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Downtown gets #036;161K for facelift

First Ironton received a new street sweeper, then a repaving project and now a little facelift will continue the city's makeover, Mayor John Elam said at Thursday's Ironton City Council meeting.

The Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone has launched a Building Exterior Improvement Program which has been allocated approximately $160,000 to help spruce up downtown businesses.

"You're going to see some more improvements hopefully in the very near future in our downtown business district," Elam said.

The money comes in the form of a "dollar for dollar" matching grant.

The deadline to apply for the funds, Elam said, passed on June 30.

Thirteen downtown businesses have applied for the funds, they have been initially reviewed by the empowerment zone which Elam said will bring recommendations to the Ironton Design and Review Board.

Also during Thursday night's council meeting:

4The mayor announced that the Civil Service Exam to select a new chief, captain, sergeant and patrol officer would be conducted on August 29.

4The 2006 tax budget for the city was adopted and submitted to the County Auditor of Lawrence County.

The 2006 tax budget reflects no increase in any area save for health insurance, which is seeing a 12-percent increase. The local government funding is frozen at the current level as the state has agreed not to cut funding for the next budgetary year.

According to the budget, the general fund will have an ending balance of less than $2,000.

It is not a working budget, but only a very rough sketch that must be filed with the county by today in order for the city to receive its tax certification for the upcoming year.

4An ordinance was approved that allowed the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation to facilitate construction of the Ironton-Russell Bridge and declare an emergency.

This will require no money from the city, but it had to be approved for the city to accept maintenance responsibility for the bridge. This was already part of the CSO plan.

4An ordinance was passed authorizing the mayor to award the contract for a tennis court restoration project.

The low bid for the contract was submitted by R-B Sealing-Striping, LLC for a total of $16,077. When the cost of materials was figured in, the grand total for the project is $20,600, paid for through grant funding.

The ordinance was sponsored by Councilmen Jesse Roberts and Brent Pyles.

4The council also approved a resolution welcoming and supporting all of the teams participating in the National Little League 2005 Ohio Junior League State Championship, which begins in Ironton on July 22.