Sikeston's new Public Safety Department building has been slowly rising as a new and very welcome addition to the downtown skyline in our community. And in a week or so, the new complex will be the home to the Public Safety Department.
Despite some early grumbling about costs for the new facility, the end result is a major addition to our community and joins the relatively new Board of Municipal Utilities building and the Sikeston Housing Authority building in our downtown area.
All of those involved in the planning, funding and construction of the new Public Safety building should be commended. Not only will it help upgrade and expand our policing capabilities but it will also serve as a sign of a city on the move.
This week - next week at the latest - hopefully the building on Kingshighway that houses a radio station will come tumbling down to make room for the entrance into the new Public Safety complex. Don't ask me why this building has remained thus far since its removal was part of the overall plan.
But regardless of the delays and negotiations and plans 1, 2, 3 and more, the older building will soon make way for the completion of the Public Safety complex. That day cannot come soon enough.
Progress in any community is measured in a variety of ways. Much of our progress is measured in public buildings but there's also progress in the private construction with the recent expansions and new arrivals in the city's Business, Education and Technology Park.
We still have too much crime and too much poverty and too many non-productive citizens. But despite these ongoing concerns, we're still making progress.
I have always touted the advantage of improvements such as this because of the benefit and impression on visitors and potential newcomers.
But actually, these improvements are for the citizens of this community who have worked hard and provided much of the tax revenue to finance these improvements.
So Sikeston residents, pat yourselves on the back. You may not have lifted a finger to make these improvements a reality but you helped to finance and support these improvements. And long after most of us are gone, these improvements will remain as a sign of progress in our proud community.
On an unrelated but equally important story, Tom Austin and Firebase Sikeston have issued a challenge to anyone in the Sikeston area on a fundraising project. Firebase Sikeston, a dynamic and hard-working group of military veterans, is raising money to provide an asphalt walking track around the northern end of the YMCA property in Sikeston.
The track will be used for the annual Relay for Life but at all other times will be available to the community.
I can think of few more worthwhile projects for our community.
To donate, send your gift to Firebase Sikeston, 7 Woodhaven, Sikeston, MO 63801.
As I mentioned earlier, progress and improvements are measured in many ways. One of those ways is just how a community responds to a good project that will benefit everyone.
This is just another example.