Ward preparing wish list

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 26, 2003

Just like Santa Claus, Ironton's Economic Development Director Matt Ward is making a list and checking it twice.

However, Ward's list catalogs available industrial and commercial properties in the city, not who has been naughty or nice.

As one of his first priorities, Ward has been working with City Engineer Philip Biggs and engineering tech Paul Sheets to create a list of available properties and to determine the owners, acreage and square footage.

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"We need to get up to date," he said. "We need to know exactly what the city has to market."

Currently, Ward has compiled most of the data on approximately 21 sites within the city, including the Wolohan building, Intermet, the Ironton Commerce Center, the fourth floor of the City Center and more, he said.

"This is just a start, but it has to be the first step," he said. "There is a lot on the plate, but the team we have in place is really making an effort to get the job done."

Although still in the early stages, Ward said he has had discussions with four or five potential clients and someone usually calls with interest in the city once a week.

In last week's Finance Committee meeting, Mayor Bob Cleary said that the city needs to survey a parcel of property it owns that borders the Ironton Hills Shopping Center and U.S. 52.

Some have questioned the boundaries, so a survey is needed to determine if the property is 5.3 or 5.1 acres. Until this is completed, the discussions cannot proceed, Cleary said. Surveying is anticipated to cost between $3,000 and $5,000. Money for the project is available in the Professional Services fund in the budget, he said.

The city has a few long-term ideas for the property. Ward said one potential client has expressed interest, but has not specified exactly how the property would be used, Ward said.

Ward said his next step will be to start a list of commercial office space available in downtown Ironton.