To the point week of 12/28/06


WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 2007? With a new year just a couple of days away, each of us begins the process of looking ahead at what may or may not be in the coming year.

Sort of like playing a children’s game, each new year gives us the opportunity for a “do over”. Mess stuff up last year? You get a “do over” to try and do things right this year.

So what are we looking ahead to for 2007? Every once in awhile I try and gaze ahead and take a shot at making some predictions, so this is a pretty good time to see some things that will happen next year – and others that just might.

– State Road 129 is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2007, so if that all holds up, by the time you read my thoughts on 2008, all of the construction and rerouting and detours will be a thing of the past.

Remember when the project was first announced? With the starting date of 2005 and a completion date of 2008 – it all seems so far away. We thought, “Will this work ever get started? If it does, will it ever end?”

Well, it did get started, and in the coming year, it will all be over.

Time flies, doesn’t it?

– Switzerland County High School will host its first ever boys basketball sectional tournament in early March of next year.

Before you start sending things in, remember that I said “Switzerland County.” I’m aware that sectional tournaments were held at Vevay High School; and a couple of years ago Switzerland County High School hosted the girls sectional.

But in Southeastern Indiana, the boys basketball tournament is still the “big prize”, and for our high school to host the tournament means that visitors are going to be coming to this community for three days and they will be needing gas and snacks and a place to grab some supper.

Not only will it be a feather in the cap of our high school; but it will also give our community the chance to show off our new stores and other attractions to our neighbors.

When the planning begins early in 2007, the whole community needs to be involved.

– There’s been much “discussion” about the development of the Markland Business Park during the past few months, but I believe that in 2007 some of the doubters will become believers as an announcement is made that a small company has agreed to locate here.

It won’t be many jobs at first, but that decision will have a domino effect, as at least one more small industry will commit here by Christmas, 2007. Never underestimate Jon Bond’s expertise in economic development.

– After years of offers and counter offers, Switzerland County will finally get its animal shelter. It’s an old argument: everyone agrees we need one; but no one wants it near their home.

Agreed, but the facts of life are that things such as animal shelters and solid waste transfer stations and landfills and jails and factories must be built somewhere; but the real focus should be on designing a facility that meets the needs of this county while limiting as much noise and traffic as possible.

– Many years ago I pointed out that we will celebrate our Bicentennial in 2014, as the town of Vevay was officially laid out in 2013 with Switzerland County being named and organized shortly thereafter.

Meetings were held some time ago in an effort to determine how the town and the county should celebrate this event; but at that time it was simply too far in the future to have anyone care very much.

Well, we are about seven years away now, and if something more lasting than a parade and a recital is going to be held, we need to get started planning it soon.

A kickoff?

Did you know that August 21st, 2007 is the 200th birthday of Perret Dufour, the nephew of John James Dufour and one of the great citizens of early Switzerland County in his own right? Perret Dufour was a member of the Indiana legislature; served as postmaster and justice of the peace here; and was also a successful businessman.

He is also responsible for recording the early history of this county so that you and I have a better idea about how this county got started. He wrote, “The Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County, Indiana” which was published by the Indiana Historical Commission in 1925; and still stands today as a standard for the history of this place we all call home.

Perhaps his birthday could be incorporated into our festival in some way in the coming year.

– Above all, I believe that the coming year will continue to see all of us living in this wonderful and beautiful place that we all should appreciate more.

For all of its faults, Switzerland County is a place like no other, and should I still be sitting here writing this column on December 27th, 2007, I will consider it a privilege to still be a part of this community.

Happy New Year.