Development efforts are good first step

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 12, 2011

What does it take to turn fields of dreams into something far more substantive? A partnership of economic development groups hope they have found the answer.

The Lawrence Economic Development Corporation, the Lawrence County Port Authority and the Southern Ohio Port Authority of Scioto County have partnered to form the Green-Hamilton Development Oversight Committee with the singular focus of promoting industrial development in what is often called the Hanging Rock Corridor along County Road 1A.

With companies including Rumpke, Duke Energy and Sun Coke already there, this area has always been primed for economic development.

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The vision and dreams have been there. But nothing ever materialized and hopes of significant development there dissipated like smoke in the wind.

Several efforts for a steel plant as well as a few other spin-off industries have fallen through.

Still, economic development leaders remain convinced that they are only missing a couple pieces of the puzzle when it comes to allowing this area to boom.

And they may be right.

This partnership is a good first step in the right direction. Investing $120,000 toward preparatory work and marketing is a small price to pay if this helps attract multimillion dollar companies and good paying job.

Lawrence and Scioto counties need these desperately and we cannot simply sit back and wait for them to come to us. This entire corridor between the two counties could one day become an industrial hub for all of southern Ohio.

It will have started with dreams and empty fields.