Experience could be key to futurePublished 10:12am Friday, March 29, 2013
The old saying “that two heads are better than one” may not always be true, especially when the greatest benefit may come from having a singular focus.
This could be the case when it comes to economic development in Lawrence County and the proposed move to dissolve the Ironton Port Authority. This would likely somewhat merge it with the Lawrence County Port Authority and, potentially, the Lawrence Economic Development Corp.
Although most of the details remain hush hush and we reserve final judgement until the plans are formally announced — plus the city council would still need to approve it — this looks to be a smart move that could pay huge dividends for the City of Ironton and the entire county.
The LEDC has a proven track record on large-scale economic development projects including The Point industrial park. It is hard to argue that Dr. Bill Dingus and these entities have had significant success in economic development, but one of the complaints has always been that the focus has never been on Ironton.
Right or wrong, that perception can change with results.
The Ironton Port Authority has had some legitimate successes over the years and has helped move the city forward. But it has also had its share of missed opportunities and under-utilized assets.
Having a full-time agency with more resources and crucial experience could be the key to a bright future that will hopefully include the development of a restaurant and hotel in the Ninth Street area.
But a strong plan will be vital to success.
Only time will tell if merging economic development entities is the right move, but the current approach has had more than a decade to produce results.
Now is a perfect time to try something different.