Archived Story

Taxpayers cannot pay for project

Published 9:19am Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another effort to restore Ironton’s historic Memorial Hall has apparently been abandoned, bringing the building’s future into question and leaving serious doubts about the project’s feasibility.

Despite the fact that the building has now been added to the state’s historic register, to go along with its already obtained federal register listing, it appears the County commissioners have decided to go a different direction with plans for a consolidated emergency management and 911 center, instead looking at the former post office and Ironton school board building adjacent to the jail.

This move likely makes more sense for the county but leaves Memorial Hall back at square one after several groups and organizations have failed to make much headway in restoring the structure that continues to deteriorate.

Even with state and federal funding now potentially available, this project remains a very tenuous one that city or county officials should approach very cautiously.

We have long been skeptical of the ability to renovate it and certainly do not think that local government entities have the money to do so.

If a project could be put together based solely on state and federal funding, then great. If not, other options must be looked at.

The best scenario would be for a nonprofit organization to lead the way on this.

This takes it out of the hands of politicians and, more importantly, keeps the local taxpayers off the hook.

Fiscal responsibility has to trump nostalgia when it comes to public dollars.


  • Poor Richard

    Mickakers, you are wasting your time attempting to explain the value of historic preservation to the hillbilly culture of Lawrence County. They are incapable of understanding the architecture, the building materials, the art and skills of the era and they are certainly incapable of understanding the historic value of maintaining the historic buildings in their city. Let them demo the entire freakin city and put up their juckie metal buildings and cinder block franchise huts. This is exactly why they have no vibrant economy and this is exactly why our county courthouse looks like a bunch of rats have gnawed on it inside and out – I suspect they’ll want to demolish the courthouse soon and construct a double-wide in its place.

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  • indieVoter

    No, Mike, I’m gonna join you. Let’s not only reach across the aisle, let’s send back EVERY SINGLE FEDERAL PENNY that’s come here in the last 10 or 20 years.

    Let’s dig up all the astro turf football fields and send the remnants to DC. Let’s tear down all the new schools and send the rubble back to DC. Let’s tell DC that they might as well just tear down the Ironton-Russell bridge because we don’t want that hunk of socialist metal next to our town. Let’s track down where every penny…the industrial park too….and give it all back. Let’s tell them to set that money aside for tax cuts for the rich instead.

    After all, I don’t see any of you people out there on Friday nights enjoying those new stadiums. I know you wish your kids were in the old schools with little A/C and no computers. I know you realize that Ironton is such a small cog in the scheme of things we don’t DESERVE a bridge to KY. People can drive a few miles down the road and take the Ashland bridge.

    Yes, be true to your party line and let’s refuse all of it. If the Ironton in Bloom team and our local politicians can’t raise the money RIGHT HERE in Lawrence County then…regardless of the project…it doesn’t get done. I mean, surely you aren’t PART socialist. Right, Mike?

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  • mikehaney

    according to indie—-sell out and join the 47 percenters.
    Sell out and vote for Ted Strickland against your principles.
    The line starts in the rear for handouts.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Building on that last thought, if like-minded people don’t come to a place like this when they have the chance and say “YES, I WANT THAT”….we don’t deserve a dime.

    Let the Memorial Hall, the bridge, the Ro-Na and all the rest of it go to he– in a hand basket.

    If our the elected leaders come here and see NO SUPPORT for making a challenging reach across the aisle, I don’t blame them one bit for just letting another opportunity slip through the cracks…maybe the biggest opportunity we’ve had or will have for a long time.

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  • indieVoter

    Speaking of bipartisanship, here’s a bit I haven’t seen on the American news channels yet but it’s great. This little clip, less than 2 minutes, features Ohio’s John Boehner and Obama in what I see as a first glance at bipartisanship to come.

    I’m proud when I see our elected leaders from both parties be collegial and working together for America.

    Let’s not be ashamed to sit down with the other side just like Boehner does here in this clip, and in the friendly manner that we see there.

