September 11, 2008

No Vote Tonight On Levee

By O'Connor, David

Plans are in the works for a new levee system for Marietta, but there won't be a vote on the matter at tonight's borough council meeting. The council in the Susquehanna River town meets at 7 o'clock at the borough hall, 111 E. Market St.

There have been reports of a big vote on the levee issue at tonight's session, but borough officials emphasized today that that's not the case.

Council members have said they need more answers to questions about the cost and other data before that vote takes place. In the meantime, the council is working to gather all needed information on how best to proceed, borough secretary Jody Shaffner said today.

Back in mid-July, plans had been unveiled for a two-mile, $3- million to $6-million levee system that would aim to protect Marietta from flooding.

The decision about whether to construct the levee rests in the hands of the council, and a final vote on the matter isn't likely until the end of the year at the earliest.

The issue is an important one in Marietta, which was flooded after Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and at other times through the years.

Some 100 residents were on hand in July when plans for the levee were unveiled at a meeting at Pioneer Fire Company headquarters.

Marietta's proposed levee system would involve laying about 10,500 feet of landfill-like liner on the part of the railroad embankment that faces the river.

The barrier would be protected by extra layers of rock and sand, as well as a 3-foot-high vinyl wall at the crest of the railroad embankment, officials said at the time.

The project would require rebuilding the borough's stormwater drainage system by consolidating 32 pipes into 12, and also calls for constructing a 700-foot-long concrete culvert and trash rack.

The project would take at least three years to complete, officials had said in July.

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