Taxpayers cannot pay for projectPublished 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.