• 66°

Ironton administration addressing infrastructure

We all have heard of the saying, “Out of sight out of mind.” This is no longer the case when it comes to the City of Ironton’s infrastructure system.

For the past two years, we have invested a lot of time, money and manpower to make some much-needed improvements to our infrastructure system.

The city now has a new water tank that replaced the 100-year-old tank that leaked approximately 300,000 gallons of treated water a day.

The efficient operation of this tank will reduce the amount of the ever rising cost of chemicals needed to treat the water as well as reduce the production time.

The savings from chemicals and water loss can be used to repair, replace old lines and purchase outdated equipment and also pay for the new tank that will last another 100 years.

Although we are aware of leaks in our system, often they are difficult to locate and repair without digging up large areas or guessing. We will continue to make improvements in our system, locate and make the necessary repairs as well as repair emergency breaks that occur almost daily.

After extensive lobbying efforts and not taking “no” for an answer, the City of Ironton received $5 million to address our aging and failing sanitary lines.

This is the largest grant dollar amount the City of Ironton has ever received for one project.

Recently, crews have started televising, cleaning and re-lining the nearly 60 miles of sanitary lines within the city. This project is expensive but much needed.

The re-lining of the sanitary system is scheduled to be completed within one year, which will correct breaks, blockages and allow for easier flow.

It will also update our inaccurate mapping system for future use and guidance. We also recognize the importance of having an efficient up-to-date system that will attract economic development.

With these projects complete, the city becomes more appealing for new businesses.

We will also continue to follow and be involved in Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sen. George Voinovich’s push for the Water Pollution Repair Act that was introduced this past summer.

Infrastructure is a major problem not only in Ironton but all across the country. Ironton must be at the forefront and continue the improvement efforts for future generations.

I feel as though Ironton is moving in the right direction by addressing these issues now and taking action to make the necessary improvements to our infrastructure system for future generations.

Rich Blankenship is mayor of Ironton.