Column: Changes signal better times to come

May. 03, 2013 @ 05:08 PM

“The times they are a-changin’.”

The 1960s Bob Dylan lyrics may be just as appropriate today for Caldwell County as they were when Dylan wrote them about the ‘60s youth movement.

Just look at what has been announced during the past week or so, and it’s easy to see that in most cases Caldwell County has had many changes that position the county well for the future.

*Wednesday’s announcement that Caldwell Memorial Hospital is now part of the UNC Health Care System is all good. In this changing medical climate it protects Caldwell County medical care, provides an influx of cash over the next five years for capital improvements, opens the door to potential research projects and trials, and aligns CMH with one of the premier medical systems not only in North Carolina but in the country.

*On Tuesday Greer Laboratories’ parent company, Albion Medical Holdings Inc., was purchased by Ares Life Sciences. And according to Greer Laboratories president and CEO John Roby this move should provide more opportunities and the ability to develop new products.

*Let’s not forget CMH’s groundbreaking for a new facility in downtown Lenoir, which will go along way toward adding services, substantially upgrading a site on Harper Avenue and benefitting downtown Lenoir businesses.

*The former Broyhill Furniture headquarters building is also under contract to be sold to Exela Pharma Sciences, a state-of-the-art company that will soon call one of the county’s landmark buildings home.

*And let’s not forget the announcement of a $600 million expansion at Google. This major capital investment will help Lenoir and the county with additional tax revenue and give the Economic Development Commission one more development to tout when making a pitch to other businesses.

Unfortunately we did have of one piece of bad news as the FDIC stepped in at Parkway Bank. We feel bad for the investors, board and leadership of Parkway Bank who tried to make this work in Caldwell County during the most difficult economic times in nearly 100 years.

Fortunately most of the news was extremely positive. Some buildings will have new tenants, while others will be newly constructed. Hundreds of millions of dollars from national companies will be invested in our county. Eventually there will be some new jobs for current and future residents.

The times are changing, and that’s good news for Caldwell County!