Signs point to business loop

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2000

Bright new signs designating a U.

Saturday, January 22, 2000

Bright new signs designating a U.S. 52 business loop through downtown Ironton are on the way.

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After Resolution 99-49, passed by unanimous vote and sponsorship by Ironton City Council late last year, the Ohio Department of Transportation and state legislators have agreed to set aside a business route through the city.

The new route is the result of the cooperation and work of several agencies and individuals, Black said.

"The resolution was sponsored by all members of council, and after it passed, I wrote a letter requesting that ODOT designate a business loop through the City of Ironton," City Council member Joe Black said. "The Ironton Business Association sent letters of support to these agencies as well."

The resolution originated from an observation made by Black’s stepson, Brian Milem, a truck driver for Sams/Wal-Mart Co.

"He suggested this idea to me after seeing similar signs while working," Black said. "I did a little research and decided to move forward with the idea and was fortunate enough to have the unanimous support of the other members of city council."

At a meeting at Ohio University Southern Campus Jan. 4 where state legislators and local leaders met to discuss economic growth possibilities in Ironton, Rep. Bill Ogg informed Black that he had passed the legislation needed to enact the route.

"The following day I received letters stating it had been approved from the state and a little later I received confirmation from ODOT," Black explained. "I have been informed that the signs will be available in a few weeks."

Although possibly perceived by some as a small step toward economic recovery in a city desperate for advancements, business and commerce, every effort counts, he said.

"It may be considered a small item to some people, especially when we have the larger problems still to solve in the city, but it is just one of the many ways we can help promote economic development," Black said. "It will help bring travelers to the people and to the merchants in our town and hopefully will provide a little bit of business traffic to help give somewhat of a boost to the economy."

City workers will assist ODOT in placing the signs prominently along the highways, Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary said.

Now that the signs are on the way, Black said he is pleased with the way the situation has worked out for the community.

"The whole purpose is to hopefully provide a little bit of stimulus to the local merchants in town by diverting traffic from U.S. 52 through town," he said. "I’m very pleased with the results and hope the business leaders and the community will be pleased as well."