Friday, September 26, 2003

Hamilton outlook: Optimism

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

HAMILTON - You can't make it home if you don't swing the bat.

Mayor Donald Ryan used that baseball analogy Thursday during his State of the City address as he discussed ambitious downtown redevelopment plans that include what city officials hope will be a Newport on the Levee-style riverfront project.

"We need to control the downtown and riverfront climate to create the large picture of a revitalized city that will be strong and stay strong for us, for our children and generations after them," he said at the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce's Red Carpet Luncheon, co-sponsored by the Hamilton Rotary.

Ryan and City Manager Michael Samoviski shared the podium for a 30-minute speech, focused mainly on economic development.

"In the past 18 months, hundreds of jobs were made available in Hamilton, with a majority of those in professional or manufacturing sectors," Ryan said.

The goal for city officials is to continue to stimulate industry to create jobs. Officials plan to take advantage of the riverfront by developing an entertainment complex.

Another bright spot, Samoviski said, is a pending announcement regarding the acquisition by the city from a private developer of the Mercy Hospital site for redevelopment. Combined with the revitalization of the Mercantile Building, residents will see improvement.

"If that happens that really will set the tone for some major redevelopment downtown," Samoviski said.

There is progress, both said.

"I can tell you that when visitors come to town ... they notice, and they verbalize that Hamilton looks, feels, and radiates a sense of renewal. It doesn't happen overnight, but it is happening," Ryan said.

"Failure is not the worst thing in the world. The very worst is not to try," Samoviski said. "And, we are trying."

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