WILMINGTON — Addiction to drugs or alcohol is regarded as the top challenge facing Clinton County in an informal survey by the Clinton County Foundation.
Placing a rather distant second on the question about local challenges is the lack of “variety of retail shopping and dining experiences.” Crime, domestic violence and child abuse is third, with mental health services and lack of mass transportation each vying for the fourth spot on the survey results’ bar chart.
Aging infrastructure is a top 3 response to the question, “What issue would you like to see your community leaders tackle?”
At a Tuesday luncheon, Clinton County Foundation Executive Director Jan Blohm said “not surprisingly” Clinton Countians like living in a rural area, according to the responses to the question “What are you most proud of when you talk about Clinton County?” Rural community finished in second place, and “landscape, farmland, lakes” a strong third.
But first in the “most proud of” category are “neighbors, friends and family.”
Music, theater and cultural arts finished fourth.
Blohm said the survey respondents’ answers were varied to the question “What makes you say, ‘Why can’t we do this in Clinton County?’ ”
Many wanted a recreation facility and community center, she said.
Some respondents referred to Yellow Springs or Springboro or Lebanon as models for a vibrant downtown and community, added Blohm.
Other responses to the question included higher-paying jobs, housing, community beautification, and many want a revival of community pride.
The 158 survey responses came from local leaders, people connected to the Foundation, and citizens taking the survey via the organization’s Facebook page. The not-for-profit Clinton County Foundation manages philanthropic funds in the community.
At the luncheon Ron Rudduck gave a presentation about the Clinton County Joint Recreation District tax levy on the fall ballot. The levy is for 3 mills with a 30-year duration “to improve, develop and maintain various parks and wellness projects in the county’s municipalities and townships, including a county recreation and wellness center,” states an official leaflet.
Rudduck said he thinks the return on investment is more important than the initial investment, “and it [the countywide Joint Recreation District levy] is an investment — an investment in the community.”
Former Clinton County commissioner David Bailey attended the luncheon and spoke up in support of the ballot issue and of the Clinton County Joint Recreation District’s mission.
“Normally my reaction to levies is a bad case of hives,” he quipped. “I’ve spent most of my life fighting the damn things, but I really believe in this,” said Bailey.
The planned recreation-and-wellness projects are not simply for young people, he said, but for the community at-large.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to expand the enrichment of this community, and I think we would really be cheating ourselves if we don’t support it,” said Bailey.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.