Property must be used right

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, November 14, 2009

Economic development officials and Ironton leaders often talk about the need for prime developable land. But the definition of what that means and how it should be used leaves lots of room for interpretation.

From visions of a community park to becoming a glorified brush pile, something has gone drastically off course for plans to develop about four acres of land off of Lawrence Street.

Two years ago the city agreed to allow the Friends of Ironton to start developing the property adjacent to Moulton Field. The goal was to turn it into a park and bandstand.

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Now those plans have been nixed because the Friends realized that the scope of the project was a little too much for the volunteer organization and have decided to focus on other projects like the splash park in downtown.

Now city officials are considering a plan that would lease the property to Custom Tree Service to use as temporary storage for wood materials.

The agreement would be the city extends a lease for 12 months with an option to renew for an additional 12 months at a rate of $200 per month.

All new wood materials brought to the site would require Custom Tree Service to have it removed off the site every five weeks.

We hope Mayor Rich Blankenship rethinks this plan or at the least leaves the city latitude to terminate the lease at any time if other opportunities arise or if the storage becomes an eyesore.

This property could be so much more to the community than wood storage.

It borders the Moulton Field park that could certainly be expanded and improved. If properly policed, this could provide much-needed “green space” for residents.

Or, because this property adjoins Ironton Hills and developable land that is part of the shopping center, it could be developed for commercial use.

It would take a significant investment to provide the needed infrastructure and eliminate any flooding problems but that would make more sense.

We hope city officials slow down to look at all its options. This decision could have lasting impact on the entire community.