Ironton is on the move with development work

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 4, 2010

This report of the status of ongoing projects in the City of Ironton monitored by the Ironton Port Authority is provided for the information of all citizens of Ironton and Lawrence County.

If you have a neighbor, co-worker or friend who doesn’t currently subscribe to the paper, please cut this out and provide it to them. This is good news and they should be encouraged by it. It may quiet some of the Gloomy Guses.

CORYVILLE PROJECT: Representatives of a major business visited the site June 24 to review for suitability. If all goes well, expect ground breaking next year. The project is expected to include a major business and eventually a hotel and steak house. It will require zoning and installation of sewer. State funding for sewer installation is anticipated.

RIVER VALLEY HOSPITAL PROJECT: The development of first-class building lots will provide an opportunity to build first-class homes in the city, meeting a need long filled by migration out to farmland in the county or to adjacent communities. We have received a Covenant Not to Sue from the Ohio EPA.

Additionally, a lawsuit, not involving the city, but affecting the project was settled last week, clearing the way for Bellefonte to deed the properties to Ironton Port Authority.

If you know anyone connected with the hospital, please express our heart-felt thanks to them for their largesse and their staunch support during the 4 to 5 years this project has been going on.

We are seeking bids for related infrastructure work and will be seeking rezoning and establishment of new subdivision through normal processes. A surveyor is preparing a draft plat for those purposes.

NINTH STREET PROJECT: A visit by representatives of the IPA and the CAO to the International Conference of Shopping Centers in May involved meetings with approximately 75 developers. We are waiting return calls. A Hilton/Hampton Inn representative familiar with Ironton expressed serious interest.

BAKERY PROJECT: A local baker attended the June IPA meeting, expressing interest in opening a business involving up to 20 workers. The IPA is facilitating negotiations with the owner of a former brownfield site near downtown.

RIVER BANK RESTORATION PROJECT: Environmental Protection Phases 1 and 2 are complete. An area of the former Brammer property will require a four foot earthen cap for remediation. On finding an appropriate end use, a grant proposal to the state will be prepared.

FORMER BIG LOTS BUILDING PROJECT: The dialysis center preparations continue. Opening is forecast for “before the end of the year.” The developer has erected an impressive front entrance at significant cost to the developer.

The adjacent 15,000 square feet of space is being actively marketed by the building owner. The alley in the rear of the building, owned by the city, needs to be paved to facilitate deliveries and to mitigate health hazards due to swampy conditions.

SOUTH IRONTON INDUSTRIAL PARK PROJECT: (1) A local firm is erecting a 5,000 square foot building now for installation of a waterjet metal cutting facility. Two additional building are planned for the near term for (a) storage shed, and (b) a laserjet metal fabrication facility. The firm is in preliminary discussions with another company to locate on the site. The additional employment should provide justification for state funds to complete Commerce Drive.

(2) Aluminastics, Inc. has a contract for a preliminary run of a part for the Navy. They hope for additional orders, which, if forthcoming, will require them to erect additional production space next year.

BERG BUILDING RESTORATION PROJECT: The CAO reports work started Monday, June 28 on refurbishment of the exterior of the building.

You may have noticed the removal of many of the window frames which must be remanufactured in accordance with historic preservation guidelines.

Completion of this work will vastly improve the view of the city to those approaching from Kentucky over the Ironton-Russell Bridge.

FORMER IRONTON IRON SITE PROJECT: All but the former office building/bath house now being marketed by Collier International, assisted by M&M Realty, are under contract to the city.

Norfolk Southern is also marketing the site as possible source of business for their adjacent rail yard. IPA is seeking a developer for rehabilitation of the former office building and bath house.

MEMORIAL HALL RESTORATION PROJECT: In order to help them with their fundraising, American Legion Post 433 has been provided official notification of the intention to deed them the property, once they have raised the first $500,000 toward the necessary funding.

NEW BRIDGE PROJECT: The Ohio Department of Transportation is in negotiation with the city to acquire the final piece of right-of-way for the bridge landing area in Ironton.

The Ironton Port Authority has exhausted the previously awarded $200,000 grant from the Ohio EPA to assess brownfield sites and will submit another request for additional assessment funds during the next round of funding. Brownfield assessment is a first step in allowing land owners to develop or sell their property.

The Ironton Port Authority is actively seeking a veterinarian to establish a practice in Ironton. An advertisement has been purchased in the Ohio State Veterinarian Journal for that purpose. If you know of a vet who would like to live and work in the most beautiful city in the Ohio Valley, please refer him or her to us.

Recent construction activity, such as the sewer renewal project, the new CVS on South Third Street, the recently opened King’s Daughter facility on Park Avenue, expansion of the Clyse automotive establishment, and new building lots on the former Central School property, there is more going on in Ironton than has been seen in about 70 years.

Regrettably, the tax credits (for Ro-Na restoration and Berg/Brumberg Building rehabilitation) we were hoping for from Columbus did not materialize.

We hope for help from the State Capital Budget after the election. If you know the governor, please enlist his help. I have already tried.

If you want to see more activity, the Ro-Na Restoration Project is accepting any and all donations at PO Box 704, Ironton OH 45638. Include your return address and we’ll provide a receipt for tax purposes.

Other than the time some city employees have spent consulting/coordinating with the port authority, the activity above has cost the taxpayers very, very little.

PAUL F. WOODS

Chairman

Ironton Port Authority