By Mayor Pam Young
Happy New Year to everyone! 2019 offers us a “clean slate,” where we can anticipate new ways to improve our quality of life, and to realize, at least in part, our potential as a city, and as a destination, rather than a stopping place on the interstate .
To attempt to accomplish this, we are looking forward to seeing the following possibilities becoming a reality:
1) The completion of our new water tank. This undertaking has been on our «to do» list for over a year, probably closer to 18 months. While this may seem like a mundane accomplishment to some, it is imperative to our being able to provide a reliable, constant source of water to our community. The old tank has been a «thorn in the side» of City Workers and officials alike. Now the new tank is almost finished, and will hopefully be operational within the next month.
2) In an attempt to bring something new and original to Van Horn as a never before seen recreational activity offered to us, we are working on having the First Annual Winter Festival in conjunction with the County Stock Show and 4-H Club, on January 18-20. We plan to have an ice rink available for skating, and we’re hoping vendors will set up around the rink with food and drinks for the skaters and their families. If you’re interested in having a booth, contact City Hall.
3) We haven›t given up on the Water Park, we’re just having difficulty finding an architect to design what we are thinking about. Renovation on the swimming pool will begin as soon as possible so that we can have a pool available this summer, even if the Park isn’t finished yet.
4) We are also looking at partnering with Blue Origin as they plan to start sending paying customers to the edge of space from their Van Horn site within the year. These projects could also benefit future employers who come to our city. As a beginning, we’re thinking about the need for multiple unit housing possibilities, and how to attract real estate investors and developers. Also on the drawing board is what will become a career pipeline which will provide future local employees for both Blue Origin, as well as equipping and preparing our students for region technical schools and universities, possibly bringing them back home to work when they have finished their training/education. The third area of possible cooperation could be one aimed at tourism and business. With the possibility of flying tourists into space in the next year, there is the prospect of an influx of astronaut tourists who will be flying into space, their extended families, and interested spectators. These folks will need places to stay, eat, and the opportunity for Van Horn to reap the benefits is real. We need to be preparing for this so that we will be ready when the time comes.
So, as you can see, there is much to anticipate as we begin this new year. We are looking at potential growth to our community, as well as economic and business opportunities we’ve only dreamed of in the past, and the chance to really exhibit the essence and special character that makes Van Horn unique is ours for the taking. Let’s go boldly into 2019!