No fee break for Ironton seniors from council

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

An ordinance which would have given a break to seniors from the stormwater utility fee was voted down during Thursday's meeting of the Ironton City Council.

The ordinance would have granted at 50 percent reduction in the storm water utility fee for those who receive the homestead exemption, which applies to seniors over the age of 65 or disabled people who live on below a certain income.

By estimations that Councilman Bill Nenni said he received from county auditor Chris Klein, the homestead exemption affects 336 parcels of land in the city, which would have meant approximately $29,000 dollars per year from the $1.25 million budget.

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&#8220These are people that are most directly affected by the $14.55, they have to meet certain income criteria,” Nenni said. &#8220These people are the least likely to be able to pay the fee, and I think the $30,000 is a miniscule amount in that entire budget.”

Councilman Jesse Roberts, who said that even his mother may be eligible for a homestead exemption, opposed the measure in the hopes of giving everyone in Ironton a fair shake.

&#8220We keep arguing that things have to be fair and equitable,” Roberts said. &#8220The utilities committee did not give a break to schools, churches or any type of non-profit agency. I'm opposed to paring this thing down. Every time we take money out of this, whether it's a little or a lot, it's going to add up.”

Only Nenni and Councilman Bob Isaac voted for the ordinance.

The meeting also saw an outpouring of appreciation for Roberts, who resigned from his seat after taking a job in Union County.

&#8220Several other councilmen have worked for the fire department over the years, but Mr. Roberts was an advocate for the fire department and very important in the development of what the fire community has done over the past few years,” said Ironton Fire Department Chief Tom Runyon. &#8220On behalf of myself, the firefighters of Ironton, and, I think, most of the citizens of Ironton, I want to thank Mr. Roberts for his service.”

Council chairman Jim Tordiff requested that Roberts hold his resignation until early November so the current council would not have to nominate his replacement. According to the city charter, a substitution must be made within 30 days. Roberts declined Tordiff's request, saying that the move was right at this time.

Also during the meeting, the Ironton Port Authority was given approximately 17 acres of the land formerly owned by Honeywell near the intersection of South Third and Lorain streets. The land is designated as part of the South Ironton Industrial Park.

Council also made resolutions supporting the Friends of Ironton projects planned for 2006 and approving the Lawrence-Scioto County District Solid Waste Management Plan.