Seventh and Greene streets; $28,411 to Qdoba, Seventh and Pike streets; and $30,000 to Sheila’s Hair Shoppe and Tanning, 109 Pike St.