2010 Predictions: Thorsby

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bridge replacement, water upgrades and sewer improvements are among the projects Thorsby officials will be looking at in 2010.

Mayor Dearl Hilyer hopes the town can secure grant monies toward replacing the bridge on West Medical Center Drive. Meanwhile, a potential site for a new elementary school has been chosen on County Road 37.

Growth in the town — which is expected to upgrade from a town to a city after the 2010 Census count — is also pushing the demand for a second water tank and greater sewer capacity.

“Thorsby is like all municipalities operating in a lean and mean atmosphere right now,” Hilyer said. “We are taking care of what we’ve got without incurring any more debt to keep us in a good position for growth as it moves this way.”

A long-term goal for Thorsby is maintaining its atmosphere of being a good place to live and raise a family. But as more households pop up, the town will need new businesses and light industry to support that growth. This will require a strategic plan for bringing in retail, Hilyer said.

The result of a wet/dry vote in June could affect how the community operates and is viewed by prospective residents and businesses.

“Our citizens will have a chance to vote their opinion, and I hope they gather all the facts so that they can make a wise decision before casting their vote,” Hilyer said.

Railroad safety has long been a major concern in Thorsby. In 2010, leaders will continue to pursue safety gates on all railroad crossings.

Other goals are to secure grants for police car cameras, install new gateway signs near town limits, and upgrade lighting at Richard Wood Park.