    Let’s reach out to guys like Boehner and Strickland to get a chunk of that federal money here. It will be spend either way. Let’s just put ideology aside for now and get some good things done for our home county and for our children and grandchildren to benefit from for years to come.

    Maybe we can even get some of those “green jobs” here. This is a time of dramatic change in DC and America. This is our best chance since the long past days when you could walk out of high school and, the next day, go out and get a job that would feed your whole family.

    Let’s get on board with the change and bring EVERYTHING we can right here.

    Maybe I’m a little polarizing here since I supported Obama so much over the past months. I get it. Maybe a guy like Les Boggs wouldn’t want to be officially affiliated with me because of that, even though I voted for him…even the time before when he was opposed, and I get that too.

    However, I think that out of all the elected leaders we have in this county HE is the most likely one to embrace visionary change and take strong action. If he does, we will all win.

    Les, I really hope you get your foot in the door with Ted Strickland on this one. I follow politics closely and there’s no doubt Strickland is in Obama’s inner circle.

    I believe that you, Les, can paint a picture of what we could do here in Southern Ohio to create a huge success story. I’m not just talking about a bridge or fixing an old historical monument. I’m talking about revitalizing a region up to and including bring a lot of well paying jobs here.

    I think Strickland, as a Scioto County native, would be very interested in that possibility. I believe he’d pass it along to Obama and he’d find it very interesting too. We could me the model for progress in our new 21st century political reality.

    Let’s have some visionary leadership that reaches out for game changing progress here in our home county.

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  • indieVoter

    Hey Mick, don’t you think this is a good example of being wise in deciding whether funding should come from?

    1. Charity
    2. Private business (the free market)
    3. Government

    Now maybe the Hall isn’t a candidate for federal funds. It’s a local interest. Then again, part of why we’re having such trouble doing it locally is that we’re so strapped…budgetwise…in our home county?

    Here’s my suggestion. We may live in a “red” county but we live in a “blue” state. Not only do we live in A blue state, but we live in THE blue state…the one that put Obama over the top in this election. For that matter, we were also the ones who put Clinton over the top in 1992.

    We’ve seen bipartisanship between Chris Christie and President Obama. We’re starting to see some bipartisan talk in DC. I say we get ahead of the curve here in Lawrence County.

    My official recommendation is that our county should reach out to the Obama administration for funding to revitalize this troubled region that’s been struggling for years to get back to where we were before we lost all the good paying jobs back in the 60s and 70s.

    Yes, reach out to Obama.

    Wouldn’t it be a powerful thing to see Obama standing with our county commissioners, as an example of how a very very “red” county is working with a president from the other party? If you want to do that, start by contacting Ted Strickland.

    I’m not “on the inside” so to speak but Strickland is from Scioto County and was an official member of Obama’s 2012 campaign team. SURELY, there is someone in power here in our county who has his phone number. Surely, he’d be interested in pursuing this opportunity for both our county and for the President.

    Presidential elections in recent years have been ALL ABOUT Ohio. A story like this….like what would happen if Les Boggs and gang take my suggestion. I voted for you, so I hope you do. At least reach out for a start. Get the ball rolling. When there’s a germ of a story, get the Tribune in on it. Build up to a face-to-face with Strickland and then get to Obama (or the funding we need) after that.

    Can we put politics aside if it’s going to bring our county into the 21st century?

    Do we want a huge success story here in Lawrence County (way more than just the hall) and do we want it bad enough to do it, even if it’s a win for Obama too?

    I think we should.

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  • mickakers

    There is a distinct difference between “nostalgia” and Historic Preservation. There is merit in the comment “The best scenario would be for a nonprofit organization to lead the way on this.” However, this does not negate the responsibility of the citizens or Ironton and Lawrence County in preserving their past for the benefit of future generations and as a living memorial.

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  • Ozzy

    I commend Mr. Hayes and Mr. Pratt for standing up and explaining that the County just cannot afford to do this project at this time. However, Mr Boggs on the other hand tried to grandstand and put the “blame” on the other two for not moving this project forward. Well now with these two guys in there our money may go to fund our office holders and not frivolous projects that we cannot afford!

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