Archived Story

City moves closer to raising fee

Published 11:43pm Saturday, March 10, 2012

A $14 per month municipal fee is at the center of a proposed budget ironed out Saturday after a two-and-a-half hour, closed-door meeting of the Ironton City Council.

Council chairman Mike Lutz said the elected leaders may meet as early as Wednesday to give first reading — and possibly even passage — to a budget that increases the city’s municipal fee from its current $8 to $14 from April 2012 to April 2013. After that the fee drops to $11 per month.

The proposal requires employees to begin paying 7.5 percent of their retirement pickup, an expense they currently do not pay into. But employees will continue to pay only 5 percent of their health insurance premiums.

“This assumes the unions will accept the same benefits as non-union employees,” Lutz said. “If they don’t, there will be layoffs.”

The new budget would also reduce the salary for the economic development director from approximately $19,600 to $15,000 but keep the benefit specialist position in the budget.

It also keeps the assistant finance director’s position — currently budgeted at $41,760 annually — despite the fact it was a job some council members had said should be scrapped in an effort to save money.

Also, the budget funds the police dispatching department only until June. After that, no money is appropriated.

Although the county commission has nixed plans for the county’s 911 center to take over the police dispatch service, Lutz said the possibility of handing these duties to the sheriff’s office remains.

Under this proposed budget, the city will end 2012 with a carryover of $140,000 but a carryover of $420,000 at the end of 2013.

“We have worked diligently for four months and council, for the most part, has come together in agreement to keep the city afloat,” Lutz said.

  • hdm1903

    Are all the City employees getting a 9% Pay raise?

    (Report comment)

  • randy45638

    Do we let them do this or do we push back? Bottom line!

    (Report comment)

  • bigkahuna

    Merge Hanging Rock,Ironton,and Coalgrove and call it Hanginggrove.

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  • sugar

    No wonder everyone is moving 2 South Point !! The solution is always add another fee on our water bill..

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  • Scratching My Head

    Wow the council members must think we are stupid. Who would have ever thought that the whole problem was so simple and the residents are the problem because we don’t pay enough.
    They want to come up with these crazy deals behind closed doors. Then they think everyone should just say that the council members know whets best for us all and our voices don’t matter and that EVERYONE JUST NEEDS TO PAY MORE..
    Even though they could easily do the right thing and get rid of the waste. THIS IS JUST GOING TO KEEP SNOWBALLING UNTIL WE CUT BACK EVERYWHERE POSSIBLE AND MAKE CITY EMPLOYEES MORE RESPONSIBLE.
    If this is the best our council members can do they all need replaced. The citizens of this city will have to speak up or expect this to keep happening time and time again until we get rid of the problem OUR COUNCIL MEMBERS.

    (Report comment)

  • 1 Concerned Citizen

    You have to be kidding me. Is this the best that our council can do or is the easiest way out. I agree we need to get rid of all the council members and we all need to start this campaign.

    (Report comment)

  • Country

    They have worked diligently for 4 months on this. Only to take the easy way out and raise fees. They should have during that time already had a deal to move the dispatching over. Then only to ask the employees to pay more while keeping an assistant which is not a need for $41,760.
    So next year they will do the same song and dance at budget time. Then raise fees again. If you can not afford it then cuts MUST BE MADE or come up with ways to raise money besides just adding another fee.

    (Report comment)

  • randy45638

    Do people think it should be placed on the ballet for the people to decide? I think it can be.Get a petition up and have it placed on the ballot and let the people decide. They have lied to us before and they will do it again. If this passes things will go back to normal (spend, spend, spend) until they need more then what do you think will happen.

    (Report comment)

  • swimmingupstream

    What should occur at the Wednesday council meeting is that every member of the Ironton City Council should turn in their resignations and allow whatever process the law prescribes to take place that would replace them with people competent enough to put together a budget that doesn’t double taxes. When are these people going to understand that they can’t have the kind of city they desire; they can only have the kind of city we can afford. If we can’t afford all of the police officers we have or all the firefighters we have then we’re going to have to get by with less until such time as the economic conditions can catch up with our desires. And since the county seems to be rejecting any notion that 911 can dispatch Ironton police (because their dispatchers are not properly certified to answer police calls) even this fee won’t work.

    And maybe the city wouldn’t have to increase the fee if it assessed the fee to all residents instead of to water meters. We have five or more apartment buildings/complexes in town with 50 to 100 units that pay only $8 total muni fee. Maybe if everybody paid things would be better.

    My advice to council: Forget the budget, RESIGN

    (Report comment)

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