Voters: #8216;Yes#039; to floodwall, #8216;no#039; to fee

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Irontonians will help fund their flood protection, but not fill the coffers of the city's general fund.

Election Day was a mixed bag for the city's ballot issues with a defeat not only of the city's bond issue and tax levy to fund new schools, but also of the proposed $10 municipal fee. The levy to fund the city's floodwall, however, passed with flying colors.

Those opposing the municipal fee represented approximately 56 percent of voters, with 2,353 votes cast against the charter amendment and 1,871 votes in favor of it.

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The fee was put to voters in order to fill a projected $350,000 to $500,000 gap in the city's budget.

Ironton Mayor John Elam, one of the fee's most fervent supporters was disappointed with the defeat.

&#8220We're going to have to sharpen our pencils and see where we can go with it, with the failure of the municipal fee, council's going to have some big challenges coming up with another revenue stream or what departments are going to have to be reduced or eliminated,” Elam said. &#8220It's just going to be tough.”

In the summer, the Ironton City Council voted against a $7 version of the fee, opting instead place the question of a $10 fee on the ballot for voters' consideration.

Many of the candidates for the Ironton City Council have said that they would try to pass a municipal fee of some sort even if the ballot item failed.

Although voters were hesitant to do more to fund the city's general fund, only 38 percent were against funding the city floodwall system. 2,576 voted in favor of the levy, with 1,626 votes against it.

It is a 1-mill floodwall levy based on property value that will cost taxpayers $1 per every $1,000 of a property's tax value. That fee will remove the $3 monthly fee that Irontonians currently pay for the floodwall.