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Council tables $15 license plate fees

Will revisit issue in June

On Thursday night, the Ironton City Council tabled three ordinances that would have each put a $5 fee on every vehicle and trailer in Ironton that requires a state license plate.

The fees were discussed for over an hour with council members weighing in that they felt the money raised from the fees, an estimated $150,000 wouldn’t do much to pave Ironton’s roads. It costs an estimated $50,000 to pave about a block and half of roadway, curb to curb, meaning that about four and half blocks could get paved a year.

A couple of citizens spoke on the license fees.

David Schwartzwelder said that the three fees could nearly double the cost of a license plate on a car since it was $31 to get a license plate, plus a $5 for a fee that Ironton already has in effect, plus $15 in the proposed fees, means that the total would be $51.

For pickup truck, it would $66.

“I don’t think we should pass three ordinances,” he said. “I think if we pass any, we should pass one.”

Councilman Nate Kline said Ironton has to do something about paying for road repair because the state no longer pays for it like it once did.

“I think (these ordinances) are in the best interest of our city, I see it as investing in our city,” he said.

Brent Pyles said he hates fees and additional taxes, but he hasn’t heard an alternative.

“If we are going to do something, and in this case I think we do, because like you I have to weave my way down the streets everyday,” he said. “I think we are going to have to pay our way out of this.”

Councilman Jim Tordiff said that if he thought the city could take the $150,000 and parlay it into more road repair with grants, he would vote for it. But since the chances of getting grants was slim these days, he couldn’t vote for the ordinances.

After audience participation, when the ordinances came up for a vote, Kline said that he wanted to table the ordinances because Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith was working with the KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission to see what they can do about creating an improvement plan for the city roads, to get more time to find out the true cost of road paving is and the deadline for the ordinances to be passed and submitted to the Tax Distribution Office is July 1 so it can go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

“So, what I’m going to do on all three of these is make a motion to table it,” he said. “Ideally, I would like to take it off the table by June for a vote, when we can be a little more informed what KYOVA is able to bring with matching dollars… I would like a little additional time to see where we are at.”

All members voted to table the ordinances unitl a later time.

In other items, the council allowed for the creation of an asset forfeiture trust fund for drug money forfeited to the Ironton Police Department after court proceedings.

IPD Chief Pam Wagner said the fund was set up exactly like one the prosecutor’s office set up the drug task force forfeiture money. She said, by law, the forfeiture money has to be separated from other city accounts, that’s why it needs to be in a trust fund. The account is audited every year.