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Grant is awarded for all-call system; state buying portable pump stations

The City of Ironton will join in a countywide alert system that will be funded by a grant that was received by the county Emergency Management Agency.

Lawrence County Commissioners recently gave their support to the system.

Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship told council during its regular meeting on Thursday the system will work similarly to the one utilized by local schools.

“It’s a great tool for the city to notify citizens about water or other issues,” Blankenship said. “Sign-up is voluntary and we can use it to target specific areas.”

The recent major water line break in Ironton’s Indian Hills area, Blankenship said, is a prime example of the system’s capability to notify certain areas.

“That area was under a boil water advisory and the rest of Ironton wasn’t,” he said. “With all-call we can just make the people in that specific area aware.”

The State of Ohio has agreed to buy two portable pump stations for the city because of runoff from the Ironton-Russell Bridge, Blankenship said. Each station costs between $30,000 and $60,000 and Blankenship said he also worked with the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency to secure the funding.

Blankenship later informed council he was doing “everything he possibly can” to establish “quiet zones” at railroad crossings in Ironton and he has again requested that Columbia Gas notify his office at least two days in advance when streets are going to be closed because of the company’s ongoing and vast line replacement throughout the city.

Council member Bob Cleary requested approval for Blankenship’s nominees to local boards and commissions. Council gave unanimous approval to the following reappointments:

• Sharon Black, Civil Rights Commission;

• Tyler Walters, Ironton Health Board;

• Joe Isaac, Ironton Recreation Advisory Committee;

• Joe Fletcher, Ironton Recreation and Advisory Committee.

• Ordinance 14-03 authorizing and directing the mayor to execute an agreement for general engineering services with E.L. Robinson Engineering Company Inc. had its second reading and resolution 14-07 authorizing the transfers and indirect cost reimbursement as adopted by the 2014 annual budget appropriation ordinance and declaring an emergency was approved.

• Resolution 14-02 approving a contact with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization for grant execution was removed from the table and ultimately adopted by council.

• Finance committee chair Aaron Bollinger called a special meeting for 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, for the purpose of adopting a final 2014 budget.