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IIB asks city council to be in budget

An Ironton-based volunteer beautification organization wants more support from the city and wants to be able to depend on it each year.

Ironton In Bloom co-chairman Carol Allen came to the Ironton City Council’s finance committee meeting prior to the regular council meeting Thursday evening asking for a definite line item in the city’s budget.

Ironton In Bloom, an organization that is focused on making Ironton a more appealing place by planting flowers and working on the streetscapes of the city, is going into its ninth year.

“We’re a group of citizens from all walks of the community forming partnerships to create pride in Ironton,” Allen said to the finance committee. “Something that people in Ironton were missing was pride. We wanted to do something to enhance downtown.”

Allen said that Ironton in Bloom is asking for the line item so that it can know exactly how much money it can look ahead to have instead of trying to ask for it every year.

Ironton in Bloom works in partnerships with different organizations large and small and will continue to do so, but can no longer add to the flowers in downtown Ironton because it has run out of money, Allen said. It is also in the process of beginning two projects; Memorial Hall and making the new Ironton-Russell Bridge more appealing when it is finished.

Last year, Ironton In Bloom brought in a total of $41,393 in funding, while having a total of $40,328.15 in expenses. Only $1,400 of the $41,393 was from the city.

Allen asked for a $10,000 line item, but knew that it was going to be lower. She said that what Ironton In Bloom does for the city will be worth the money in the long run. After consideration, Bob Cleary and Aaron Bollinger were in favor of creating a $3,000 line item for the streetscaping that Ironton in Bloom does, while Craig Harvey was not in favor.

Beth Rist was not present at the regular council meeting which left only six council members.

The first reading of Ordinance 15-18, amending the annual operating budget for the city of Ironton for the fiscal year ending Dec. 1, 2015 and declaring an emergency was given. It was then moved by Bollinger to amend it again for the $3,000 line item in which Cleary seconded. Bollinger moved it again to give the amended version the second and third readings which Cleary also seconded. However, the ordinance fell 4-2 and did not pass, as Harvey and Dave Frazer voted against.

Ordinance 15-15, authorizing and directing the mayor to execute change order with Southern Ohio Trenching and Excavating, Inc. for the Ironton storm/sanitary sewer separation phase two project and declaring an emergency, was given its first reading. Harvey motioned to suspend the rules and give it the second and third reading and Bollinger seconded. Frazer was the only council member not in favor and the ordinance did not get the required six votes to pass.

Ordinance 15-17, rezoning certain tax parcel numbers from an R-2 to an R-3 district was tabled and referred to the planning commission.

The first reading of Ordinance 15-16 was given, authorizing and directing the mayor to execute an agreement with Southern Ohio Salvage and Contracting, Inc. for the Ironton city building parapet wall rehabilitation project and declare it an emergency. Cleary motioned to suspend the rules and have the second and third readings which was seconded by Bollinger.

After the second and third readings, Bollinger moved to adopt and Cleary seconded. The last item on the agenda was the first reading of Ordinance 15-19, authorizing the mayor to purchase new dumpsters for the city of Ironton. Both of these passed.