My former job kept me in Ironton, Ohio, for nearly the entire decade of the 1980s. In that time, I saw the city cope with the decline of the heavy manufacturing jobs that once defined Ironton and other towns along my home part of the Ohio River. And Ironton city government has has financial problems all through those times.
Now, Ironton wants to upgrade its river front park -- basically an expanse of grass, a parking area and a boat ramp in bad need of repair -- to something like what other cities in the area have. But it may be too late, considering how state government is cutting back and there's a chance the federal government might be, too.
At the place I work now, we'll have an article this week on proposed renovations of the riverfront park at Huntington, W.Va. It was the first of its type along through here and serves as the model of what other cities want or now have. And I'll have some thoughts on it after the article appears in the paper.