Tonight’s vote key to city’s future

Published 9:33 am Thursday, April 25, 2013

Although the action itself will get little fanfare and likely even less public discussion, today may be someday be looked at as a turning point in Ironton’s history.

When Ironton City Council meets tonight the seven-person board will have the opportunity to vote on legislation that has received very little public debate up to this point but has been the focus of behind-the-scenes efforts for weeks.

The council will have the opportunity to essentially merge the Ironton Port Authority with the Lawrence County version, which will essentially mean that the Lawrence Economic Development Corp. will take over the leadership reins of economic development efforts within the city.

Email newsletter signup

Officials remain tight-lipped about this move but multiple sources confirm that this will be a key step toward possibly attracting a hotel — and potentially two restaurants — to the Ninth Street project in Ironton.

The LEDC will likely have to put several million dollars of its own money on the line so it is understandable that the entity wants to control the project.

The Ironton Port Authority has had some key accomplishments over the years and helped lay a strong foundation for the city’s future. But now the LEDC, as long as the organization’s leaders understand that citizens will hold them accountable, can leverage its assets and experience to help Ironton achieve a bright future.

Of course, nothing is set in stone and the entire project could fall apart, but the next step starts tonight with the actions of the city council.

Time is often of the essence projects like this and the time to move forward with this is now.