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Donations should challenge others

Ironton — and Lawrence County — have a tremendous opportunity to rebuild the city’s downtown but this dream will only go as far as its citizens will carry it.

And, if recent results are any indication, the sky is truly the limit.

Everyone know that Ironton’s downtown — and ultimately nearly every downtown in small-town America — has declined in recent decades.

But city leaders, economic development officials and concerned citizens are working hard to change that.

Recently, the Child Welfare Club donated $1,000 toward the city’s skate park project, bringing the total funds raised to 60 percent of the $100,000 needed.

At around the same time, Rob and David Slagel, owners of three Ironton-based businesses including Industrial Sanitation, Inc. DBA “Johnny on the Spot,” donated $5,000 toward the renovation of the Ro-Na Theatre.

We applaud all those involved with these donations — and hope this inspires others to do the same.

If every business located in Ironton and every company that does business in Ironton donated even $500 to each of these projects, both would be well on their way toward completion and we would be closer to a reshaped downtown Ironton.

We also would like to see every contractor working on the Ironton Schools project, the city’s sewer repairs, paving projects and other jobs in Ironton accept this challenge and give back to the community.

Without the taxpayers, none of these projects would be possible. So it only seems right that these contractors, many of whom are from outside the city and the county, make significant donations to these projects.

Add these two projects to the ongoing work to revitalize Depot Square, create a public transit station, renovate several downtown buildings and maybe even add something else for youth, and it is clear that Ironton’s downtown could return to its glory days.

But none of that will be possible without our county’s citizens, businesses and leaders accepting this challenge.