Marietta City Council looks to open bids for lease of Marietta Harbor

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - The city of Marietta is seeking bids for a new lease for a popular river-front stop.

The city council voted last week on legislation for bid specifications for leasing Marietta Harbor.

The property, at the end of Butler and Post street, is currently used by Wasco during the spring and summer seasons. Their lease is up this spring and city officials say they are looking to have someone occupy the space in time for the warm weather.

Marietta Harbor offers over 800 feet of dock space for season and transient boat owners during the warm season. It includes a pumping station for septic, light concessions, a gas pump and bathrooms.

Under the current lease, Wasco has operated the space and kept all of the profits in exchange for bathroom cleaning services to the city.

The city has expressed interest in returning to a for-profit arrangement. Wasco has told city officials they are open to a lease change where the city gets a portion of profits.

"We want to emphasize that the city is not unsatisfied with what has been happening with the current concessionaire, Wasco," safety service director Jonathan Hupp said. "It's just that when the city is leasing anything of its own, there are legal parameters that require us to go out to bid and award."

Hupp says the city council is working on new specifications for the bids.

"What we're looking to do is enter into a 12-year lease arrangement in two six year periods with a concessionaire," he added, "be it if it's Wasco that comes back to the city with a bid package that we find acceptable or a new entity that may be out there looking to make an investment and start a business."

Wasco has been operating the seasonal business for the last 20 years. It provides over a dozen adults with disabilities a job for the summer.