Council hears second reading of ordinances

Published 9:41 am Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Another special meeting slated for tonight

With four of seven members present at a special meeting Monday evening, the Ironton City Council gave second reading but could not immediately pass an ordinance that would allow the city to move forward with plans to develop its riverfront property.

It also gave second reading to a proposal that would allow the mayor to ensure the city receives FEMA funding to fix a land slip around one of its water tanks.

Council heard the first reading of these ordinances at its regular meeting last week.

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Last week’s meeting was attended by four of the seven council members, so the group could not suspend the regular meeting rules and vote on the ordinances as Mayor Rich Blankenship had wanted it to. Monday’s meeting was called at Blankenship’s request so the council could possibly pass the ordinances sooner than the next regularly scheduled meeting.

With four members present, council couldn’t vote on the ordinances Monday either. Council chairman Kevin Waldo, Councilman Dave Frazer and Councilwoman Beth Rist were absent. Six members would be needed if council were to suspend regular meeting rules and vote on the ordinances without hearing it three times.

Another special meeting has been scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Tuesday, approximately 24 hours after Monday night’s meeting adjourned.

Blankenship said last week that he wanted the ordinance regarding the city’s riverfront property passed soon so that a contractor could get some construction time in on the project before winter sets in.

The ordinance would award a $1.5 million contract to Superior Environmental Corp. to provide the city with Phase II environmental services for the Ironton Riverfront Development and Trails Project. The services would be paid for by a Clean Ohio grant, which the city has already been awarded.

If the ordinance passes, the company would award a bid to a contractor to remediate the riverfront property. Remediation would mean removing contaminated soil and replacing it with clean soil.

The other ordinance would authorize the mayor to be the primary contact and authorized agent to provide information to FEMA for a slip on Nixon Hill, near the city’s water tank.

The ordinance would mean that Blankenship can complete paperwork to make sure the city is in compliance for funding from FEMA to fix the slip. The slip happened as a result of heavy rains in the spring.

Blankenship said FEMA has agreed to pay for all except 12.5 percent of the project, but the paperwork has to be done in a timely manner. The total cost of the project has not been determined.