The new year should be an interesting one

By the time you have settled in to start reading this, the new year will have arrived.

Like every year, 2020 will bring with it a sense of hope, a feeling that the future ahead of us is at least a little brighter than the past that is behind us.

There should be good things in the year ahead. We can expect to see growth in local business on both side of the Ohio River. Expect retail to keep expanding, especially in the area along Three Springs Drive in Weirton. Look for the addition of other new businesses, including the opening of new Dunkin’ locations along Sunset Boulevard in Steubenville and at the corner of Main Street and state Route 43 in Wintersville.

All of that development offers a reminder that our region’s economy continues to shift away from its steel heritage.

Oil and gas will continue to play important roles. Work will continue on the Shell cracker plant in Monaca, for example. And, while there has been plenty of activity in Dilles Bottom, we will continue to wait on official word that the long-talked-about cracker plant there is ready to be officially announced.

Work will continue on the new bridge that will link Brilliant and Wellsburg. In addition to providing a much-needed additional river crossing, the structure figures to lead to increased economic activity in southern Jefferson County on the Ohio side and southern Brooke County on the West Virginia side.

While growth in our region will continue, two organizations that are among the driving forces in our region, the Jefferson County Port Authority and the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, each will continue to search for an executive director.

The coming year also will be a big one for local politics, with several new faces taking over seats on area councils and other newcomers figuring to win countywide seats in the coming months.

We will be the first the tell you that our crystal ball has been, well, a little dysfunctional in the past, which means we will not be making any firm predictions about what you can expect. That said, we can safely say there will be twists and turns along the way that residents of the Tri-State Area will be talking about for years to come.

Everything points to 2020 as being an interesting year.

We hope it’s a good one for all of us.


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