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Ironton City Council agrees to put recreation levy on the ballot

 

The Ironton City Council Thursday agreed to ask voters to continue funding a half-mill recreation levy that

pays for upkeep of the city’s park and for youth sports programs.

The five-year renewal levy expires at the end of the year. It provides $65,000 annually, Finance Director Kristen Martin said.

Mayor Rich Blankenship said the levy pays the salaries of one full-time and one part-time employee, as well as costs associated with keeping the grass cut, maintaining recreation equipment and trash pickup in the city’s parks. It also provides funding for the youth basketball program.

Blankenship said the levy is a necessity.

“The parks would be in poor condition,” he said. “We couldn’t run the department without it.”

He pointed out that while no one wants to pay more taxes, this levy is already on the books and voters will be asked to extend a levy they are already paying.

In other matters, city council suspended the rules and gave the required three readings to ordinances allowing the city to re-fund, or refinance, municipal bonds taken out to pay for the city center renovations and the new fire department. Martin said the refinancing of these bonds will save $220,000 over the remaining life of the bonds. It will save the city anywhere from $12,000 to $20,000 annually.

Council also gave second reading to an ordinance executing a contract with E.L. Robinson Engineering for design of the second phase of the North Fifth and Elm streets sewer separation project.

Council member Aaron Bollinger, who chairs the council commerce and industry committee, had scheduled a committee meeting for 5 p.m. April 12, which is one hour before the next regular city council meeting. Immediately after that committee meets, the council finance committee will meet briefly before the 6 p.m. full council meeting.