Memorial Hall demo discussed by council

Published 10:03 am Monday, March 3, 2014

When Mayor Rich Blankenship told Ironton City Council 69 structures in Ironton have been demolished over the last four years, the discussion quickly turned to the future of Memorial Hall.

“We had the bid opening and received zero bids,” Blankenship said. “The large tower seems to be a safety issue and we are not getting bids because the job can’t be done for the amount of money we have to pay for it.”

Blankenship said the demolition is a “major, dirty and dangerous job” and council president Kevin Waldo asked if it could be completely demolished for $118,000, which is the cost estimated by the city engineer.

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“Yes,” he told Waldo. “Saving what we want to save is what costs so much money. We sent out $118,000 on the bids and contractors look at that number and they just can’t do it. I can see the contractor’s concerns, but we’ll press on.”

Blankenship also provided council with a water source guide the city would follow in the event of a water source failure.

“Hopefully it won’t happen,” he said, “but if it does, we do have a plan in place.”

Recent water source issues in the Charleston, W.Va., and Ashland, Ky., areas prompted the city to revisit its plan, which includes activating an emergency connection to Hecla Water and Coal Grove Water and bottled water distribution from Pepsi and Tyler Mountain.

Ordinance 14-08 authorizing a contract with the Ironton Metropolitan Housing Authority and declaring an emergency was referred to council for review. The ordinance is for police services associated with the authority’s security program.

Ordinance 14-09 to adopt the city’s temporary 2014 operating budget was also referred to the finance committee since a special-called meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 was canceled. Committee chair Aaron Bollinger has called another special meeting for 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 3.

Ordinance 14-06 adopting a supplement to the code of ordinances was given three readings and adopted after council voted to suspend the rules. The ordinance allows the American Legal Publishing Corporation to update the city’s ordinances.

Ordinance 14-03 allowing the execution of an agreement with E.L. Robinson Engineering Company for general engineering services had its third reading and was adopted.

Prior to the regular meeting council had a short joint meeting with the Upper Township Trustees to reappoint Leo Johnson to the Woodland Cemetery Board. Council member Dave Frazer was appointed as council’s representative on the cemetery board, replacing former council member Michael Lutz. The cemetery board meets every third Thursday at the Woodland Cemetery office.