City receives $31,000 grant for riverfront

Published 11:18 am Friday, October 10, 2008

Grants are coming in to help the city in a number of ways.

One will help the city with docking and another will help the fire department identify hazardous materials.

Mayor Rich Blankenship told City Council on Thursday night that the city has received a $30,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to study transient docking on the Ohio River.

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“I consider this phase I of the Riverfront project,” Blankenship said.

The study will help the city determine what boaters need for river access.

The mayor said he will be asking local boaters what they want.

“I would like to get their input on what is best for them,” he said.

Ironton Fire Department Chief Tom Runyon told the council that the department had received a FirstDefender, a hand-held chemical detector that lets a person collect a sample of possible hazardous material and analyze it. It can analyze chemicals, whether it is solid or liquid.

“It can tell cocaine from sugar,” Runyon explained to the council. “With this equipment we go from a type 3 to a type 2 Hazmat team.”

The difference between the two types is the ability to go into the field and examine unknown substances.

The $31,000 piece analyzer came from the U.S. Army through a Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency program. The fire department is expected to get the FirstDefender and training in the spring.

Blankenship also told the council that an application has been submitted to the Tony Hawk Foundation, which the pro skateboarder set up to expand skating throughout the country. Blankenship said they would hear back in January whether funds would be available to help with building of the Ironton Skate Park. In local help for the skate park, Frogtown had a benefit concert last weekend and donated $2,243 in proceeds for the park.

In items on the agenda, the council passed a policing agreement between the city and the Ironton Metropolitan Authority.

The Ironton City Council meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 6 p.m. on the third floor of the City Center.