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Along with the bad comes the good and there have been some positives lately for the City of Marietta, said City Councilman and Finance Chair Mike Scales.

Bids were recently opened for work on the Marietta River Trail and bid amounts had him “giddy,” he said.

The high bid came in around $2.2 million and low bids were around $1.5 million.

“We talked about how to fund it and rethink how to fund it,” he said. “We put funding aside for $2.5 million and now we’re basically looking at $1.5 million.”

He said they want to get the money in place as soon as possible to tie the bid in and if there’s no problems, they indicated that part of the trail could be open as soon as June 2023.

Scales said he was “tickled pink” that work would finally start moving on the project.

“We’re going to get the thing fixed because it is an integral part of the City of Marietta.

“It’s an advantage for tourism. (Getting the landslip fixed) is a safety thing because people can use (the trail) to get around Route 7 and you see people walking up and down and that’s dangerous,” he said. “They have the bike trail and we eventually want to get some lighting down through the whole thing and light it up. That’s down the road, but the main thing is we want to get this fixed and we’re going to get everything back to where it was when it opened up.”

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The council also recently saw a presentation from Woda Cooper Cos. about a possible affordable housing project in the city. An available and applicable site was found for the company to submit to the Ohio Housing Finance Authority for Bond Gap Financing Program Year 2022.

Roughly $2 million in local funds will be needed to fill the gap in the capital stack to make this project viable, according to the company.

When asked where the project will be, Scales said 318 Colegate Drive, the site of the North Hill Lane bowling alley. The 1.6-acre property has been on the market since early August 2021, now priced at $790,000.

Scales said Woda Cooper would like $1.5 million in ARPA funds for the project. The project overview lists the apartments as “affordable workforce housing”.

“They want us to have a decision by Aug. 6,” he said, noting they didn’t find out about it until last week.

Scales said the timeline for making a decision was too quick and there were too many unanswered details, but the matter would be discussed by the council.

He also said the project was an annual exercise, so it may be held off until next year.

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Council is starting to work on next year’s budget, looking at the income and revenue for this year, Scales said. One of the biggest factors in its decisions is inflation.

“I look at my buying power when I go to the grocery store or get gas. It’s the same thing for the city,” he said. “All of the sudden, everything you’ve based it on in the past is out the door. Now we’re faced with the inflationary factor.”

He said they’ve already had a department head come in and ask to move money around because fuel costs were higher than what was budgeted.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at


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