Exciting opportunities require patience, cooperation

The news that Linn County is taking steps to do something with the property it foreclosed from Western States Land Reliance Trust (page 1) is very exciting.

The good news is that these plans aren’t happening in a vacuum. A lot of little things have already taken place in recent years that lay a foundation for what could happen out by the river. Our downtown looks better than it did last year and a lot better than it did five years ago. More businesses are operating and many are doing relatively well, given the economy we live in. People are figuring out how to do better business here.

The results are that businesses say their tourist traffic is up, increasing numbers of motorcyclists and other tourists are discovering the wonders of Highway 20 and Quartzville, and efforts to promote what we have to offer appear to be working.

A lot of this is due to the county’s development of camping in the area and that’s why we’re excited about these plans.

Bringing visitors to experience the outdoor and natural resources we have to offer is a personal crusade for many of our county parks and recreation folks.

It’s more than just a paycheck, and that’s why we can be optimistic that something positive will come of this. Look no further than River Bend Campground or Clear Lake Resort to see what’s possible when public officials are canny.

Sweet Home is still a timber town, but this opens up vastly different and new possibilities.

The proposed event site is just the beginning. There’s a lot more land that has been sitting idle for years that has great potential. We need innovative and wise heads to get together and come up with ambitious but realistic uses for those acres. Government officials at all levels will have to work together to make this happen, but they’re already doing so in other venues – Cool Soda, the land east of Cascadia State Park – and the experience they’re getting from that could be very helpful in the projects that could arise from this opportunity.

Cooperation and vision will be key, but they are in any great endeavor. So is patience.

This will also take some adjustment and local residents are going to have to put up with occasional inconvenience.

There will be work involved here, but there is a payoff, and that’s what Sweet Home needs.