Called the 20/20 Vision Committee, its goal would be to come up with recommendations for such issues as installing quiet railroad crossings, downtown trash management, parking and traffic control and tree planting.
The proposed 11-member committee would be made up of seven appointees from the City Council, one appointee by the mayor, two appointees by the Downtown Marietta Development Authority and one appointee by the Downtown Merchants Association.
“Councils are like everything else, we’re very reactive, and sometimes you have to step back and be proactive,” Tumlin said on why he wanted to form the committee.
Tumlin suggested that funding could come at least in part from the DMDA, which can increase its tax rate.
“We can’t have a joint venture with the DMDA because we’re two separate governments, but to have a committee where they are very involved will happen, and I hope they realize that they have a pocket book,” he said.
The Council’s Public Works Committee, made up of Jim King, Annette Lewis and Grif Chalfant, voted 3-0 to advance the proposal on to the Council’s July 9 work session. Tumlin said if the Council approves the proposal, he’d like to see the committee begin its work Aug. 1.
“The takeaway is could we get to look at maybe at least five quiet railroad crossings, what the cost and turnaround for doing it, how to deal with CSX and where would we get the money,” Tumlin said on what he hoped the committee would do regarding quiet rail road crossings.
On the matter of downtown trash management, Tumlin said his goal is to hide the large trash bins that are in and around the Square.
As for installing parking meters or building another parking deck, which is something DMDA Chairman Tom Browning has long advocated for, Tumlin said he is willing to consider it.
“I’m willing to look at parking meters if it’s compelling,” Tumlin said. “If it’s a source of revenue that could be used for downtown cultural (attractions), if it’s a source of revenue that could be used to build a parking deck, I’d be willing, if it had a compelling need. Would you pay 50 cents to park and help the Strand?”
Councilman Johnny Sinclair said he wanted to make it clear from the outset that he would not be supporting any committee’s recommendation to build another parking deck since the existing two decks just off the Square are underused.
“I’m not a fan of a deck across from the train depot. I don’t think it would look good,” Sinclair said.
The committee members would serve one-year terms, although Tumlin said members didn’t have to take 12 months to come up with their recommendations.
“The quiet railroads they could probably come up with in six or eight months,” Tumlin said.