It's finally here, the new year.
There are plenty of reasons to put 2020 in the rearview mirror, namely the coronavirus pandemic.
While the pandemic is still ongoing, there is hope on the horizon with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In Washington County, there is much to be optimistic about in 2021. These are just the few good things that are expected to happen this year:
• Dollar General distribution center construction begins. Construction on the new $85 million combination dry and DG Fresh distribution center will get under way. The 800,000-square-foot facility is expected to create approximately 400 new jobs and add an estimated $106.1 million to the local economy each year, $53.5 million of which will be specific to Washington County. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2022.
• Holiday Inn Express to be built. Construction for a new hotel and convention center in Blair could break ground as soon as March or April. The hotel, which will be built in two phases, will be located at the northeast corner of the intersection of South 20th Street and Kellie Drive, directly east of South Highway 30, near Walmart.
• Work on the long-awaited bypass begins. In 2020, the City of Blair received a $7.56 million BUILD grant for the Blair South Bypass project. In 2021, the project is expected to move forward with right-of-way acquisition and a possible dirt work contract. It's just another step to getting the high volume of truck traffic off of Washington Street.
• Press box completed and potential for improvements at Krantz Field. The renovated press box at Krantz Field will be completed and used for the first time this spring. The Blair Community Schools Board of Education could also move forward with improvements, including a new facility for concessions, restrooms, storage and a ticket booth.
• More new housing in Blair. Two new subdivisions will be developed this year — Deerfield Landing, located near the current Deerfield subdivision and Southern Hills, located on the southwest edge of the city. More houses also will be built in the Transformation Hill subdivision on the former Dana College campus.
There are a plethora of other things that could come forward in 2021 so let's have a positive outlook as the new year begins.