While preparing the year in review piece for last week’s newspaper, I really was amazed at all the things that took place in Morgan County during 2012. Sometimes I get stuck in the weekly rut of attending meetings, listening to recordings, writing stories and editing the newspaper. The chance to look at every newspaper published by The Morgan County News in 2012 gave me the opportunity to step back and really get an over-all picture.
If I could place a theme for Morgan’s 2012 year, it would be one of construction and optimism despite the faltering economy and nationwide heartache.
In a down economy, Morgan County found the resources to build. The Northfront Business Resource Center opened with hopes to spur business development in the area. After 100 years of Morgan High School, school officials built and opened the new Trojan Center Center, a 46,600-square-foot indoor physical recreation center. Morgan City opened its new splash pad in July. A majority of the funding came from fundraising and donations. The Morgan Health Center broke ground for a new clinic.
That is four different facilities in one year. Whether or not you agree with how these facilities came about, you have to admit that is a lot for our little county. And the city and its new consultant tried all year for a fifth. As the only county in the state without a hotel, Morgan City officials took a bold step to hire a consultant to find a hotel developer. The hope is a hotel will spur much-needed economic development in this bedroom community.
Of course, Morganites continued their traditions of entertaining themselves. It has been said the “stay-cation” is growing in popularity as many don’t have the funds available for extended travel. In 2012, Morgan delivered. The Widowmaker celebrated 10 years of hill climbing in Croydon. The Independence Day celebration exceeded expectations. The splash pad saw constant demand, even from outside visitors. The Pioneer Day Celebration in Mountain Green promoted healthy lifestyles. The Morgan County Fair’s Demolition Derby and two rodeos sold out. Participation was up in the city’s annual car show at Riverside Park. Ol’ Time Christmas on Commercial Street made a comeback in time for the holidays.
In 2012, Morgan County officially turned 150 years old and our nation’s Constitution turned 225. In those 150 years, hundreds of residents have carried forth city and county government. The year 2012 continued those efforts. Three residents were sworn in as new Morgan City Council members. The Morgan County Planning Commission also welcomed new members. After the deaths of both a city councilman and a county councilman, two new residents stepped up to fill the vacancies. Residents attended caucus meetings at record levels, hoping to get involved in government from the grass root level. Residents turned out vote in the nation’s next president.
All in all, not a bad year for Morgan County.