Riverfront plan will be key to Ironton’s growth

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Take a road trip to Cincinnati and Newport, Ky., and something will quickly jump out at you: The riverfront is a vital part of the cities and their economic growth.

Both cities have done a tremendous job over the years of developing the industrial, commercial and tourism opportunities along the Ohio River. But do not think just large cities are capable of this.

Marietta, in southeast Ohio, has done a good job developing its riverfront property along the Muskingum and Ohio rivers.

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With the population only a few thousand larger than Ironton, the city has created a solid blueprint that local officials could certainly follow.

Although the progress is much slower than everyone would prefer, Ironton’s economic development officials continue to make positive progress in developing riverfront property near Center Street Landing.

The next phase will be a $1.5 million project, paid for by the Clean Ohio grant funds, to continue to prepare the property for development and recreational use.

We applaud the city for this and think it is definitely on the right track.

The one component that the plan seems to lack is a way to revitalize what is already there and police the area in such a way that it will be attractive to tourists and families.

The Ironton police department is limited in what it can do but this must be the focus if this project is ever going to come to fruition.

It has been said that Rome was not built in a day. Neither were the riverfronts in Cincinnati, Newport or Marietta. But they all started somewhere.