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Pet owners forced to clean up after pets

Get those pooper scoopers ready.

Ironton City Council passed an ordinance during Monday’s council meeting that will hit dog owners in the pocket book if they don’t clean up after their pets.

Violators leaving behind the messes will be fined not less that $25 and not more than $100 if not removed from public property or property that is not owned by the pet owner.

The measure passed 6-1 with Councilman Kevin Waldo the lone dissenter.

The last meeting of 2008 also saw council suspend the rules and unanimously pass an ordinance on an emergency basis to transfer more than $300,000 from the general fund to the Water, Sewer and Sanitation funds.

The state auditor’s office declared the city improperly transferred monies from those funds to the general fund in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The total was $313,577 with $36,591 going back to sanitation, $158,751 back to water and $118,235 back to sewer.

Council gave second readings to ordinances related to the stormwater management erosion and sediment control code and authorizations for Mayor Rich Blankenship to award bids for the purchase of chemicals and construction materials for 2009.

In other news:

— Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship announced the city will join nine other entities as recipients of funds from the Ohio Department of Development. Those regional entities will divvy up $1.2 million for dilapidated properties.

Blankenship said those funds will be a shot in the arm for the city’s ongoing demolition project.

— Council unanimously approved Jim Milleson’s reappointment to the Ironton Health Board.

— Russ Pomfrey, the general manager for the Time-Warner affiliate in Ashland, fielded questions from council about the recently announced rate increase. Councilman Leo Johnson questioned Pomfrey about the increase and asked him what services would accompany the rate hike.

Pomfrey said the Big Ten Network and the Chiller channel will be provided. A controversy was stirred up in the fall when some local viewers could not see Ohio State football games carried on the Big Ten Network because that channel was not offered.

Pomfrey explained the Chiller channel as one that will offer viewers science fiction and horror content, to which Councilman Butch Huff quipped, “Are you going to televise city council meetings?”