Ironton to support disaster plan

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 27, 2003

Ironton will join the rest of Lawrence County under a plan that will help prepare the region for more natural disasters, such as this year's winter ice storms.

Council approved a resolution to comply with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 by working with the county and the state in developing, adopting and implementing a natural hazard relief plan.

If the city did not become a part of this program, it would not be eligible for reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal disaster assistance programs, City Engineer Philip Biggs said.

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The deadline for submitting the commitment has passed, but the city had the opportunity to still become a part of the plan before it was too late, Biggs said.

"If we get on board with the county, we become one entity," Biggs said. "The key issue is if we want to be a part of the FEMA reimbursements program, we have to be in this."

Council Chairman Jesse Roberts said that all the other villages and municipalities have adopted similar agreements

"This is not an obligation of money," he said. "It is an opportunity to receive money."

Overall, the city already has many of the standards in place, but this will help the rest of the county and will help if Ironton is hit with a disaster that it is not prepared for such as an earthquake, Biggs said.

"The goal is trying to get all the entities in the county to put together their standards. From what we have heard, the county is at square one and we are at square ten," Biggs said. "They are trying to get people to implement protective measures so (FEMA) is not paying out money unduly."

Dale Mootz, of the Ironton-Lawrence County CAO, is working with state facilitators in Columbus to create the county's plan. The city will still have the option of formulating its own plan later if necessary, Biggs said.

The resolution passed with a 5-1 vote. Councilman Richard Price voted against the resolution because he said he did not feel that he had enough information. Councilman Jim Tordiff was absent.

"I have looked for information all over and I am more confused now than when I first saw the Disaster Mitigation Act," Price said. "I can't tell you that I can vote for this because I have too many questions."

In other business, Council:

4Heard requests from Tim Collins of the Ironton Tiger Clan seeking recreation funds or grant money to make $75,000 in improvements on

the recreation facilities on Delaware Street near Ironton Middle School.

Planned improvements include two press boxes, a concession stand, two restrooms and utility work.

Council asked the Mayor to work with Collins to see if any grant funding is available.

4Heard a report from Jim Kratzenberg, an employee of the Ironton Municipal Court, summarizing 2002. More than 7,000 new cases were filed and the court handed out 11,401 hours of community service. The department also made nearly $50,000 more than it spent.