Marietta Harbor received no bids for lease, city will run for 2019 season

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE 3/13/19

Marietta Harbor will be operated by the city of Marietta after the property received no bids for a new lease.

City Council voted in January to seek bids for a new 12-year lease, split into two six-year periods but no bids were submitted.

The property has been leased and operated by WASCO during boat season for the last 20 years.

Although the city will run the property for the 2019 season, it is working with Wasco to staff the spot, so the group continues to have a presence there.

"Hopefully we will continue working with Wasco and their clients," safety-service director Jonathan Hupp said, "because they have been the face of the harbor for the last 20 years and we look to have a successful 2019 boating season, harbor season, and we'll see what happens next year."

Hupp added that even with the switch in management, the harbor will still offer all of the same services and amenities.


ORIGINAL 1/8/19

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.