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City to have two town hall meetings

Downtown Ironton cleanup day set for May 6

The Ironton City Council passed two ordinances and discussed clean-up days and town hall meetings.

Under the miscellaneous section on the council agenda, Mayor Katrina Keith announced there would be two town hall meetings.

The first town hall meeting will be at 6 p.m. May 8 at the Ironton High School auditorium to discuss the drug issues facing the community.

One speaker will be Ron L. James, a former drug addict and repeat offender who spent 25 years in prison, who is filming a movie based on his book “Choices” in Huntington.

“While in prison he wrote the book and changed his life. He is now a public speaker,” Keith said. She has also invited speakers from recovery groups, Prosecutor Brigham Anderson and Judge Andrew Ballard.

The second will be 6 p.m. on May 15 at Ohio University Southern’s Bowman Auditorium.

Keith said there would be employees from all city departments to answer resident’s questions.

“We are going to hand out an annual report, like the one I give you guys in December, and really explain to them where we are,” she said. “We want to get out and talk with the people. Because what is important to me may not be important to them.”

The council members were all invited, but Harvey pointed out that if more than three attended, he would have to call a special session as required by Ohio law.

Keith also said May 6 would be downtown Ironton cleanup day.

“We’re working with (the Lawrence-Scioto) Solid Waste District and the number of groups that help us spruce up downtown for the spring,” she said. “Unfortunately, there will be no dumpsters for city-wide cleanup this year.”

When asked, Keith said that Solid Waste wasn’t able to provide the dumpsters this year because the dumpsters are going to a different community in the county this year.

“It will come back to us eventually,” she said.

Blankenship asked if there were enough funds in the sanitation department to pay for a couple dumpsters.

“Probably not,” said Finance Director John Elam. “That is an exorbitant expense. That might be a couple weeks, so it would be $5-6,000.”

Keith said last year, 14 dumpsters of debris were hauled away during the citywide cleanup.

The council passed two ordinances on Thursday.

The council authorized an agreement to have E.L. Robinson provide general engineering services to the city. The contract calls for costs not to exceed $25,000 for 2017. The measure was passed with five votes. Councilman Rich Blankenship abstained from voting.

“I don’t want to give any appearance of a conflict of interest since I recently worked there,” he said. Blankenship worked at E.L. Robinson from December 2015 to this March, when he got a job at Job and Family Services.

The second ordinance was to designate city Finance Director John Elam as the council’s designee to attend training sessions on Ohio’s Public Records Law.

“That means we don’t have to attend,” joked Vice Mayor Craig Harvey. The measure passed unanimously after the rules were suspended and the clerk gave second and third readings for the ordinances.

After the regular council meeting, the Public Utilities committee met. They went into executive session to discuss potential litigation and personnel matters.