Marietta City Council honors retired police officers

MARIETTA — Marietta City Council honored four retired police officers Thursday at its regular meeting.

“These officers have all worked hard for this city in keeping us safe and I’m glad we can honor them tonight,” said Councilman Steve Thomas, chair of the Police and Fire Committee.

The following were honored Thursday:

* Mark V. Caldwell, who began his service with Marietta in 1987 and served for 28 years. Caldwell now works in retirement at the Marietta College Police Department.

* Robert L. Heddleston, who began his service with Marietta in 1982 and served for 33 years. Heddleston also now works in retirement for the Marietta College Police Department.

* Thomas Matt Hickey, who began his service in 1982 and served for 33 years.

* Ronald Greg Nohe, who began his service with Marietta in 1987 and served for 28 years. Capt. Nohe now works in retirement for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office as the Washington County Jail Administrator.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the city,” said Caldwell after he was honored.

Safety-Service Director Jonathan Hupp noted not only the time the officers and their families gave to the city over their years but also the leadership they provided to the department during their time in office.

Council also heard from residents concerning the Phase V extension of the River Trail out to the Wal-Mart/Lowe’s shopping center on the eastern side of I-77 before a final reading concerning final funding changes for the project.

Council passed the legislation 6-1 with only Councilwoman Cindy Oxender voting against the legislation.

She said the vote was to honor those constituents that had previously voted down a proposed tax hike during the city’s primary election. The then-proposed hike would have increased the current city income tax from 1.7 percent tax to 2.2 percent.

“My vote this evening as a city taxpayer was to honor those taxpayers that gave us that warning shot,” she said. “Since its defeat we’ve denied the administration’s requests to add extra staff, we’ve denied employee overtime and we’ve made critical city supply cost cuts.”

Current construction estimates for the addition are projected to stay under the budgeted $2.5 million.

Of the $16,535 change order approved Thursday, only $3,307 will be funded by a local match from the city to add the 0.84 mile of the trail crossing Duck Creek and running below the I-77 bridge.

Phase I of the project, from the Indian Acres boat ramp to the Putnam Bridge, was completed in 2005. Phase II extended the trail from the bridge, along Post Street, Ohio Street, and then along the Ohio River levee to South Fourth Street.

Phase III added the span from South Fourth Street to Jefferson Street, behind Kmart. The project will next go out of order, with Phase V being the section leading to Wal-Mart.

River Trail Phase IV has yet to be broached by the current city council for funding resources until the privately owned Historic Harmar Railroad Bridge can be renovated.

Phase V will continue the trail behind Kmart, around the I-77 abutment and head north toward the off ramp from the interstate before crossing Duck Creek across from the Quality Inn. It will continue behind that hotel and the Aldi before ending at Capt. B. Seeley Memorial Drive where the Pioneer Golf Center’s parking lot sits.