• 64°

Calling issue divides county

It has often been said that Lawrence County is divided between its eastern and western halves, with the imaginary dividing line being somewhere in South Point.

The argument is that the western part of the county — Ironton, Coal Grove, Hanging Rock — has very little in common with the eastern communities of Chesapeake and Proctorville. South Point is kind of the toss up, going either direction.

If you want evidence of this division, look no farther than the phone bills of those eastern residents. Citizens living in those communities can call one another — and even across state lines to Huntington, W.Va. — at no additional cost. But if they want to call Ironton, the seat of government for the county in which they live, it will cost them.

This is considered a long-distance call. Making it even more asinine is that it isn’t that way if you call from the west to the east.

With this in mind, the Lawrence County Commissioners have listened to the concerns of residents and are asking the telephone providers to explain the situation.

Although this may sound like only a minor inconvenience, it is actually far more than that because it reinforces the county division that so many people have worked hard to overcome and erase over the years.

For our county to grow and prosper, residents and potential business developers must look at the big picture and understand that all the communities of eastern and western Lawrence County are interdependent on each other. What is good for one will ultimately benefit the other.

Our entire county must come together as a united front when it comes to attracting jobs, growing services and improving our quality of life.

We cannot allow a phone bill to divide our community.