I come from Adams County, Ohio.
I come from a location that nobody outside of the tri-county area has heard of. A predominately white and poor community, filled with retirees and welfare ridden country people. Visually, this county is the best. Adams County is probably the Mecca of all things nature. From the valley of Manchester to the peaks of Peach Mountain in Peebles, or from the clusters of fossils in Brush Creek to the heights of Buzzards Roost. Nature is the foundation of the county. Sightseers from near and far roam the street, whether it’s intentional or not. For the city folk, Miller’s Bakery is the place to go, followed by lunch at Cruiser’s Diner. People from Indiana or cities like Cincinnati come to see the Amish, as if they have just entered into the country from a third world village in the middle of Europe.
My point? Adams County is pretty. The landscape is beautiful. It is so quiet that you could hear trains six miles away. It is just a peaceful place. Not at a Mayberry level, but for Ohio standards, let’s take it.
Unfortunately, the beauty that is Adams County does nothing for the livelihood of the area. The county has one of the highest amounts of unemployment in the entire state, sitting at 7.3% as of December 2016. It ranks as the third poorest county. Why? Nothing happens. Jobs tend to be handed to relatives and people are on disability. On top of that, no major company wants to settle a semi-remote portion of the state. A decent chunk of people farm. The impact that has locally varies. Some farmers are committed to serving to the surrounding areas, while others seek the areas that pay them the most.
Money is key in everyday life, and for the people of Adams County, it is spent elsewhere. Aside from Walmart, where else can they go? The answer to that is somewhere other than their hometown. Any mall or entertainment is a good drive away. What money that is produced in Adams County is spent somewhere else, so the circulation does not stick with the local economy.
Right now, as I am typing this, news broke of the closure of the local power plants of DP&L. The closure means lost jobs and lost monies. With this, the county government is having to readjust the budget which will result in lost jobs of teachers, children services, emergency response teams such as EMT’s. If you’re local to Ohio, you may have heard of the near obliteration of DHL leaving Wilmington. A majority of that city worked at that single location, so when the company left, so did the jobs. Away went people’s mortgages, food supply and things like that. The same is about to happen to Adams County. Millions of dollars will be lost and a county that was already broke to begin with will lose even more.
It breaks my heart. I don’t know why the place has to go in its apparent direction. The place has so much potential. I cannot fully blame DP&L, mainly because I do not have the full details. I blame the people in the governmental offices.
It’s all a matter of advertisement. Show the benefits of Adams County. Show that the county is more than scenery. All that the touting of the scenery accomplishes is that the county has priorities in the wrong places. People got on Social Security as a last resort because of the lack of options. Is it fair for people to drive an hour or two to make very little to live on? Bring factories, bring innovations. Utilize the land. Adams County has a high amount of clay. Make something with pottery. Invest and take a gamble in something that will boost the economy. It is not fair to cut services because the county relied to heavily on one resource.
I left the county because of the stagnation of the area. Life is moving at a snail’s pace. While that’s great for crime or for the shear fact of tranquility, it does nothing for the progress of the area. Investment is what the county needs. You don’t want to break your leg and there’s nothing you can do but set it yourself. It’s 2017. It’s time that something happened for the benefits of economic growth.