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Riverfront park would be asset

Huntington has one. Ashland has one. And by the looks of the number of people out enjoying both warm and cool weather there, riverfronts are true amenities for a city.

They offer a place for free entertainment, whether it is for picnics, or a place just to watch the river go by and draw in the peace from reflection. They can easily become venues for events like open-air concerts or be rented out for private parties and make revenue for city coffers.

If Ironton can find less than $60,000 extra money, the city will have its own riverfront, complete with a dock with 33 slips and a place for picnic tables and benches. The entire project is expected to cost close to $1 million.

It could be a big boost to the city and draw in tourists.

However, some fear that unless it is heavily policed, the riverfront will turn into a venue for prostitutes and drug deals.

With today’s climate those fears appear logical. But are they? Nowadays these crimes are everywhere, and yet we are able, as long as we exercise caution, to walk most streets at reasonable times of the day.

Ashland Commissioner Kevin Gunderson said that city’s riverfront first put up a webcam, but soon realized it wasn’t needed.

“The good people deter the bad people,” he said. “Ironton will find there will be people fishing, taking prom pictures, having weddings.”

Gunderson said fears are unfounded. And the commissioner ought to know. That park is seven years old and going strong.

Naysayers, back off.