Land Bank has demolished 19 houses in Ironton

Published 9:39 am Sunday, December 17, 2017

New water payment system going well

The Ironton City Council took no actions on Thursday night with most of the ordinances going to finance committee for further discussion before being voted on.

The meeting started with comments from the public.

Mayor Katrina Keith reported that she had met with the Land Bank on Thursday and they had demolished 68 houses across Lawrence County and 19 of those were in Ironton.
“$237,783.64 was spent tearing down homes in Ironton. What an impact, we don’t have that kind of funds to do that kind of demolition,” she said. “So kudos to the Land Bank. They’ve done an excellent job.”

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She was asked about the basin projects on North Second Street. She said the last she had heard was that they were waiting for a contractor to sign off on the project but she would get more information.

She said the city’s new way to pay water bills online or by phone with InvoiceCloud was going well in its first month.

“$28,750 came in for one month, that’s not the ones that are mailed in or people coming to the window,” Keith said. “So we are very excited by that program. I am very encouraged by it. I want to commend Brett (Thomas, the city’s Public Service director) for pursuing that. It’s a great asset for the water department and now we are in the 21st century with that.”

She said that about five percent of the city residents paid their water bill with InvoiceCloud.

In resolutions, the council accepted the resignation of Robert J. Ackerman from the Woodland Cemetery Board of Trustees. He had served on the board since 2008. In his resignation letter he said he was honored to have served as the president of the trustees and would be forever grateful for the support offered by his fellow trustees over the years. He also thanked the cemetery staff for their hard work and efforts.

The council will meet jointly with the trustees at a later date to decide which councilman would serve on the board of trustees. Then the board will pick someone to be the president.

Several ordinances were sent to finance committee for discussion. One on raising the license fee for service work providers from $100 to $150 will be rewritten to be more accurate and then brought to council again.

Ordinance 17-51, which would raise the price of rummage sale permits from $5 to $10 was sent to finance committee for discussion before being brought to council for a vote.

Councilman Chuck O’Leary made the motion, because he wanted to discuss it with the mayor and the police chief about solving the problem.

Ordinance 17-52, a contract between the mayor and the Ironton Metropolitan Housing Authority for police protection, got first reading. Officers would work targeted areas at times specified by the housing authority. The contract is for one year, starting on Jan. 1, 2018. The contract is not to exceed $12,000. It is the same contract as 2017.

It also went to finance committee.

Also getting a first reading was Ordinance 17-53, which would authorize the Ohio Department of Transportation to do sign maintenance on U.S. 52 within the city limits of Ironton.

Councilman Rick Blankenship asked Keith about it.

“If you’ve been down 52, you’ll notice the signs are larger,” she said. “They are going all along 52 and enhancing the signs, they’ve had a lot of changes. They wouldn’t to coordinate with us and get permission to come on to our property and do the signs they own.”

The state would pay 100 percent of the cost of necessary improvements while the city would pay 100 percent of the costs deemed by the state and Federal Highway Administration to be unnecessary for the project.

Blankenship asked if it was accurate that it wouldn’t cost the city. Keith said that was right. He then asked if the city was planning on doing any signs under this project and Keith said no.

The Ironton City Council meets at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month on the third floor of the City Center.