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Making Ironton even better

After taking office Dec. 1 and now five months into my administration, what has been accomplished? With the cameras, reporters and journalists moving on to the next big story, it is now time to put people, departments and new procedures into place.

Upon taking my new position, I was tasked with filling a number of vacancies throughout the city. We had been without a wastewater superintendent since July and needed to quickly find a replacement. We had several people retire from the fire department and I needed to replace myself in the benefit department.

After a lengthy interview process, candidates were selected and the training process began. During this same time frame, we began the process of restructuring our internal procedures. We are working to develop strong business principles that will help us run more efficiently and effectively.

Many days were spent getting acclimated with current projects and ensuring timelines were met. I spent a number of days meeting with local, county, state and federal agencies, business leaders and civic clubs, just to understand their role and to highlight my goals and expectations for the city.

Our first goal is to begin the process of developing an action plan to enforce our dumping ordinances. We need to get a clear understanding of our current laws, outdated laws and consider new laws that are beneficial to the public and to the city alike. Our alleys and vacant lots are not permissible means of dumping unwanted furnishings.

Our refuse ordinance only addresses regular household trash. The city of Ironton is not a hauling service. There are reputable companies that operate these type of services. With only 20 percent of our residents paying taxes, we are unable to keep taking on these responsibilities without increasing current taxes and or fees.

We will also address property maintenance. Every property owner has an obligation to keep their property in a respectable manner which includes everything from cutting grass to hoarding. Included in this process, are buildings in the downtown business district.

If we want to attract new businesses, we have to provide an attractive business district. We have a number of civic clubs interested in providing an esthetically appealing business district and they need our assistance in maintaining personal property.

If we are serious about changing the image of Ironton, it will take everyone doing their part to ensure we provide a clean, respectable community in which to attract new businesses and tourists. One way you can help is by participating in this year’s Community Cleanup Day.

It is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 with a kick off at the Solid Waste Management District office on Third and Center streets. The city of Ironton has always extended to its residents a one-time-a-year opportunity to set out their unwanted furnishings for pickup (with the exception of construction materials).

During the week of May 9-13, our street crew will collect the unwanted items and dispose of them properly. Please be advised, should you decide to place unwanted items in the alley outside of cleanup week, the property owner will be responsible for the cleanup, via assessed taxes or cited into court.

We are working hard to continue the current efforts of revitalizing the City of Ironton. I believe when we work together as a community, we can provide a unique community full of character and charm that can set us apart from our neighboring communities. A proud community that we can call home.

 

Katrina Keith is the mayor of Ironton. She can be reached at 740-532-3833.