GUEST COLUMNIST: U.S. 90 connector will help fuel prosperity

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 at 06:09 PM.

Further, if the mid-county /I-10 corridor can continue to grow, it will have a strong positive effect on the entire region. The Panhandle counties as a whole have experienced some tough times, but if we bind together as a team, we have an opportunity to defy the odds and create hundreds of high-quality jobs close to home.

Fundamentals for this cheery outlook are in place. The crown jewel of the “new growth” for Okaloosa is the centrally and strategically located Bob Sikes Airport. It is a rare commodity, located as it is in a bona fide industrial park. This has great inherent value for the region’s economy over the next couple of decades.

I’ve been around long enough to see a number of economic downturns, and I have noticed that there seems to be two types of responses from communities.

One is “Woe is me” and the other is “I’ll bet we can!”

Wringing hands and wailing loudly for help tends to produce, well, chapped hands and a sore throat. However, taking a positive attitude, assessing the opportunities rationally, and putting a thoughtful plan into action usually leads to good results.

All four local chambers of commerce, your county, your cities and your friends and neighbors have a history of making the best darn lemonade out of the worst lemons. This is our time to shine once again.

Chamber leaders, in sync with county and city agencies, have been looking ahead and putting economic fuel into the vehicles that will get us where we need to go. One of those items is the long-overdue connector highway from U.S. Highway 90 to the Bob Sikes Airport. This project finally has gained some attention in the mid-county and south county areas.

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