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I’m beginning to think I’m writing some of the same stories year after year. I guess I am.
On Monday night, for the sixth time in as many years, I sat in county commissioners chambers as Brunswick County Manager Marty Lawing unveiled the county’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Has it really been six years?
Six years. Where has the time gone?
Seriously, where did it go?
I’m not sure where the time went, but I do know that the times have changed.
Of course, some of the faces on the county commission have changed as well. Even the building where they meet has changed.
But more than anything, the economy has changed.
My first front-page Beacon story was the May 2006 budget presentation. It was my first day on the job, and it was pretty much my first real news (i.e. non-sports) story published.
Think back to May 2006. Times were good in Brunswick County—really, really good, especially if you were fortunate to own property on any of our wonderful island beach towns.
Island homes and lots and most others elsewhere were selling left and right, and then left again! Remember when people actually flipped homes? For a profit? The Beacon benefited from the bustling real estate market as well.
All in all, life was really good around these parts in 2006.
I don’t need to remind anyone what happened during the next few years.
The past few years have been incredibly difficult for some to downright unbearable for others.
I think things are starting to look up. I don’t doubt there are people who are still hurting very much, and this certainly isn’t meant to make light of anyone’s struggles.
But as a whole, here in Brunswick County, I truly believe things are looking up.
The budget Lawing presented to commissioners reflects that. Perhaps it should have been a little tighter to lessen the tax burden, but that’s for another story or column. All in all, I think the budget is pretty good news for Brunswick Countians.
I often get accused of never writing “good news.”
Considering my coverage areas include crime and politics (which, at times, are one and the same) there’s little time for “good news,” but alas, I have some “good news” this week.
Homes are selling in Brunswick County. We’re not back to pre-recession sales. We might never be. But homes are definitely selling.
According to the Brunswick County Association of Realtors, Brunswick County Realtors closed on 598 total sales for both condominiums and single-family residences for total sales of $129.7 million in 2012.
Land sales for Brunswick County total $17 million for 300 total sales so far in 2012.
That’s good news.
I hope I continue to have good news, not just about the real estate market, but in employment gains and overall economic growth.
Until then, just consider it “good news” if you’re not in one of my stories. Trust me.
Caroline Curran is a staff writer and columnist at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @cgcurran.