Sometimes it is easy to predict what stories will be important to watch in the coming year. Sometimes it is not. In 2014 there will be surprises. The future of the site of the former Washington Elementary is still unknown, and even though the site of the former Franklin School will become a park and the former First Financial Bank building at Washington and Main will become Van Wert Municipal Court, all three sites will look vastly different and have different uses.

In Delphos, the efforts to bring in another employer will continue. Jobs are especially needed as services in that city have already been cut. Fortunately there are a few good indicators like the announced expansion at Unverferth Manufacturing Company.

In Van Wert, officials are still awaiting the final certification for the 1,600-acre Super Site which should happen in the first couple of months. From there, marketing efforts will only get stronger to put a large manufacturing plant into that acreage.

The area will also be impacted by what happens in Columbus, most notably the efforts to pass a new energy package which could further open the area to wind companies or limit the potential growth of the wind industry. What will happen is anyone’s guess, but the outcome could greatly impact the landscape locally.

But the economic development situation in Van Wert County could end up being the top story to watch, especially if the sides do not cooperate. With the current economic climate in the country, Van Wert County cannot afford to miss out on any potential employers due to confusion from an in-county conflict.