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City storm drain collapses

Mayor declares state of emergency

Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship has declared a state of emergency so the city can repair a collapsed storm drain.

Blankenship told the Ironton City Council Thursday during its regular meeting that the collapse was found this week on a 32-inch drainpipe between Ashtabula Street and Liebert Corporation.

“It’s an emergency,” Blankenship said. “If it rains like it’s supposed to, south Ironton will be flooded.”

After talking with a representative from the city’s consulting engineer firm, E.L. Robinson, and Waste Water Superintendent John Haskins, Blankenship decided to declare a state of emergency so that work on the collapsed pipe can begin today. Workers will remove debris from the pipe to allow the water to flow.

Blankenship said he plans to get estimates for the drain’s complete repair, which he will then bring to city council for approval during a meeting of the public utilities committee next week.

The mayor said the collapse is likely due to the age of the structure and was found during cleaning.

“This is something that can’t wait,” Blankenship said.

Also during the meeting Thursday, the council passed a resolution opposing the closure of the Ohio River Valley Youth Correctional Facility in Franklin Furnace. The Department of Youth Services, which oversees the facility, has announced plans to close it this fall. The proposed closure is part of an effort to cut $41 million from the department’s budget.

In other business, the Ironton City Council:

• Heard from Phyllis Spanner, a resident of Ora Richey Road about problems she is having with water running onto her property, causing damage. Blankenship said the water is from old mines in the area. The city plans to put a catch basin in for the water for the time being and is working to secure funds from the Ohio Abandoned Mine Fund Program to further correct the problem, the mayor said.

• Scheduled a joint meeting of the council’s public utilities committee and the finance committee for 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Ironton City Center,

• Heard the first reading of an ordinance establishing rules and regulations for the city regarding disposing of material at the city garage and landfill and

• Passed a resolution authorizing Blankenship to extend the current contract with Grubb and Ellis West Shell commercial marketing company to market the Ironton Iron property.