• 55°

Restaurant at depot on horizon

What was once a restaurant could be once again if ordinance 14-15 on the agenda for Ironton City Council’s regular meeting on Thursday is any indication.

The first reading of ordinance 14-15 calls for an amendment to ordinance 03-49 and authorizing the leasing of the depot restaurant and declaring an emergency. Ordinance 03-49 provided for the extension of the lease of the Norfolk and Western Railway passenger depot with two five-year renewals extending to 2014. According to ordinance 14-15 the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce assigned its interest in the lease to the Lawrence County Port Authority as of March 1, and the building has been remodeled and made operational for purposes of housing a restaurant and lounge.

“The restaurant owner has signed the lease,” Rich Blankenship, Ironton mayor, said, “He’s now just waiting for the city to sign off on it.”

The owner, Linn Ming, is a local man with years of experience in the restaurant business, Blankenship said.

“Dr. Bill Dingus put the lease together and Mr. Ming was very happy with it,” Blankenship said. “Now, it’s up to the city to get it done.”

If adopted, ordinance 14-15 would amend ordinance 03-49 to provide three additional five-year renewal periods of the lease between the City of Ironton and the Lawrence County Port Authority as assignee of the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce through 2020 in order to acquire a new tenant.

The depot was home to the former Austyn’s restaurant. The restaurant will be called The Depot and serve traditional American fare. It is scheduled to open next month.

Also on the agenda is the first reading of ordinance 14-05 vacating Washington Street from 8 ½ Alley (Maple Alley) to Ninth Street in the City of Ironton.

According to the ordinance the property owner petitioned for the vacation, city council has determined there is good cause for such vacation and it would not be detrimental to the general interests, that such portion is not needed for thoroughfare purposes and that vacation should be made.

A letter to city council from the property owner, Old Engineer Property LLC, stated three parcels — 322 S. Ninth St., 402 S. Ninth St. and 812 Washington St. — would be vacated to better align with the rest of the Gateway Development Project.

Also on the agenda for the meeting is ordinance 14-16 to execute an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation for bridge inspection; and ordinance 14-17 executing an agreement with Southern Ohio Trenching and Excavating Inc. for construction of the North Fifth and Elm Street Sewer Separation Phase II Project.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. on the third floor of the city center.