A good year should be followed by another one in the Stateline Area.

THERE WAS A TIME, not all that long ago, when folks around these parts looked ahead to the next new year with trepidation.

From economic doldrums as plants and shops closed to high crime rates and population loss the Greater Beloit community had reason to wonder if its best years had come and gone.

No one would argue that paradise has arrived and there are no more problems to be solved or worries to address.

But one would have to be willfully blind and deaf not to see the Stateline Area has turned a corner and now moves toward a future that is much brighter with ample reasons for optimism and hope.

THE PAST YEAR has seen considerable successes and progress. Here are a few:

• The City of Beloit and the Town of Beloit found common ground and ways to work together, setting aside the divisive plan for incorporation.

• A million-square-foot development to house an Amazon fulfillment site is under construction in the Gateway Business Park.

• A plan to build a riverfront baseball stadium for the Beloit Snappers is in the works.

• Proposals to construct dozens of new housing units downtown have been announced.

• The Beloit College Powerhouse project is nearing completion.

• Widening and improving the interstate highway corridor promises to improve transportation and open development sites.

• Beloit has become a regional dining destination drawing customers from a wide area, with even more choices on the horizon.

THE LIST COULD go on, but readers get the picture. As the calendar turns to 2020 there are reasons to be excited.

Obviously, there are challenges. The School District of Beloit is a priority for improving performance. There has been an uptick in street violence in recent months. Creating more housing choices is an important goal.

Overall, though, promise abounds. The economy is strong. Unemployment is low. Growth is abundant. Lives are being improved as opportunities expand.

The psychology of prosperity is an important factor. When people are fearful and resigned to bad things happening, it's likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Likewise, when people are optimistic and eager to go forward that, too, lights the way ahead.

All too often, people look back years later with nostalgia for the good times, and may miss them altogether as they are lived through.

These are the good times. First, enjoy. And then, get busy keeping it going.