• 55°

Ro-Na project shows vision

Perhaps the most important part of any restoration project is finding the individuals who have the vision to see the diamond while it is still a piece of coal.

It might be the automobile enthusiast who can visualize the Model T Ford instead of the rusted, beat down pile of scrap metal.

It could be the carpenter who understands that a dream home can lie beneath the exterior of a run-down residential nightmare.

Or it could be the city leaders who see an attractive theater and arts center that could be the anchor for a revitalized downtown Ironton instead of a dilapidated auto parts store that will never capture its former shine.

Restoring the Ro-Na Theatre will take that kind of vision as well as the guts and perseverance to move forward while the naysayers and armchair quarterbacks complain at every turn.

So far, we are seeing positive steps as the city of Ironton, the Ironton Port Authority and partnering economic development agencies are showing that vision by seeking state and federal assistance on a project that simply won’t happen without this aid.

The city has applied for more than $3 million in historic tax credits that can be leveraged to spur investment and development at the downtown theater that was once one of the region’s premier venues.

Although the city has invested thousands of dollars into this project, there has also been significant community support and donations.

Regardless of the critics who complain about everything without actually getting involved, we think this project has the vision to shine once again.