IRONTON, OH (WOWK) — Last week, we brought you a story about saving Ironton’s oldest black church in Ohio. After more developing details, we now have an updated report.
After speaking with the Mayor of Ironton about Triedstone Missionary Baptist Church, a misunderstanding has now been resolved.
Church members reached out to 13 News when they thought the City of Ironton was in charge of the development around the church. It turns out the homes are being built by the Ironton-Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization or known as CAO, and not the City of Ironton.
The city did send out a letter about the church’s parson house, which the city thought was vacant and charged the church a $200 fee. The parson’s house does have utilities with the church combined on one meter.
“Unless someone brings up these issues and looks into what the ordinance is citing, you know there’s no way to know unless you bring it up to our attention,” Sam Cramblit, Mayor of Ironton, said.
Since the Parson’s house is being worked on and does have utilities, Mayor Cramblit says all the church has to do is provide proof. The church can then apply for a building permit.
“Appeal that to us and we would be able, as long as it stands out, to grant that,” Mayor Cramblit said.
Chris Saunders, who calls himself a local historian, was upset when he thought the city was trying to get rid of the church and called a meeting Wednesday night on its behalf.
“I’m really relieved that it’s been cleared up. I think it was just a basic misunderstanding, including just some words in a title in the verbiage, and once that was cleared up, I think everything is going to be okay now,” Saunders said.
Saunders says he’s still going to try to get funding for the Parson house so it can get fixed up quicker.
“We just want it to be used. That’s all it is and comply by the standards that are spelled out in the ordinance,” Cramblit said.
Mayor Cramblit says 107 letters about vacant have been sent out throughout the city and the city was never trying to single the church out.