• 50°

Mayor hopeful recreation levy will be funded through 2013

Money goes to parks, programs


Just days after voters defeated a recreation levy for the City of Ironton, a little hope may be on the horizon for the parents and children who count on those funds for activities.

At Thursday night’s meeting of the Ironton City Council, Mayor Rich Blankenship told council members that, even though the levy failed, the city may be covered through 2013.

Blankenship said he contacted the Lawrence County Budget Commission and requested a meeting to clarify that the current resolution for the levy still stands and that the City of Ironton should collect “what is current on the books in 2013 for the tax year 2012.”

After the meeting, Blankenship said, according to his research, “I feel confident we will be covered, but I am waiting on the clarification.”

In a letter to the budget commission, Blankenship asked for an opinion before the next council meeting on Nov. 19.

Blankenship also told council the failed rec levy, a replacement of the still active levy adopted in 2008, was worded so that it would begin in 2012 and end in 2016, instead of 2013 to 2017, essentially losing a year of levy funds for the city.

The rec levy was defeated by a small margin of 112 votes on Election Day. The half-mill levy would have brought in $63,500, or $2,500 more than the current levy was bringing in. On a home with the valuation of $150,000 the levy would have meant $22.97 a year or about 50 cents more than what property owners were paying now.

The money the levy brings in goes to pay for repairs at the city’s parks, new equipment, such as rims and nets for the basketball hoops, resurfacing tennis and basketball courts, maintenance of equipment, lawn care, as well as funds the youth basketball program, referees, insurance, concessions and cheerleading programs. The money also pays for the salary of the rec director, Brett Thomas.

In other business:

• Shane Barnes, of South 11th Street, expressed his concerns about the car wash on 11th and Ashtabula streets. Barnes said he picks up his granddaughter from the bus stop everyday and frequently sees drug activity.

The man also said he had taken photos of the cars allegedly participating in the drug activity and given them to police, although nothing seems to have been done about the problem. Barnes said he started a petition to get the car wash removed from the neighborhood.

“We want that car wash gone and we want the city to do something about it,” Barnes said.

He also noted black mold was growing on the outside of the structure, as well as the walls rotting away.

Blankenship said a state commercial inspector was due to inspect the site Tuesday.

• Blankenship told council the Ironton Police Department received a $48,000 grant from Homeland Security for new computers in the squad cars. He said the equipment should be operational in about two weeks.

• Blankenship thanked Bill Cole Automotive for donating $200 to the Ironton Fire Department.

• Council declared an emergency as passed ordinance 12-78 which raised the amount the city deposits into its garbage equipment reserve fund from 1 to 6 percent. The money will go towards the purchase of a new garbage compactor. The ordinance does not raise city garbage collection fees paid by residents.

The next meeting of the Ironton City Council will be Nov. 19 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

There will be a finance committee meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the conference room at the city center.