Looking for leaders in Ironton

Published 9:57 am Friday, April 24, 2015

The City Council’s refusal to immediately support Ironton in Bloom’s effort to improve the appearance of the town is certainly in keeping with Ironton’s leaders’ propensity to kick the can down the road by refusing to raise or apportion the money to fund anything not required by law to be accomplished immediately. We have about 4,800 water meters/households in Ironton.

Ironton in Bloom (IIB) suggested $10,000 (fully expecting to be cut, I imagine) be put in the city budget for downtown beautification, expecting some of that to help with IIB’s annual expenses which run to $45,000 for flowers and watering. That $10,000 would represent $2.08 per household, far less than the cost of a Big Mac or a Big Boy. The Finance committee pondered and agreed to support $3,000, the lordly sum of $0.625 per household, less than the price of a candy bar.

And then two members of council managed to delay action on even that, voting to require additional readings before the council acts up or down. Did no one consider that the new jobs at the Big Boy and the hotel will generate increased income taxes paid to the city of about $15,000 per year, not to mention the nearly $25,000.00 income taxes already paid to the city by the construction workers who worked there?

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Add to that an estimated additional at least $9,600.00 in bed taxes going to the city,to be paid by the hotel per year. Never mind the value of the improvements to the infrastructure of the whole area, such as sewer, water, electrical, sidewalk and paving upgrades done at no cost to the city except for the cost to purchase the new water pipe.

Does anyone think the volunteer efforts of unpaid Ironton in Bloom and the Friends of Ironton had no influence in bringing this new economic activity to our town? I guess the wise leaders of the Tribune felt that way when the paper applauded the council’s decision. I doubt some council members would vote to put pennies on a dead man’s eyes.

That’s what they effectively promised you before you elected them and they are determined to stick by that pledge. Even those on Social Security get a cost of living increase every year and pay no state or city income taxes on that and little or no Federal tax unless they are really flush. The city budget won’tsupport street improvements, let alone the deplorable condition of alleys throughout the town.

Companies looking to locate here, bringing jobs, see blighted areas and the absence of amenities such as city parks and playgrounds and say, “No way. We can’t attract good employees to this mess.”

So, our children move away to find work and we see our grandchildren once in a blue moon and at our funeral. In the meantime,infrastructure continues to deteriorate, employers shy away and our property values continue to drop.

Ironton was a great place to grow up and live in the 1850s and the 1950s. Perhaps it could be again if we can elect officials who are both forward looking and willing to make a long range plan and tell us the hard truth about what is needed. Alternatives to decrepitude are what are needed.


Paul Woods