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City council votes #039;no#039; on garbage hike

Thursday was a night of resigned caution for the Ironton City Council.

The group put the stops on budget changes and a sanitation hike, because the majority felt they did not have enough information.

The council first took the first reading of an amendment to the 2005 budget. The changes would reflect, amongst other things, approximately $100,000 less than was projected in revenue.

Councilman Brent Pyles moved that a vote be taken on the ordinance because he understood the changes to be urgent.

Many members of the council said they felt like they didn't have enough information to approve the changes without being able to ask more questions of finance director Cindy Anderson, who was absent.

The council also gave third reading to and voted down an ordinance that would adjust the sanitation rates. According to the ordinance, a fee increase was necessary to maintain the fund and keep it from operating with a negative balance.

The ordinance would have added $2 to all residential customer's garbage bills and anywhere from $5 to $34 per month for commercial customers.

Councilmen Richard Price and Bill Nenni opposed the plan because they said they felt like a large fee should not be added without some alternatives being pursued. Jim Tordiff said he would vote against the plan because he felt that a better plan had been proposed earlier that would require a municipal fee to be passed.

"We're getting so many different kinds of fees on, I think the general public would rather have something like a municipal fee that would take care of things, instead of constantly looking at a flood fee and increases to some of these other fees," Tordiff said.

The measure was voted down with only Councilman Jesse Roberts voting in favor of it.

Also on the table was

a resolution to authorize a project to be funded from the state highway fund for repairs to Woodland Drive and Delaware Street.

The $9,500, garnered from license fees, will be used to purchase materials to repair sections of Woodland Drive and asphalt pavement along the north side of Delaware Street near Ironton Middle School.

Although the measure passed, several members of the council expressed concern with a letter regarding the ordinance sent by City Engineer Phil Biggs. The letter insinuated that city employees had the man-hours to handle a project that council had previously voted to contract out.

Before the ordinances were discussed, Ironton resident Gilda Vance came forward, upset that the section of Ora Richey Road would not be paved because of a neighbor's land slippage onto the road.

Vance said she had been told that the paving project on Ora Richey would be stopped before her home because the city didn't want to contend with a large slippage on one of Vance's neighbor's homes. She stated she did not think it was fair for her to be penalized.

"We've been paying property taxes for a long time, and the road needs to be paved," Vance said. "We've waited and we've waited and we've waited, and it needs to be done. But we want to do it the right way, otherwise, what's the point in doing it?"

Mayor John Elam said that he would look into the matter with Biggs and see what could be done about the issue.