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Ironton City Council wants federal loans set aside for Lawrence County businesses

The Ironton City Council will meet online at 6 p.m. on Thursday to consider resolutions, including an ordinance to bill insurance companies for fire department services and to help local small businesses secure government loans.

Ordinance No. 20-19, which is getting its third and final reading, would establish and implement a program to charge mitigation rates for the deployment of emergency and non-emergency services by the fire department for services provided/rendered for the city of Ironton.

At the last council meeting, there was some discussion as to whether the city had ever had similar legislation in the past. Council member Nate Kline said he had not found any previous legislation and the city’s attorney, Mack Anderson, said they had checked the codified ordinances and couldn’t find anything.

Kline asked Ironton Fire Department Chief Mike Mahlmeister if he knew of anything in the past where the department had billed insurance companies and Mahlmeister said, as far as he knows, there has never been any issue or any kind of ordinance. He said he knows it was discussed several years ago, but to his knowledge, it was something brand new that the city was going into.

A second resolution, NO. 20-28, is a request that the Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance set aside for small and micro businesses in Lawrence County.

The SBA is providing assistance through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and other disaster assistance programs for all small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic federal emergency.

In the first round of loans, many local businesses missed out because Lawrence County has few local lenders and had to depend on national banks to process the claims.

The resolution asks that the SBA set aside an allocation of program funds for Lawrence County small businesses, and that “the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, working with the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, be authorized to work the processing of local PPP loans through authorized SBA local lenders without the threat of again missing out on said program assistance due to the lack of processing capacity on the part of national banks.”

The public can view the meeting on Facebook at Ironton Ohio City Council Live.