MARIETTA - Due to landslips in the area, members of Marietta City Council's streets and transportation committee have considered vacating a northern section of Bellvue Street on Harmar Hill.
But concerns were expressed against that plan during a streets committee meeting Wednesday.
"Vacating a street in front of someone's home lowers the property value, and I do not want that street closed off," said Duane Murray who lives at 100 Bellvue St.
City engineer Joe Tucker said the city could seek Ohio Public Works Commission grant funding to do the major work needed to reinforce the steep landslip-prone hillside below that portion of Bellvue Street. He did not have an estimate for what that project would cost.
Murray said the city should pursue that grant and fix the landslip, keeping the street open for emergency vehicles that he said often use Bellvue Street to access the Marietta Care and Rehabilitation Center on nearby Bartlett Street.
Tucker assured him the city would try for a grant, and noted a local match of 10 percent would be required from the city if grant funding is awarded.
"I'm not trying to make anyone mad, and vacating the street would be a last option, but we have closed streets before due to slippage," he said.
Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, said the committee is looking at all the options.
"Closing the street is an option we have to consider in the process, but it doesn't mean we will do that," he told Murray.
In other business, contractor Shelly and Sands is expected to wrap up the 2012 citywide asphalt paving program this week, according to Wayne Rinehart, project manager with the city engineering department.
"And our OPWC grant application for the 2013 asphalt paving program has received 425 out of a possible 430 points," he said, noting the city should be able to obtain the grant funding - around $400,000.
Also on Wednesday, Judge Janet Dyar Welch expressed concern the open space at ground level beneath the new Municipal Court building is being considered for city council chambers.
"That was never designed for an assembly area, and no electricity is available there," she told council's lands, buildings and parks committee.
Welch said if the area is usable, she would use it to store files and records the court is required to keep. She's leasing space for records storage.
Mayor Joe Matthews said the administration was not ready to discuss the possibility of developing city council chambers at the new municipal court location.
Jarrod Schultheisz, project manager with the city engineering department, said Grindline Skateparks Inc., of Seattle, had submitted the apparent low bid for the second phase of the skate park project at Indian Acres.
He said Grindline, which built the first phase concrete "flowbowl" at the skate park, had submitted a bid of $42,880 for the project, which was lower than the engineer's estimate of $54,350.
Schultheisz said he hoped to award the bid by next week.
The project includes a new concrete "street course" running from the flowbowl area to the parking lot at Indian Acres Park.