County wise to wait, ask questionsPublished 1:53pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013
City and county officials are wise to ask lots of questions about one-time funding before they start spending the money.
Recently, Lawrence County officials sought a legal opinion about funds resulting from a payment made from LM Associates to the Ironton Metropolitan Housing Authority.
The payment stems from an agreement between the metropolitan housing authority and LM Associates to remove a clause in a lease over Sherman Thompson Towers.
Without the removal of the clause the housing authority would own the building as well as the land.
The agreement — which still has many unanswered questions in regards to how it will impact residents of the senior citizen housing facility — resulted in the county government and the city of Ironton each receiving half of the $500,000 payment to the housing authority.
The county recently sent a letter to the Ohio Auditor of State regarding the ability to use the $250,000 paid to the government entity.
This is a smart approach by the county officials because of the potential ramifications that could negatively impact the county’s financial future if the funds are not handled correctly.
Waiting for an opinion from the auditor of state will provide guidelines for how the funds can be used. It will then be up the county to ensure that this plan most directly benefits the citizens.
The City of Ironton would be wise to wait on the auditor’s opinion as well, but still create tangible plans to re-invest the funds in ways that enhance and complete other capital projects important to the city’s future.