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Ironton council weighs joint paving

City residents could soon see more street paving after Ironton City Council decided to join the county in an application for a state-funded resurfacing grant.

Friday, September 29, 2000

City residents could soon see more street paving after Ironton City Council decided to join the county in an application for a state-funded resurfacing grant.

Council members authorized Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary to participate in the project during council’s regular meeting Thursday, although several councilmen expressed concern regarding the city’s ability to produce required matching funds should the grant be awarded.

"The City of Ironton will be responsible for 20 percent of the construction costs as local matching funds for the project," city engineer Joe McCallister said to council during the meeting. "And, we will be responsible for 100 percent of all cost overruns."

City finance director Cindy Anderson said money would be available if the application is successful.

"The money would be there if the grant is awarded," Mrs. Anderson told council. "Each year, we set aside money for highway repairs and the money has rarely ever been used. We have over $12,000 in the budget for that now and if it doesn’t get used this year, it will carry over to next year."

Empowerment Zone funding could be used to meet the required funding if the city received its portion of the grant, McCallister said.

If the grant is awarded to the county as a whole, the money would be divided among each municipality that participates in the joint application, Councilman Jesse Roberts said after the meeting.

"We have authorized the mayor to join the county in applying for the grant," Roberts said. "Really, it is just another opportunity to take care of some streets that are in serious need of resurfacing. The great aspect of the grant is it will be our tax dollars at work in our hometown and throughout our county."

McCallister also told members of council that the city could elect to decline money after the grant has been awarded.

"The way the grant is structured, we are under no obligation to take our portion of funding if we see we are unable to meet the 20 percent matching funds," McCallister said. "If we do take our portion, then we will be responsible for the fulfilling the requirements."

In other business:

– Council also approved allowing the mayor to prepare and submit an application for grant funding in conjunction with the restoration of the Woodland Cemetery bridge. The funding will allow the city to recover monies spent for the engineering and topographical studies for the project.

– An ordinance that establishes zoning districts for the Lawrence Street territory recently annexed into the city was given a third reading and approved.

– Council also recessed into executive session to discuss pending legal issues and personnel.