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Gearing up for a new year

Here we are, heading into a new year.  

After nearly a year of economic lockdown, maskwearing and social distancing, COVID-19 has taken its toll. Normalcy has taken a back seat.  

More than a quarter million people have died during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Thousands of small businesses have closed their doors for good after losing customers because of partial or total lockdowns.  

Most public events, including high school, college and professional sports, were either cancelled or required to limit spectator attendance.  

The good news is two vaccines have been developed to counteract and eliminate the virus. They are being used to inoculate frontline healthcare personnel, rapid responders and nursing home residents and personnel first 

The nation’s entire population is expected to have access to the vaccine by early spring. 

I hope we can put COVID-19 on the backburner in 2021 and gear up for a return to normalcy.  

A good start would be to pledge our wholehearted support to the good work and success of all elected and appointed officials, including the Joe Biden presidential administration.  

A feather in the cap of our own mayor and council is the renovation of the former Wells Fargo Bank building to make room for a municipal building later this year.  

The location of a new industry in the South Morgan Industrial Park at Interstate 65 and Thompson Road is a future project that has great potential. Its first tenant is a new automotive manufacturing plant in the Greenbrier area in 2021. It not only will provide many good jobs but also offer opportunities for subsidiary industries. 

The city needs to seek federal/state funding for the completion of the Thompson Road widening/upgrade project. Engineering work is complete. Utility infrastructure and right-of-way acquisition is pending. This project is vital to the future development of the industrial park. 

While substantial progress has been made to upgrade the central business district and Highway 31, more emphasis is needed on locating new businesses to empty store buildings in the downtown area.  

Best wishes for your good health and happiness in the new year.