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Road work in Hanging Rock’s future

HANGING ROCK –  After winning the mayoral position for a second term by a narrow margin Nov.

Thursday, November 11, 1999

HANGING ROCK –  After winning the mayoral position for a second term by a narrow margin Nov. 2, Hanging Rock Mayor Wayne Pennington said there are a few changes he wants to make during this administration –  annexation, however, is not one of them.

"The people of Hanging Rock definitely do not want to be annexed into Ironton," he said. "They don’t want to be used to bail Ironton out or to pay taxes or sewer and water rates to the city."

Additionally, Pennington said he does not believe the City of Ironton is even considering the village for annexation, despite what rumors circulate from time to time on the subject.

"I don’t think Ironton is really interested in that and I do know that I have never been contacted by Ironton or by the county to sit in on any of these meetings where possible annexation is discussed," he said. "These meetings that they have are held at times when I am not at liberty to attend them, so any information on the subject has to trickle down to this office."

It isn’t Hanging Rock at all that Ironton is interested in annexing, however, Pennington said.

"I don’t think Ironton really wants to annex Hanging Rock –  I think they’re more interested in the property in Scioto County on the other side of us," he said. "There is a lot of industrial property over there and I think that is what they have their eye on, not the village. It is possible to go around us to get to that, so I’m not sure we have anything to worry about, really."

Pennington said the subject of annexation into the City of Ironton is a sore subject with many village residents.

"People have a fear of the unknown there; they don’t know anything much about whether or not Ironton is serious about it or if it is just a rumor," he said. "If you’re not informed about this sort of thing, it makes it that much more difficult. You can’t accept something or even think about it if you don’t have any more information than rumors, which, of course, can’t be taken as solid information."

Hanging Rock might or might not be a target for annexation, but there isn’t much room for the village to consider its own expansion, he said.

"We’re sort of landlocked, choked off by Ironton and then the industrial acquisitions on the other side," he said. "We also have the boundaries created by the river and the railroad, as well as the highway and the hills. And, the land availability is very small."

All of these factors mean Hanging Rock likely will stay exactly as it is in terms of size and self-government, he said.

Instead, the changes in store for the village are more along the lines of improvements, Pennington said.

Several projects are on the list for the next four years, but there are a few that have top priority, he added.

"The biggest project right now is replacing the old street signs with new street signs," he said. "Also, the paving projects on North Second and Geswein streets are included in the more immediate projects. Those are the two main ones right now."

Street improvements will continue for several years, he added, so long as the budget can find a way that is financially prudent to support them.

"The roads in the village do need to be widened, and new aprons need to be put in," he said.