Authority looks for growth ‘sign’

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

Ironton Port Authority chairman Bill Dickens knows first impressions are important.

The port authority is working with the mayor's office to help make Ironton's first impression that much better by applying for a $2,000 grant from Ohio's Appalachian Country to help improve the signage at the main entrances to the city.

The grant is a part of "Make a Difference Day," the largest single day of volunteering in America.

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The only trick to obtaining the funding is that the IPA has to come up with $2,000 in matching funding by Aug. 31. Although the money doesn't have to be in hand, letters of commitment must be obtained by the deadline.

"We're not looking to have one group pay for everything," Dickens said. "It would be ideal if four or five groups would all give $500."

Besides giving Ironton a spiffed up look, Dickens hopes that new signage would make the city an easier sell to incoming businesses.

"We just want to get in step with the cities that we're competing with in trying to bring jobs to the area," Dickens said.

Dickens said he'd use the funding to do extensive landscaping and beautification at the city's main entrances.

"I feel that, on Park Avenue particularly, the signage now is deficient," Dickens said. "It hasn't been upgraded for many years."

Although he wants to focus on the State Route 93 and 141 entrances to the city, he'd also like to see new signs at the Coal Grove and Hanging Rock exits off of U.S. 52.

Any civic groups that would like to be involved with the project can contact the mayor's office at (740) 532-3833.