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Council passes new water regs

After months of debate about how to rectify losses in the city’s water department, Ironton City Council suspended the rules and passed an ordinance Thursday that mandates $250 deposits for new water customers.

The ordinance on the table was amended to make the deposit amount $250, which is for both homeowners and renters. It was made consistent because of legal concerns.

Councilman Mike Lutz motioned to increase the amount from $200 to $250 because he believed $200 was not a sufficient amount to cover losses the city might incur for delinquents.

“Two-hundred dollars doesn’t cover it,” Lutz said.

The amendment passed 6-1 with Councilman Leo Johnson as the lone dissenter.

Johnson said he disagreed with the increase because he thought it could be burdensome for some citizens. He said he was in favor of the change, just not the increase to $250.

“We definitely needed some reform,” Johnson said. “I just think $50 is a lot of money for some people.”

After the rules were suspended, the ordinance passed 6-1, again with Johnson the lone dissenter. The amendment also stipulates that new customers will receive a full refund for their deposit if they are not delinquent on their water bill for one year.

The $250 refund will be credited to citizens’ bills. If a citizen moves and has a positive balance, that money will be paid to the citizen with a check.

“I had no problem with the refund. I think it rewards people who pay their bills,” Johnson said. “All in all, we did it the best way it could have been done. We had great input from people and that’s the way it should have been done.”

In other business, council appointed Joe Isaac, of Ironton, to the Ironton Port Authority.

Mayor Rich Blankenship said Isaac, a co-owner of Tri-State Rehab Services in Ironton, will be a welcomed addition to the board.

“He is a professional, energetic, intelligent young man who will be an asset for our city,” Blankenship said. “He was excited about the position and jumped at it.”

Council also gave first reading for the advertisement of bids for the lease of truck scales located on the old Ironton Iron property. The initial term of the lease will be for two years.

Other developments Thursday included:

4A second public meeting regarding Memorial Hall has been scheduled for Monday, July 28 at 6 p.m. at the City Center.

4E.L. Robinson Engineer Doug Cade said the structural assessment of the old Ro-Na Theater is expected to be available in about two weeks.

4Vice Mayor Bob Cleary announced that the city will accept resumes for the city finance director position through July 16. He said the city has received six applications to date.

4Johnson applauded Bill Dickens, the city’s economic development director, for his efforts to bring Advanced Machine and Fabrication LLC to the old Wolohan building on South Third Street.

“I think it’s great he’s our economic development director,” Johnson said.