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Ludlow May Raise Payroll Tax, Implement Historic District

The former Ernie's bar building in Ludlow will wait for redevelopment until its buyers can acquire additional funds, it was announced at last week's city council meeting.

Interim city administrator Scott Smith reported that Sparen Realty, which purchased the building from the city for $1, wants to make sure it is fully funded before beginning the renovation.

The plan is to create two storefront spaces on the street level and four apartments upstairs. The outside will look similar to how it is currently.

Meanwhile, city council listened to a first reading of the creation of a new historic preservation overlay zone.

The zone will encompass approximately eighty-nine acres from the railroad overpass to Adela Street along Elm Street, and from Elm Street to the Ohio River.

Patrick Smadon, the head of the Urban Design Review Board, agreed to discuss the overlay at the October meeting of the review board.

Davies Street was changed from a one-way street to a two-way street and Smith said parking will only be allowed on the west side of the street.

A first reading for an increase in the city's payroll tax was also read. For employees, the fee would increase from 1.5 percent to 2 percent, and non-employees who engage in franchise, trade, occupation, or any other professional business in the city would see an increase from 0.075 percent to 0.132 percent of gross receipts.

A second reading is scheduled for September.

The city is also expected to renew its contract with law firm Hemmer, DeFrank and Wessels, which it has contracted with since January.

Mayor Josh Boone said the lawsuit against the city brought by Ludlow Youth Football has ended. An appeals court came back with a decision against the city, and the city will not pursue further action.

On Saturday, August 17, at the train viewing area, there will be an event centered around the railroad and the opening of the new location of the Ludlow History Museum.  From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be children's activities, hot dogs and hamburgers, and speakers that will document the history of the railroad in Ludlow.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor