Wishes for Monticello in the new year

Express Editorial

When searching the Monticello Express archives online recently, I came across a guest column written by a former Monticello Chamber director, Carolyn Seeley. The column, which appeared in the Jan. 4, 1995 Express, shared several New Year’s wishes for the City of Monticello. Many ring true today. 

Seeley mentioned the need for more mobile homes and manufactured homes. In general, I think Monticello needs to have affordable, decent housing options for people of all ages, not just the senior population. 

We have several contractors who have built condo units in the community. Having a variety of housing options is also a way to attract people to Monticello. 

New/expanded recreation facilities. Monticello Parks and Rec does a great job of offering various sporting options for people to take part in. They also created the pickle ball court, now offering indoor and outdoor pickle ball games throughout the year. 

Monticello is also home to the start of a great walking trail at the Baty Disc Golf Course, which is also another recreation option. 

In Seeley’s column, she stated: “There should always be something to do in Monticello.” I agree! 

She mentions transportation improvements. Jones County JETS did build a brand new facility in Monticello. We also have the Jones County Volunteer Center’s transportation program. Not sure Monticello is in need of public transit, though. 

Improved school facilities. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of many strong-willed and determined community members, Monticello is getting a new middle school. If you read Pete Temple’s school board article in last week’s Express, you know it’s expected to open in July 2020, just before the new school year in August. 

“Cosmetics for the downtown area.” Following the downtown assessment in late October and early November, there is a grassroots effort to spruce up Monticello’s downtown district. Again, if we want to attract people and businesses to our city, we need to showcase what we have. As Seeley stated, “What’s needed is the lipstick and powder that make the area more attractive to local citizens and out-of-town visitors.” 

Economic growth, Seeley explained, comes from many sources such as the city and economic development. But economic growth can also be related to downtown revitalization. It all comes full circle. 

“Loyalty to our community,” said Seeley. Yes! How many of you “shop local?” How many of you even know what’s inside our local shops and businesses? Maybe that one thing you leave town to purchase could be found right here in Monticello. 

Loyalty to the community also means taking an active role in what Monticello has to offer. Attend city council meetings; know what decisions your local government is making. Attend community events. The Win-Monticello group has been busy creating events such as Monti Days and the Christmas Tree Walk to bring the community together. The chamber hosts uptown evenings in the pocket park with live music. There are plenty of opportunities; you just need to take advantage of them. “We all need to put Monticello and Monticello events first if our town is to grow,” stated Seeley. 

While these ideas are 25 years old, they are still quite relevant. As we approach a new year, 2020, a new decade, be open minded about what the future of Monticello holds. Anything is possible… (K.N.B.)


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