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The promise of a new year
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A new year is upon us, one that brings with it the hope of better times in the midst of a turbulent and troubled era in America.

The county happily officially opens the long-awaited first phase of the Old Augusta Road project today, though it’s been open to traffic for a couple of weeks. The second phase, however, is the most critical and the longest stretch.

For every step forward Rincon makes in its perception — such as the decision to repair several large potholes on a private road on the basis that they were a danger and an impediment to public safety — there are stumbles. There have been eyebrows raised at the city’s push to annex the Westwood subdivision.

While the city is confined in how it can grow, the move is seen as a grab for extra potential sales tax receipts — adding Westwood’s residents would push Rincon to more than 9,000 residents in the city limits. But that population won’t be a factor as the cities and county head to mediation to resolve the water-sewer service delivery area boundary lines.

Rincon did take a bold step in purchasing the Lost Plantation Golf Course — giving it a large area to disperse its treated wastewater, and treating wastewater to reuse standards is a major statewide emphasis.

A mediator awaits the cities and the county in their attempts to resolve the service delivery areas. Guyton residents are waiting to see if the city continues to go forward on its controversial plans for its own wastewater treatment plant.

Springfield begins a new era as the affable Barton Alderman did not seek re-election as mayor. We wish Mr. Alderman an enjoyable retirement from public service after his even-tempered and judicious approach to the city’s business and hope Jeff Northway can follow in his path.

As a community, there is anxiety and anticipation. EFACEC’s doors have opened, with the promise of many good jobs now and in the future. The announcement of Mitsubishi coming to the Pooler megasite could result in jobs for Effingham residents and perhaps spin-off enterprises in Effingham. A resurgent economy could help stem the wave of foreclosures in the county — and those foreclosures have a deleterious effect in so many areas.

Our hope for the coming year is for the county and cities to continue to try to work together on areas of common interest, and there are many of those, and to resolve the issues where there are differing opinions. We hope the Effingham IDA’s labors in recruiting and convincing prospects are rewarded in the near future. We hope our state lawmakers and other local leaders are successful in finding a way to get the Effingham Parkway on the right road.  

There is much talk about hope these days — let’s see what we can do to make these aspirations a reality.