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City council finds funds for repaving

A city revolving loan account, generally used for emergency home and other repairs in low-income areas of the city, could provide the means to pave the street without added assessments for homeowners.

Friday, November 12, 1999

A city revolving loan account, generally used for emergency home and other repairs in low-income areas of the city, could provide the means to pave the street without added assessments for homeowners.

Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary and city engineer Joe McCallister brought limited information about the account to Ironton City Council at council’s regular meeting Thursday.

But, at least some council members believe the idea, while beneficial to Orchard Hollow residents, could leave the city open to litigation.

"No one disagrees that these people need their road paved, but I fear it would be setting a precedent that would come back and bite future generations," councilman Leo Ulery said. "I cannot support this."

Under miscellaneous business, council members voted four to three in favor of asking the mayor to gather more information about the revolving account and its possible application in paving Orchard Hollow. Council chairman Jesse Roberts and councilman Joe Black joined with Ulery in voting against the measure.

"This is a situation we have discussed in the past several times, and I believe everyone on this council would agree that these people deserve a road and that helping them is the humanitarian thing to do," Black said. "But there are many people living in the city who have paid the assessments in order to have their street paved, so this is something that could potentially stir up a hornets’ nest."

Although in favor of delving deeper into investigating the matter at hand, councilman Jim Tordiff agreed that possible consequences of paving the road should be closely examined.

"I’ve got some of the same concerns," Tordiff said. "Not only in that area, but I would like to slow down a little bit and look into other projects that this money could be used for. It may be that we end up paving the road, but there are a lot of other areas that are just as deserving of our attention and I think it is our obligation to do as much as we can."

Before the city can determine if the road can be paved with the account, the mayor must first get permission from council to check several deciding factors with the proper agencies. Instead of granting that permission, Thursday’s vote merely asked the mayor to gather more information about the account and its applications.

"There is a lot being said, but the bottom line is that these people need a road," councilman Hugh Scott said. "If we don’t use this money for this project, it could fly out the window and we would be left with nothing to show for it. This way would allow us to help these people who so richly deserve a road. There is a need here."

If the money is applicable in this instance, councilwoman Mary Lee Kennedy said she will support using the funds for paving Orchard Hollow.

"I feel that this money has been appropriated for this type of purpose, so why not give it to them?" she said. "It’s like everyone has said, there is a need, and that is what we are here for."

Any appropriations made by council would only involve paying for those who meet the income prerequisite, McCallister explained.

"Once we determine the income, those who cannot afford it would not be assessed, but the people who make more than the low-income requirement would be expected to pay their share of the project," he said. "It works like a normal assessment, from what I understand from the information we have."