Council OKs new truck for fire dept.

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 14, 2006

The Ironton Fire Department will be getting a new truck while the police department will have to wait a little longer to get another cruiser.

The Ironton City Council voted on Thursday night to purchase a new fire engine from the Sutphen Corp. at the cost of $254,801. The new engine will replace an engine that has been in service since 1979. That price was the lowest of six bids.

The money will come from the fire fee that city residents have been paying for nearly a decade, not the city’s general fund.

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Chief Tom Runyon spoke to the council before they voted.

“First of all, I just want to make it clear that this is not a spur of the moment decision,” he said. The fee was set up to pay for things like the fire department’s building, trucks and three firefighters.

The city will make a large down payment on the truck and then finance the balance.

The council voted to give the ordinance all three readings and then voted to buy the truck.

The council declared the measure an emergency so it will take effect immediately.

The council also had three readings on a $22,000 police cruiser and then tabled the ordinance until a later date.

Richard Price later made a motion to untable the cruiser ordinance but the motion died for a lack of a councilman to second the motion. Mayor John Elam said the motion to table the ordinance had the approval of the city finance committee because the city is currently negotiating with the police officer’s union on a new contract.

Ralph “Butch” Huff said it was a good idea to table the cruiser ordinance while they were in contract negotiations with the polic unionsaying as an example if the officers get a 50 cent raise, the other two city unions will also have to get a similar raise and it could cost the city around $150,000.

Police Chief Jim Carey said he understood the council’s position. When asked how he ranked getting a new cruiser, he said it would come in third in priority with more officers and additional training ranking higher.

“The way it is now, if I send someone to training, I have to pay (another officer) overtime,” Carey said.

The council also passed an ordinance to authorize the mayor to execute a supplemental agreement with E.L. Robinson Inc., an Ironton engineering firm that is implementing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-mandated a Combined Sewer Overflow plan.

The supplemental agreement is for the company to create and electronic map of the 53 miles of storm water lines under Ironton. The city has six points where if there is enough rain, the sewer discharges into the Ohio River. The EPA wants the number of times that happens to less than six times per year.

E.L. Robinson Engineering Company is doing flow monitoring to determine what the trigger point for the overflow of those sites and sampling to see how much overflow goes into the river.

The CSO plan has been batted around since the council passed it in May 2005. Originally, the storm water fee would have added $14.55 per month for residents and $14.55 per 3,000 square feet for businesses to water bills.

Later, the council revised the fee to $2 per one thousand gallons of water used.

The fee is to maintain and improve the city’s storm water system.

The council asked the mayor to set up a meeting with a representative from Time Warner, which recently took over Ironton’s cable system from Adelphia.