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Gateway project expansion one step closer

A Cleveland-based restaurant and brewery is one step closer to possibly coming to Ironton as Ironton City Council passed Resolution 16-08, authorizing the submission of a competitive economic development block grant (CDBG) and an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant application for phase two of the Gateway Project.

The Brew Kettle is eyeing to take over the Armory as the second phase of the Ninth Street Gateway Project, adding to the Holiday Inn Express and Big Boy restaurant, and would allow the creation of an estimated 60 new jobs within the 18 months of project completion.

Kevin Waldo made a motion to pass the resolution with Bob Cleary seconding. Although Councilwoman Beth Rist was not at the meeting, the resolution was passed by the remaining six council members.

Also at council:

Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith addressed council on a number of issues, including asking council to approve Dennis Gumbert as the new city wastewater superintendent and Brett Thomas as the newly created public service director and asking council to suspend the rules of Ordinance 16-03, authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract for health insurance coverage for the employees of the city of Ironton and declaring an emergency. Keith also said that after reviewing the payroll for this year, she is excited about the city saving more than $54,000 from last year, as the premium this year is $132,936 from $190,214 last year. Keith thanked Mike Pemberton and the city workers for working on the streets from last weekend’s snow storm as well.

Ordinance 16-07, authorizing and directing the mayor to negotiate and enter into an agreement for engineering and design services with E.L. Robinson Engineering Company, Inc. regarding the floodwall improvement/pump station #6 project and declaring an emergency, was passed and referred to finance committee.

Resolution 16-05, authorizing the execution of a revolving loan fund agreement between the city of Ironton and the state of Ohio and declaring an emergency, was passed.

Resolution 16-06, authorizing the approval of the contract for services agreement with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, Inc. (CAO), was tabled and referred to finance committee.

Waldo made a motion to accept Gumbert as the wastewater superintendent and Thomas as the public service director with Cleary seconding. All but Dave Frazer and Craig Harvey voted for the personnel, making it pass 4-2.

Councilman Craig Harvey called a finance committee meeting for Wednesday, Feb. 3, for the purpose of discussing the budget, meet with the police and fire chiefs and review the tabled items.