City continues ban on new group homes

Jan. 31—Moratorium started in 2021

At Thursday's Ironton City Council meeting, the members voted to continue a moratorium on any new group residential homes in the city.

The moratorium was originally imposed by the council in December 2021 and has extended it four times with the last extension ending in February.

The latest extension continues the moratorium until June 30 and has no effect on group homes or facilities that were in existence in the city prior to December 2021.

It was passed by a unanimous vote.

In the only other item on Thursday's agenda, the council voted to enter into a service agreement with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization to act as the agency to apply for and administer grants through the Ohio Development Service Agency.

The cost of the contract to the city was $35,000, which it has been for at least the past eight years.

Vice Mayor Craig Harvey said that in 2023, the city got over $100 million in grants that were delivered, were in the process of being delivered for $35,000.

"So it is the easy contract, in my opinion, for us to approve for return on investment," he said, adding the $100 million "is actually, from what I can recall from the past, the largest amount (the city has received) in a calendar year."

The ordinance passed with six votes. Councilman Nate abstained from voting since Ralph Kline, the assistant executive director of the Ironton-Lawrence CAO, is his father.

The city will have two upcoming budget workshops to discuss expenses, projects by departments and capital purchases.

One will be at 5 p.m. tonight to discuss enterprise funds in the street, sanitation, flood, water, wastewater and storm departments and one at 5 p.m. Feb. 7 to review the city's general fund with the mayor, the police, fire, finance, economic development, recreation and human resource departments.

Both meetings will be held in council chambers.

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