Council holds off on change to city dump program

Published 9:44 am Friday, January 13, 2012


City officials agree Ironton needs to save money, but there is apparently disagreement on where cuts should be made.

Ironton City Council Thursday evening gave first reading to an ordinance that would limit residents to two free dump days per year at either the city garage or the Rumpke recycling center in Hamilton Township.

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But when councilman Kevin Waldo suggested council suspend the rules and give the ordinance all three required readings for adoption, fellow members Bob Cleary and Dave Frazer voted against the rule suspension.

“I think this needs to go to the public utilities committee for review,” Cleary explained.

The decision to send the dump fee to a committee may have to frustrated Mayor Rich Blankenship.

“That would have been immediate cost savings,” Blankenship said after the meeting. “Now it’s getting pushed back to a committee. And this is after they asked me to provide them with an ordinance.”

In his address to the finance committee last week, Blankenship said the city should consider eliminating or modifying its existing ordinance that allows residents to dump free of charge unwanted items at either the city garage or Rumpke, in addition to their weekly curbside household waste collection. The mayor said the city has spent more than $63,000 in the last three years for this program and suspects some people may be abusing it.

Council also tabled a resolution to give Ironton In Bloom $1,500 while council is further along in its budget discussions.

“I’m totally in favor of Ironton In Bloom,” Cleary said. “But we’re talking major cuts (in the budget).”

“Didn’t we commit to this at an earlier meeting?” council woman Beth Rist asked. Others answered no, the commitment was to fund IIB last year.

The public utilities committee will discuss the dump fee ordinance when it meets next Thursday after the 5 p.m. finance committee meeting. The city council will meet each Thursday at 5 p.m. until further notice to discuss the 2012 budget and meet with department heads individually about their individual spending plans. The city must approve a new spending plan by the end of March.