Fire fee ordinance dropped

Published 10:48 am Friday, May 28, 2010

Without a motion to adopt it, an ordinance that would have changed the fire safety fee for Ironton businesses died Thursday. The ordinance would have changed the fee’s structure to a flat fee. But when none of the council members recommended that it be adopted, the ordinance did not pass.

Councilmen Frank Murphy, Chuck O’Leary and Kevin Waldo sponsored the ordinance in question.

It would have meant that each non-residential water customer would pay a fee of $12 per month for fire safety. As it stands, those customers pay $.90 per 1,000 gallons used.

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Murphy was absent from the meeting.

Waldo, who is council chairman and therefore could not make the motion to adopt the ordinance, said he was shocked that it did not pass.

“It needed to be passed,” Waldo said after the meeting. “The rational of that fee is blatantly incorrect in my opinion. It doesn’t make sense that you would pay a fee based on water usage.”

Waldo added that it does not make sense to charge a business like a car wash more for fire safety when the car wash would likely be an easier place to fight a fire than most other places.

“I’m shocked it didn’t pass and I’m more shocked that it didn’t receive a motion to adopt,” Waldo said.

Councilman Bob Cleary said he thinks the current ordinance is fine.

“We have a system in place that’s working,” Cleary said after the meeting. “It’s doing what it’s supposed to do. There’s nothing wrong with the way it’s being done now.”

In other business, the Ironton City Council also:

Heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing rules and regulations at the city’s skate park.

Passed a resolution authorizing the transfer of $30,000 from the city’s general fund to the recreation fund, with the intent that the money will be reimbursed by a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The money will be used to finish the skate park. The department has already been chosen for the grant, but has not yet received the money.