Some things are worth the wait.
No one can attest to that better than the Rotary Club. An idea created by former club president James Bussa has finally come to fruition. Three years and four presidents later, entrance signs have been created for the three entrances into the city of Portsmouth.
When he arrived in the community, Portsmouth City Manager Derek Allen had two main objectives: balance the city’s budget and beautify the city.
With the first goal completed, Allen has been focusing on his second objective and believes the entrance signs are another step in the right direction.
“Beautifying the community and cleaning up the community is a really important statement,” Allen said. “Now, when motorists come in to our community, the first thing they are going to see are these gateway entrance signs and they were very professionally done. They are very nice — aesthetically pleasing — and I’m proud of the fact the corporate community came forward with rotary and made this project happen.”
President-CEO at Southern Ohio Medical Center Randy Arnett, who’s been a lifelong resident of Portsmouth, also believes the signs add a certain quality to the city.
“Obviously, there are thousands of cars that are coming through all three of the lanes that are coming in,” Arnett said. “I’ve been around Portsmouth for most of my life and I think these signs add a tremendous amount of ambiance to our community.
” … So today I can’t drive on any one of these three routes without always looking up at these signs and I’m sure everyone else is doing the same thing. It means a lot to us. It’s very nice for the community.”
In the Rotary Club meeting Monday, representatives from Southern Ohio Medical Center and Kings Daughters Medical Center-Ohio were present as both companies were among the first asked to sponsor the project three years ago.
“First of all, we make our living here and the surrounding counties. So, when people think of us first, it’s nice to be thought of,” Arnett said. “There’s no doubt about it, it was one of those no brainier ideas. It was like, ‘Wow, there are people like the Rotarians that are going to go out and get these volunteers to do this, by all means if this is what we’ve got to do to be involved.’ It was real simple, the ‘yes’ took about three seconds.”
While KDMC is proud of their sponsorship, Registered Dietitian-KDMC Ohio Malissa Sarver said the organization is also proud of their volunteer record in the community.
“KDMC is really community involved,” Sarver said. “We’re involved with Scioto County Health Coalition, Rotary, Healthy Bucks, we support the reading programs at the Portsmouth Library. When there’s community things going on, we want to be involved with that. Not just sponsoring it, but also at the grassroots level, volunteering with those things and helping our community partners be successful.”
Sarver said KDMC is delighted to partner with organizations to better the community.
“KDMC is proud to be a part of this project and to instill a sense of community in our area, and to collaborate with so many other community partners, I think that strengthens that sense of community,” Sarver added. “Also, it does add to that beautification. As it was said in the meeting, it shows that we are moving and shaking, we’re doing things here in Appalachia — we’re moving forward, we’re going in the right direction. It’s a sense of pride in our community and everyone working together as well, we’re really happy for that.”
While the signs were three years in the making, Allen is pleased with the overall results and knows they were well worth the wait.
“It took a while, but sometimes you’ve got to wait on good things,” Allen said. “I’m really happy with the way the signs turned out and the way they look.”
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1927, or on Twitter @crslone.