Apart from some issues with unemployment and the harvest season, 2009 went pretty smoothly, one area official said.
"I think it was a pretty good year," said Gayville Town Board member Mike Petersen. "There were a few people unemployed in town, and I suppose there probably still are some that have jobs. I was one of them that was unemployed for a while, but (I) found a different job."
Apart from the economy, 2009 wasn't much different from 2008, Petersen said.
"I think the farming economy has been pretty good as far as that goes, because of the good crops, and the prices were up," he said. "I don't think the economy has really affected the area terribly, other than the people being unemployed."
However, there were problems with the fall harvest, thanks in part to some late October rains.
Jay Cutts, manager of the Farmers Elevator Co. of Mission Hill, had said the elevator's customers had only 20 percent of their beans out by Oct. 26. Usually, the beans would have started coming in around the first week of the month.
"We're a small elevator, so I suppose we have 30 to 35 customers. As far as beans, we've probably seen five (customers)," Cutts had said in October.
Some of the crops were still too wet even after October, which forced some farmers to wait much later than usual to bring them in.
"I think actually most of it did get taken care of. There might be some crops left out there, but there isn't a lot. There was still combining corn (two weeks ago), which is quite unusual, but they got most of it in," Petersen said.
There were some positive changes in 2009, as well.
One was the Volin-Gayville Horizons Community Development Project. Horizons focuses on community leadership to reduce poverty, and is funded with grants from the Northwest Area Foundation.
One of the projects established under the Horizons banner was the Volin-Gayville Food Pantry. The pantry is mobile, meaning the food is stored at a certain location and then taken out once or twice a month to be distributed in both communities.
The pantry was established in November and is fully stocked thanks to food drives held by area schools, churches and organizations. More than $600 has been raised, all of which will go toward the purchase of more food.
The Horizons Project is still looking for volunteers to develop items such as a phone directory and calling trees, as well as the community garden. The communities are also looking toward the future. For Gayville, 2010 may also see the completion of a city project: The replacement of a water main located on Main Street.
"We've been working on it for a couple of years," Petersen said. "You have to get on the state water plan, and apply for grants and loans and whatever, so it takes a little while. It's not an emergency situation, so we have the time to do it."
Petersen said he hopes the water main project will be finished next year. "It just depends on how the funding and stuff goes, but we are hoping to be able to get something done on it next year," he said.
Overall, 2010 looks promising, Petersen said.
"I think it'll be all right," he said. "I don't think it'll be much different from this year, unless something major comes up that we're not aware of. You just kind of handle it as you go along, I guess."