Depot plan gets local thumbs up

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 2004

A proposal to put a pharmaceutical business in Ironton's Depot got a thumbs up from local officials Thursday, one of numerous hurdles that must be jumped before the project becomes reality.

Continuum Care, a Hamilton-based outfit that also has an office in Barboursville, W.Va., has asked for more than $75,000 in tobacco settlement money for the venture which would employ as many as

people at an institutional pharmacy that serves nursing homes and other health care facilities.

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The total cost of the project is approximately $3 million.

"This is very exciting," Lawrence County Commissioner Jason Stephens said. "This is the type of business that is happening nowadays: small business, employing 20-50 people. I think this could be helpful to downtown Ironton. And those are good jobs, pharmacy-type jobs. That's good. Hopefully this will go through."

The tobacco settlement monies are administered through the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation. Grant money is given to entities that wish to employ people in a non-retail economic development venture. Board member Bill Dingus said the proposal is a positive step toward giving the old Depot building a new use and a new future.

"Currently the chamber of commerce is working with the City of Ironton to make this happen," Dingus said. "We feel pretty good about that. I thinks Ironton has some real bright spots happening."

Dingus said the application will be sent on to the regional and then state board for approval. He said the biggest hurdles toward getting approval are yet to come.

"Last year we had five or six requests and only two were approved," Dingus said.