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Moving Forward

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What has changed in the past 30 years in Harrison county? It seem that we have been on the same decline for many years. We all know what the problems are. No work, no money, business is leaving, The schools aren’t up to par with the rest of the country. Who’s to blame?  Everyone seems to have an opinion about this. The fact is we are all to blame.

Over the past several months I have talked with many people in and around Harrison county. I have found that we all want to blame someone else. Be it the school board, the county commissioners,or the township trustees, and lets not forget the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District. Yes there is plenty of blame. But the real question what are you going to do about it? The past is gone. We cannot change it, however we can learn from it.  Yes it is tough to forget some if this, yes it hurts, but it is time to forgive and forget. The slate needs to be wiped clean and start fresh.

Now I ask are you ready to move forward?  If so here are some simple thoughts that I have witnessed first hand. All of these ideas are within a 4 hour drive of Harrison county. So I know they will work. Keeping in mind Pittsburgh is a little over an hour away, Cleveland is 2 hours away and Columbus is 2 hours away with opening  of the new route 16.

It is imperative to have growth within the business community. Jobs have to be created. How do we do that? I first suggest we have to have an active Chamber of Commerce. We need to grow our own internal network system that already exists. It is essential to have regularly scheduled business after hours, meet and greet network meetings where the current business’s that already exists in Harrison county are aware of each other. This will be the first step in what I call a buy local economy. Secondly we need to support our own community with our purchase dollars, it is the taxes that these business’s pay that are our tax base. Part of what I am hoping to do with my article in the future is feature some of business’s of Harrison county.

Before we can attract major players in the business world to Harrison county we need a reliable  High Speed Internet system.  In the 21st Century this is one of the primary tools required for contact with the outside business world. Not just for document transportation but for connection with the various social media’s  How can we attract large scale companies when they have no way to communicate with the various shippers and suppliers that is relevant in today’s fast paced economy. I  believe we need to team up and partner with our our state leaders to make make Harrison county a priority in Columbus. Develop an open line of communication with various state leaders. For that fact we need to let our federally elected leaders know who Harrison county is. Let them know buy example that we are more then just a campaign stop on the way to Pittsburgh, Cleveland  or Columbus.

I feel very strongly that our county commissioners need to join forces with the other 18 counties that are home to the properties of the MWCD. The governing body of  the MWCD is one Judge from each county. The MWCD owns thousands of acres of land with the intention of buying more as we have recently seen right here in Harrison county. I agree with conservation and preservation however there are ways to make use of this land while maintaining and conserving the natural environment. I also believe that the 50+ commissioners of these 18 counties could surely have some input into the direction the MWCD should take.

Some examples are areas known as the Allegheny Nation Forest region.Yes it is managed by our Federal Government.This area is home to the Kinzoo Dam and Lake. There are  federally maintained Snowmobile, ATV , Horse and Backpacking trails .  Think if we could get a similar trail system on the MWCD properties. Another area that comes to mind is Deep Creek, Maryland. It is about 45 minutes east of Morgantown Wv.  Getting to Deep Creek would about like getting to Tappan Lake from Pittsburgh via old 22. 50 years ago all this area had was a lake. Today it is rich with tourism, vacation and second homes. Many of the home have values in the 6 to $700,000 figure. It is referred to as the best kept secret in Washington DC. One of the winter attractions is a winter ski resort area that also features a Sno Tube chute. The hills of  of Harrison county would rival the slopes of Deep Creek. Then the summer time attraction is naturally the Lake. Then there is one other area that has seen it’s share of growth over the past 10 years and the is southern West Virginia with the development of the Hatfield-McCoy ATV trail system. It feature over 600 mile of maintained ATV trails, There have been businesses sprout up all over this region. From hotels and motels, sporting goods stores, restaurants and a host of other tourism support agencies. I recently went there with a group  from right here in Harrison county. I am sure that as a collective group, we spent in over $5000 to that community in a period of 3 days. Keep in mind that there are rules and guidelines on this trail system, They even have their own Police Patrol (jobs) for these trails.  These are just a few examples of the communities I have visited over the past few years.

These are just a few of the ideas that I have at the present time. I also have ideas as to how to improve our school system, provide for a healthier community and have better medical facilities then we currently have. I am also aware of the plan that some of the leaders of the community have been working on for the past two years. According to a recent article in the Harrison News Herald it has been reportedly going to be rolled out to the commissioners and the county by the end of January. One question  that I am hoping this report will answer is  Who is responsible for attracting new business to Harrison county? I have asked many people and the only answer i get is I don’t know. Or we used to have……….? Hmm?    I am rather excited to what this brings for us.

As a business owner in Harrison county. I have a vested interest into my county. I want nothing more then for Harrison County to return to the prosperous thriving community it was for so many years. Again I welcome your input, and feedback. I can be reached at or visit me on Facebook or at my website

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Larry Bertolino

Larry Bertolino

Owner at myLocalPCpro
Larry Bertolino is a 31 year old, U.S Navy Veteran and currently sitting on the board of Directors for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, as well as Harrison County Rural Transit.
Larry Bertolino
Larry Bertolino

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Posted by on January 19, 2011, 6:17 am. Filed under Featured, Joe Gilchrist, ThisIsMyCounty. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry