Ironton City Council approves study, police department raise

Published 7:37 am Saturday, January 11, 2020

With just two ordinances on the agenda, it was a fairly short meeting of the Ironton City Council on Thursday night.

The first ordinance was ordinance 20-01, which is to have E.L. Robinson Engineering do a comprehensive feasibility study as to whether it is better to rehabilitate or rebuild the city waste water treatment plant. The cost of the study is $35,000 to see what can be done about the four clarifiers and a thickener at the plant. The study, due by March 31, is to help council members to better determine whether it would be better to rebuild the machines or rehabilitate them to meet federal standards.

The council recently issued a $353,000 bond to fund the repairs at the plant. The cost of the study is included in the bond funds.

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Councilman Bob Cleary asked finance director John Elam if the city would be able to make the bond payments in the future. He said he knew that there would be no problem making the bond payment this year, but was curious if the council would find themselves in the position of having to raise fees to cover the bond payments after 2020.

Elam said that he has started on the template for the 2020 budget, which is due in March, as well as the five-year budget projections.

“I will hope to have a definitive answer for you in two weeks,” Elam said.

Mayor Sam Cramblit said that, when they spoke earlier, there had been discussion about paying off the bond early.

Elam said that, towards the end of this year, the refinancing of the 2009 waste water/stormwater separation bonds happens. At the end of this year and the beginning of next year, they are expecting to save around $85,000 between the two funds.

The ordinance passed unanimously, after it was declared an emergency measure and given second and third reading.

The council also approved the second ordinance, 20-02, which is a one-year contract between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police #75, which represents the officers of the Ironton Police Department. The officers got a 25 cent per hour increase in hourly wage, retroactive to April 2019.

All other items in the contract, such as insurance and clothing allowance, remain the same as last contract.

The city council meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. The meetings are held in council chambers on the third floor of the city center and are open to the public.