Ironton Port Authority working hard to create jobs

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Ironton Port Authority, established in 2004, is a five member volunteer organization created to act as economic support for the City of Ironton.

Our mission, to promote and facilitate a strong economy and ever improve the standard of living through job creation and job retention, certainly provided a challenge.

Our path was to identify viable unoccupied properties and seek entities that would be compatible with those facilities. We must thank the numerous property owners for their willingness to work with us to accommodate and attract these potential companies to Ironton.

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With the cooperation of property owners and various companies we have been fortunate to add 300 or more jobs within the City of Ironton.

Aluminastic Corp. and MiDeCon Construction in Commerce Park, Prestige Deliveries on So 4th St, Patriot Ambulance also now located on So. 4th St., Community Safety on No 2nd St, and Advanced Machine & Fabrication in the Wolohan building, have brought activity to once vacant buildings.

The IPA was involved in the recruitment of four restaurants: Melini Cucina’s Italian Restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, Austyn’s, and Rick’s Bar-B-Que.

These businesses have not only provided job opportunities for Ironton but also many of their customers have traveled from surrounding communities to dine and shop in our city.

Three businesses and the Ironton School Bus garage have recently been displaced as a result of growth and economic development in the Ironton area and sought IPA assistance in relocation.

The bus garage is temporarily housed in the former Armory building now owned by the IPA.

Due to company growth, Guy’s Floor Covering sought additional space and chose to remain in Ironton by purchasing property and building in Commerce Park.

Cooke’s Farm Center has likewise decided to relocate in Commerce Park and retain jobs for the city.

The Barker Shop, being high in demand, quickly outgrew its location and can now be found in an upgraded facility at the corner of Third and Chestnut streets. Other ongoing discussions and negotiations keep our membership very active as we seek continued growth.

In the past 15 months the Ironton Port Authority has been awarded grants totaling $1,400,000. This funding will allow the IPA to return underutilized or contaminated properties to productive assets. With the River Valley demolition project nearing completion, we can now focus on its redevelopment.

A U.S. EPA grant will provide the IPA with necessary funding to identify and test former petroleum sites as we continue our remediation efforts. To complete our grant funding, the IPA will be preparing the Riverfront property for future development.

We, the IPA, are committed in our efforts to restore Ironton once again to an attractive and vibrant community. One with employment, shopping, dining, housing and recreational opportunities.

Mike Haas is a local business owner and the chairman of the Ironton Port Authority.