A Better Year Ahead – Author, Eleanor Lockwood – County Manager

Our community heralded in the New Year with an outstanding display of fireworks at the County fairgrounds…bigger and better than prior years and community participation surpassed everyone’s expectations! What a great way to start the New Year. Although it has been much colder than normal we are thankful for the “better than last year” snowpack. We hope for warming temperatures (at least in our valley) and more snow in the mountains through January and February.

There are signs of “a better year” for our economy. The DFA milk powder facility is well under construction and should be operating toward the end of the year. Word on the street is that we should be seeing a few more dairy cows as some existing dairies start to expand. On our western border, the Patua I 30MW geothermal plant is under construction and should be operating late fall. Perhaps not so visible, since the building is already in existence, but New Millennium is also expanding into the building formerly owned by Wheeling Corrugated. Expanding businesses means more jobs and is a positive impact for our economy – a good reason to be optimistic about 2013.

Although we have a long way to go before we see significant upward movement in the economy I am going to focus on the positive. I encourage everyone in this community to talk about the positives to your neighbors and outsiders, promote our talents, and appreciate the great quality of life this community offers. If you are passionate about this community, get involved. In the (modified) words of John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your Country (community) can do for you; find out what can you do for your community.”

So I would urge us all to continue this year with the same enthusiasm as the New Year’s Eve celebration. Let’s seize opportunities and be more involved; let us talk about the good things happening in our community and show our appreciation for work well done; let us be HOPEFUL for a better year than last year. Let’s MAKE this year bigger and better than the last!