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Petition seeks to have ditch dredged

Seeking to have some relief during heavy rains, a group of Woodlawn Drive/Carl Drive area residents recently handed the Ironton City Council a petition asking to have the ditch along Carl Drive dredged.

“We need to get something done. It’s a real problem,” Woodlawn Drive resident Everett Reeves told the council Thursday. Reeves was at city council a few weeks ago and first addressed the issue.

The problem, residents contend, is that the ditch along Carl Drive is not really a ditch at all anymore. In some places there are culverts that are clogged and in other places the ditch is so full of weeds, dirt and debris that it can’t carry the water when it rains. The rainwater then runs onto the residents’ properties, often in such force that yards get soggy and basements and garages get wet and the hillsides slip.

“This is affecting how many people?” Councilwoman Beth Rist asked.

“Thirty (homes),” Carolyn Reeves replied.

“Did you think about hiring a private contractor to do the job?” Councilman Kevin Waldo asked. Carolyn Reeves replied they had discussed this but were advised they couldn’t because the ditch is primarily on city-owned land.

Mayor Rich Blankenship said the problem could be fixed fairly easily if he had the manpower and the money. Right now with the city’s financial problems and six public works employees laid off, Blankenship said he has neither.

“If I had the money and the manpower, I have 100 projects wanting to be number one,” Blankenship said. “I’ve got one person in the street department right now.”

Councilman Phil Heald asked if workers could be transferred from the water department, since many of them have experience with the same equipment needed to perform the work.

Council President Mike Lutz asked Mayor Blankenship if he would arrange a meeting with the residents to figure out “creative options” to solve the problem.