Resident asks council again for police presence at dog park | News, Sports, Jobs

Howard Larky and his red golden retrievers, Maddie and Luna, relax and enjoy the sunny weather Thursday night at the Marietta Community Dog Park. (Photo by Michèle Newbanks)

A resident of Marietta spoke to Marietta City Council again on Thursday about the changes he had requested from a local dog park.

Julie Stoffel, who volunteers at the Marietta Community Dog Park, appeared before council two weeks ago to talk about drug use in the park. She told council on Thursday that the park was overrun with drug problems and that volunteers were there to take back their park.

The park, located in Jackson Hill Park on Cisler Street, allows drug addicts to comfortably get out at noon instead of waiting until dark.

“They are really obvious” she said, adding that no one banned them from using drugs there.

“It’s pretty scary for me” said Stoffel. “We ask them to come regularly and take a quick tour of the park. “

She shared photos with the board of the drug paraphernalia found in July. She said people are trying to do the right thing and clean up, but they don’t know how to do it safely.

“I’m just here to help you” she said. “I researched how to get drugs out of the community and the first thing on the lists was to ask for a police patrol. Number 2 on each listing was to request additional lights.

Security Service Director Steve Wetz said he spoke with Marietta Police Chief Aaron Nedeff after the last meeting and had no problem with more patrols in the area , they just needed to schedule someone to cover it.

“And the lighting will make a huge difference” said Bill Gossett, City Councilor for the Third Ward.

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Scott Kitchen of the Marietta Community Tennis Association spoke to the city’s public tennis court board.

He presented five concerns to council, including the need for more public tennis courts, the “inadequate” maintenance plan for the city’s tennis facilities and the “chaotic” schedule of hearing time. He said there must be dedicated pickleball courts and the lighting is “Below standard”.

He provided solutions, such as rebuilding Courts 3 and 4 at Gold Star Park and resurfacing Courts 1 and 2 with lines for tennis only. He also suggested building two to four pickleball courts in a park and adding pickleball lines to other surfaces, such as basketball courts.

“We spent all the money at Gold Star Park,” Kitchen says. “It could be our municipal park (Parkersburg). It could be our showcase.

Forty-five public tennis courts can be found in Wood County, while Marietta only has five.

Council President Susan Vessels asked about the cost of resurfacing the courts.

Kitchen said it would cost around $ 31,000 to repair grounds 1 and 2, but it would cost around $ 200,000 to “Tear off and replace the two superior courts.” “

“The two superiors are shot. They are awful “, he said.

General Councilor Susan Boyer asked how many tennis players use Marietta’s five courts.

In the tennis association, emails are sent to 85 players, of whom 70 to 75 are actively playing.

“We only play doubles now. There is simply no room for more ”, he said.

City engineer Joe Tucker said the price for resurfacing is “Fairly conservative” but there are basketball courts that could accommodate pickleball players at Gold Star Park, Indian Acres, and Jackson Park.

“We no longer need courts” Kitchen says. “We are sorely lacking in courts. “

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Christie Thomas, Executive Director of Marietta Main Street, spoke about the designated outdoor refreshment area, dubbed DORA.

The possibility of expanding to the western part has been raised with three companies interested in participating, she said.

Fourth Quarter City Councilor Geoff Schenkel said any expansion has been put on hold on the recommendation of businesses, but this fall is a good time to come back.

Thomas said the comments she has received indicate people want DORA to have longer hours and more days.

Marietta has the most limited hours and days compared to other cities in Ohio, she said.

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