Tickets for texting start Sat.

Over the last couple of weeks Marietta City Police have issued more than 100 warnings to drivers texting or talking on cell phones while operating vehicles in the city. But those warnings end this week, and officers will begin writing tickets Saturday that can cost up to $150 for those caught using hand-held wireless devices while driving.

“The citations for a minor misdemeanor go into effect this weekend, and the warning period will be closed,” Marietta safety-service director Jonathan Hupp announced during Thursday’s city council meeting.

Councilman Steve Thomas, D-3rd Ward, and chairman of council’s police and fire committee, congratulated the police department for issuing the 100-plus warnings throughout the city since July 5.

In other business Thursday, council heard the first reading of two pieces of legislation authorizing McDonald’s USA, LLC, to make property improvements along Jefferson Street and curb cuts on Durwood Hoag Drive.

Councilwoman Kathy Downer, D-at large, who chairs the streets and transportation committee, said the ordinances should be approved as soon as possible because the McDonald’s restaurant is to be renovated at the corner of Jefferson Street and Durwood Hoag Drive.

No action was taken by council on any legislation introduced Thursday due to the absence of councilmen Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, and Harley Noland, D-at large. Both were out of town and could not attend Thursday’s session.

A special council meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday to take care of business that could not be addressed because the two council members were absent Thursday.

Among the other pieces of legislation introduced Thursday was an ordinance authorizing the advertisement for bids on property at 412 Phillips St. that was donated to the city last fall by a Wells Fargo Bank in Iowa.

The bank, which had foreclosed on the property, also donated $20,000 to help the city pay for demolition of a two-story frame house on that lot. The 100-year-old structure has been demolished and the property is now being advertised for sale.