Don’t lose sight of progress

Our View

Friday’s announcement of jobs cuts at Gallipolis Development Center was bad news. There’s no other way to describe it.

It is sometimes easy to see what’s not going well in our communities while failing to realize that there are still a lot of things going right.

Just as the wide band of water running through our part of the world winds slowly, so too does progress in our rural communities. And, just like the Ohio River eventually arrives at its juncture with the Mississippi River, progress in our communities achieves its destination, too.

The river slowly (most of the time) winds its way along and that’s the way progress seems to be taking place in the Ohio Valley. But make no mistake — progress is taking place.

Gallipolis just broke ground on a $1 million-plus project to improve its riverfront by adding an amphitheater and improving access for boaters. It’s also worth noting that a Meigs County contractor, Pullins Excavation Inc., was engaged to do ground-prep work on the project.

Gallipolis City Park, located adjacent to the river where the amphitheater is being built, already gets a lot of use. However, in case city leaders need any ideas, they only need to look to their neighbors across the river in Point Pleasant or up the river to Pomeroy. Both of these communities already do a good job utilizing riverfront space developed years ago. This addition to the city’s riverfront will go a long way toward providing even more opportunity for visitors to come to town.

Also soon to open in the City of the Gauls is a new wellness — don’t call it a fitness — center. The Holzer Therapy & Wellness Center is located at 735 Second Ave. in the former Johnson Grocery Store. The project will approach $2 million once completely finished. This major undertaking is a collaboration of Holzer Heritage Foundation, Holzer Health System, outside donations from individuals and companies, and the Eastman family that donated the building.

This week, Nidec Corp. announced its $3.2 million expansion and investment in Middleport’s Imperial Electric plant. That expansion added 18 new jobs to the local economy. It came about as a result of cooperation between local officials working with state officials and private industry.

Nidec Corp.’s decision to expand in Middleport says a lot about the local workforce as well. It’s very likely Nidec had other options, but chose Middleport. Local leaders and residents have a lot to feel good about following this announcement.

Point Pleasant has embarked on an effort to do something about older buildings in town that are an eyesore, unsafe and probably used for illegal activity. Four such structures have come down in the last four months.

Mayor Brian Billings noted, “It’s a slow process.” True, mayor, but it’s a process moving in the right direction. Kudos to city leaders for leading from the front on this initiative. Judging from discussions during recent council meetings, the city isn’t finished with its cleanup efforts yet.

To continue the analogy a little further, the Ohio River is persistent and it keeps moving along. So too, will efforts to improve life in our communities along the river’s banks.

Our View