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Marietta Finance Committee talks financial assistance | News, Sports, Jobs

City Engineer Joe Tucker explains to the Marietta City Council Finance Committee how the city could save $100,000 by amending its original streets resurfacing and curb ramp application to the Ohio Public Works Commission. (Photo by Nancy Taylor)

Marietta City Engineer Joe Tucker has a proposal to save Marietta $100,000 by amending the city’s Fiscal Year 2024 Ohio Public Works Commission application for financial assistance.

Tucker, who outlined the details at the City Council Finance Committee meeting on Monday, said Marietta typically has asked the commission for a $300,000 grant and a $100,000 loan, the amounts requested in August’s application, as well.

With rapidly increasing costs, however, the citywide resurfacing and Americans with Disabilities Act curb ramps program cost estimates rose to $676,576.

Tucker said he had checked whether it would be acceptable to increase the numbers on the grant and loan.

“It’s perfectly acceptable to maximize grant funding, so I propose increasing the grant request to $375,500 and the loan amount to $125,000,” he said.

That would reduce the local revenues match enough to save $100,000 that would go to back to the streets fund. In order to do that, though, council will need to pass a new resolution citing the changes made. The modified resolution needs to be submitted by Oct. 21, Tucker said.

The inclusion of the loan is a factor that increases the amount of grant funds that can be received and there is no penalty for early payoff of the loan, Tucker said.

“The bottom line is, this gets us more grant funding,” he said.

The finance committee also heard from Police Chief Katie Warden about two proposed funds transfers involving the department.

A $25,000 transfer from the parking fund was requested to buy equipment for a digitized parking system.

“I believe we are the only system left in Ohio that still uses a pencil and paper to do all of this,” she said, referring to issuing parking tickets to accepting payments and tracking delinquencies.

“Right now, we accept cash, check or money order for payments. That’s it,” she said. “No online payments, no debit or credit cards.”

Parking Enforcement Officer Rob Emerick will still patrol streets, but he’ll have a portable unit that can print the ticket and even include a photo of the vehicle, if needed.

In the long run, once he is used to the system, he will be able to write more tickets.

The system will help maintain the flow of tracking the tickets and maintaining the flow of information on them, even producing delinquency letters if needed. Payments will be able to be made in person, online or by phone.

She has consulted three vendors, the chief said, and the one she has chosen is being used in Athens County. The initial cost is $25,460 for the entire system, which will be custom-made for Marietta “and will bring us into the 21st century,” she said.

It will take the company about three months to upload the city’s ordinances and incorporate all the needed elements. After that, the cost will be $18,000 yearly for licensing and user fees.

The second transfer requested by the police department is $1,800 for the purchase of a Bernedoodle puppy who will become a therapy dog to go with the school resource officer. The breed is a cross between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle.

When not in schools, the dog will be used to interact with nursing home residents and other elderly. The Reynoldsburg breeder gave the department a “fantastic” price on the dog because he knew how it was going to be used, she said. Police departtment representatives will go to Reynoldsburg on Oct. 10 to choose the dog out of seven puppies that are available at the moment. The Bernedoodle is the same breed as the two therapy dogs the county has, Councilman Bill Gossett said.

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