Clearing the way for Ironton#039;s future

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 17, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

As Honeywell continues to demolish buildings on its property on South Third Street, some Ironton residents may look at it with pessimistic eyes.

"There goes another business," some may say as they watch the buildings being razed. We, however, like to look at it with more of a "glass is half-full" viewpoint.

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Yes, it is a shame that Honeywell was not able to remain a part of our community. However, as the time changes, so does our scenery. Few can argue that relying on heavy industry as the backbone of an area's economy is not a thing of the past.

As the Honeywell buildings continue to come down in coming weeks, think of it as the city wiping the slate clean - opening up an area for future development. Some may ask "what good is that doing us now?" But, as the old adage goes, "good things come to those who wait."

What is key, though, is the leadership of Ironton and Lawrence County. With a clean slate, a new blueprint needs to be drawn to lead us to economic prosperity. Once the land is cleared, we have to market the property to businesses that can help guide our area back on the right track.

What we cannot do, however, is sit on our hands and watch the property remain vacant. As with the former Ironton Iron property, city and economic leaders have to take a proactive approach to luring businesses to the city.

Ironton has a lot to offer prospective businesses. We are situated in an area where you do not have to drive far to get what you need. Just about anything you could ask for is within a half hour's drive.

And, as the city's economic base grows, so will the city. Once jobs begin coming back to Ironton, chances are stores, restaurants, hotels and, perhaps even a hospital, will follow.

So as you witness the Honeywell property being cleared, close your eyes for a few minutes and envision what the area may look like in 10 years or so. If our leaders are aggressive, we feel the sky is the limit.