Canton considers possible upgrades to Marietta Road
by Joshua Sharpe
jsharpe@cherokeetribune.com
April 07, 2013 12:00 AM | 2146 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — The Canton City Council continued its years-long conversation on potential improvements to Marietta Road at its meeting Thursday night.

The Marietta Streetscape Project has been in the works since about 2007, Councilman John Beresford said Friday, and would make improvements to the sidewalks, curbs, asphalt and other parts of the road. Marietta Road begins in south Canton at the intersection of Marietta Highway and Bells Ferry Road, where Bells Ferry Road becomes Marietta Road.

At its meeting Thursday, the City Council took up the issue again after Beresford motioned to reverse a vote the council took at its last meeting to send the oversight of the construction out for bids.

The previous vote, put forth by Councilman Glen Cummins, came after the council had already released a quote from construction firm Arcadis in the amount of $137,000, as the oversight of the project was not intended to go out for bid.

Beresford said because oversight of the Marietta Streetscape project was considered a “professional service,” and City Engineer Joby West could select the company of his choice, he chose Arcadis.

Beresford said Friday releasing a company’s price and then letting other companies bid was not fair business.

“That is bad, bad practice,” he said.

During the meeting Thursday, Councilman Bob Rush said that Cummins had recently tried to advocate a certain construction company to the city for the job. Rush said he found Cummins’ actions suspect.

“It seems to me since he’s the one that said we should go out for bids and, he comes in advocating for a contractor; there’s something fishy going on,” he said. Beresford identified the contractor in question as Benchmark Tuscany on Friday.

Cummins said he had “zero relationship” with the contractor.

“I was told they built your house,” Rush said to Cummins.

Cummins said the company did build his house but maintained that he had no relationship with them. He added that the council approved the company to construct a building at Hickory Log Creek Reservoir.

“I just don’t understand what the difference is,” he said of the council’s decision to approve the contractor once but not consider them for the Mariette Streetscape Project.

That, Cummins said, was “something fishy.”

When Mayor Gene Hobgood reminded the council of Beresford’s motion on the floor to cancel the bidding process, Beresford shook his head and let the motion die.

The Canton City Council also:

* Heard a report on coming improvements to the city’s assembly room, including asbestos removal;

* Discussed the potential annexation of unincorporated islands surround by the city of Canton;

* Heard Hobgood’s announcement of the first meeting of the Commission on Canton’s Future on April 8 at 6 p.m. in City Hall; and

* Voted to go into a closed session to discuss pending litigation and real estate matters.
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