Industrial park may not be fit for everyone

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ironton’s economic development leaders must constantly perform a balancing act of sorts between being cautious about selling the city’s available assets while also maintaining an approach that is business friendly.

Recent discussions among city government officials show it may be time to evaluate the current approach on this, clearly define expectations for the city’s property and get everyone on the same page.

That certainly doesn’t seem to be the case right now.

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Some city officials and potential developers have been at odds with members of the Ironton Port Authority over how to move forward with developing the Ironton Industrial Park. Recent debate centered on whether or not to sell more than three acres to Mi-De-Con at a steep discount for an expansion project that would add about eight jobs and another project that would open an oil change station initially with other potential developments later.

City leaders need to seek more information about both projects before making a final decision.

Ultimately, the city must do everything it can to help create jobs and keep the ones that are already here, but it is unreasonable to think that every potential project will work out.

The industrial park property is one of the last remaining tracts of land large enough for significant industrial development and a clear development plan needs to be drafted.

But just because one project might not be a fit there, doesn’t mean the city doesn’t want it here.

Economic developers should do everything they can to help entrepreneurs who want to invest in the community and find alternatives and solutions.

Ironton’s best interests must always remain the driving force for all decisions.