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License plates in city to be #036;5 more in 2003

t is a done deal. License plates will cost $5 more when renewed in 2003.

Ironton City Council approved the final reading of an ordinance Thursday authorizing an annual license tax of $5, but it will not take effect until 2003, Councilman Brent Pyles said.

Based on figures provided by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the city has 12,978 licensed vehicles within the city. The increase will

generate approximately $65,000 annually. The funds will only be used to maintain the city’s road and highway systems.

"We have looked at this for 20 years. People that do not drive will not pay," Mayor Bob Cleary said when the ordinance was proposed last month.

Cleary said at the time that it could actually allow the city to receive more funds because the state will usually match whatever funds are used for repair projects.

"We will be able to levy it against other funds and double or triple it every year," he said.

Council also passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Cleary to purchase the 40-acre Honeywell property, formerly Allied Signal, located on the corner of Third and Lorain streets.

"We have been working on this for two and a half years and are very excited about it," Cleary said.

The city has $225,000 in state grants to purchase the $376,000 property. The next step is that he will sign the agreement today and make an earnest payment to the company's lawyers. The deal should close within four or five weeks, he said.

The city hopes to build an industrial park and Cleary has said they have had a lot of interest in the property. The Ohio Department of Transportation has already agreed to purchase eight acres and move their county office to the site. Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune