City looks to use funds to fix pool, tennis courts

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sometimes, catastrophes can truly be blessings in disguise.

For tennis fans, pool goers and some property owners, that may have turned out to be the case when Our Lady of Bellefonte decided not to move its jobs to downtown Ironton.

The Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization applied for $50,600 in Community Development Block Grant funds last year to develop parking and green space in downtown. Once the Bellefonte deal was off, it was use it or lose it, so city leaders looked for a way to use the money in a way to benefit all the community.

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Mayor John Elam is asking the Ohio Department of Development to allow the money to be reallocated to perform the demolition of dilapidated structures within the city, make improvements and repairs at the city pool and to resurface the tennis court in Etna Street Park.

"We are very fortunate to be able to work closely with the CAO to be able to rethink the possibility of grant funding," Elam said. "Instead of losing $50,600 in funds, we are able to redirect them to three separate projects that will benefit Ironton."

If approved, $30,000 will be spent to tear down burned out and abandoned houses that are a detriment to the health and safety of the citizens of Ironton, Elam said. City Code Enforcement Officer Karl Wentz already has a list of properties that will be considered.

The city would spend $15,000 of the grant money on improvements and repairs to the city pool. The city is currently advertising for a group to manage the daily operations of the public pool, always a popular place once summer arrives.

The remaining $5,600 will be used to resurface tennis courts within the city, most likely at Etna Street.