#8216;NIMBY#039; mentality hurts entire region

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ask 10 people what Ironton and Lawrence County needs most and you will likely get similar answers - jobs.

Ask those same 10 people how you do that and the answers will likely focus on attracting new businesses or working with existing businesses that are looking to grow.

Now, tell that same group that you have a new business willing to locate here, in their neighborhood, and the tune may change. The entire county continues to be plagued by the old &#8220Not in my backyard” mentality that will only serve to impede progress in our county and push those same jobs across the Ohio River to Kentucky and West Virginia.

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The funny thing is, the Ohio River on which much of the controversy centers also connects our communities together. Several weeks ago, Huntington (W.Va.) Marine Services announced plans to build a barge docking facility along the West Virginia shore near Camden Park, just across the river from South Point and Burlington.

Dozens of Burlington-area residents spoke up against the project because of perceived damages it would cause to the environment and their property. That plan, and the dozen or so jobs it would have created, has been put on hold at least for now after the company failed to pay some delinquent lease payments.

Now, some of those same Burlington residents are up in arms again over a Ceredo, W.Va., company, Kanawha River Terminals', plans for a change to its dock system, even though company officials say the changes will mean less noise and less dust.

At least one local resident has asked the Lawrence County Commission to oppose the plans, something the group has not yet decided on. We hope the commissioners make the right decision on this matter.

This comes only months after Hamilton Township residents were upset over Rumpke's plans for new facility there.

What kind of message does it send to prospective businesses if we oppose development? If new businesses cannot build facilities and existing businesses cannot look to grow, then how can we ever hope to see job creation or economic development.

Residents have the right to protect their property and their quality of life but it is important that they get all the information before screaming that the sky is falling.

Without jobs, the entire region will suffer. We need jobs and we need them right here in our backyards.