Enthusiastic Meeting of Property Owners Is Held.
Plans for the raising of the lower business streets of Marietta, which have been in the making for some time, were formally launched at an enthusiastic meeting of property holders held at the court house Tuesday evening. Reports were received from some of the private committees that have been at work and steps looking toward an active campaign taken.
The most definite action taken was to fix the minimum elevation at 46 feet. This means that if the plans are put through all streets will be brought to a level which will require a stage of at least 46 feet to flood them. The Front street level is now practically 38 feet. A committee was appointed to make arrangements for an excursion to Pittsburgh, to give the people who are interested an opportunity to go to that and neighboring cities where streets and buildings have been raised, inspect the work and learn some of the details of such work.
B. B. Putnam presided at the gathering, and A. F. Cole acted as secretary in the absence of T. B. Bosworth. About 75 percent of the property owners on Front street between Putnam and Greene, a number from Putnam, Greene and Second streets, and members of the city council were present. With a very few exceptions the speakers were all in favor of the proposition and most of them were enthusiastic. Nearly all of the property holders on Front street have declared their willingness to go ahead with the plans and stand their part of the expense.
A representative of a Pittsburgh construction company, which has done much work in connection with the raising of business blocks and residence properties was present and told something of the work. It is an easy matter to do this work and it is accompanied by very little disturbance of business.
The excursion committee plans to arrange for a trip to Pittsburgh within a short time. It is the intention to arrange things so that but little time will be required and it is thought that a large number will accompany the party.
Strong arguments for the proposed action were advanced. It was pointed out that real estate in all parts of the city has depreciated during the past ten years, and that the decline in value in the flood district has been very heavy. That abandonment of lower Front street, which is the natural business center of the city, would result in a tremendous loss of business, it was urged.
Rough estimates of the cost of the work on Front street are from $20 to $30 per front foot, this figure including new sewers and the paving of the street with new block. By using the old brick this expenditure can be reduced. The figure includes the filling and paving of the streets and the putting down of cement sidewalks in front of all the properties.