County needs to be ready

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It is often said that the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” and that the “early bird gets the worm.” Well, we hope Ironton and Lawrence County governments realize that “the squeaky bird gets the greasy worm.”

OK, well, that may not sound as good when taken literally but the figurative meaning — that our leaders must be prepared and vocal about our needs — could bode well for the region.

While the U.S. Congress keeps hammering out exactly what the economic stimulus plan will look like, City of Ironton officials and the Lawrence County Commissioners are working on their own list of priorities and projects that could meet the criteria for federal funding.

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Our officials should be commended for this planning and preparation because the reality is millions of dollars will go to small communities like those that are right here in southern Ohio for the purpose of job creation, economic development and infrastructure improvements.

But it is a fine line between seeking help and seeking a handout that our leaders must walk. Our county will not move forward by relying on federal funding or one-time monies. It is vitally important that we position ourselves for the future by remaining self-sufficient and living within our means.

Federal stimulus dollars can certainly be a part of that equation to make long-term investments into the community and to help pay for many of the unfunded mandates that the government has handed down in recent years such as the combined sewer overflow improvements.

To keep the clichés going, southern Ohio has to make sure that we stay on the radar of the federal government.

Or else it won’t matter how much we squeak, we won’t be getting any worms or dollars.