'Cobden's brightest days are ahead of us' Town hall meeting held

Cobden's first "state of the village" town hall meeting offered participants an opportunity to reflect on the successes of the past year – and look forward to continued achievements in 2010 and beyond.

The meeting, attended by nearly 50 people, took place Monday night, Jan. 11, at the C-Infinity Event Center in Cobden.

The meeting was hosted by the Cobden Community & Business Association, CCBA.

When visitors arrived, they could see informational and picture posters which were displayed to highlight both recent events in the Union County village and plans for 2010.

Alan Eddington of Cobden worked to organize Monday's meeting. Eddington is a member of both CCBA and the Cobden Village Board of Trustees.

CCBA members, members of Cobden village government, local business women and men and community members were among those who attended Monday's meeting.

Eddington said he hopes the state of the village town hall meeting will become an annual event.

"Things are happening here in Cobden," Eddington said. He noted that many people, including those at Monday's meeting, have shown a "spirit and willingness" to donate their time and energy to a wide range of events which are taking place in the community.

Eddington particularly noted the debut of a community Christmas celebration held in early December 2010.

"It was just a wonderful, beautiful, happy occasion," Eddington said of the event.

The Christmas celebration is scheduled to continue in 2010. This year's event is scheduled for Dec. 4.

After opening comments, representatives of local government, businesses and others shared their thoughts about the success Cobden experienced in 2009 and what they see as continued growth and development in a new year.

Cobden village clerk Karen Winzenburger read a statement prepared by Molly Beckley. Beckley is mayor of Cobden. She could not be present due to family matters.

Beckley said Cobden is experiencing an "exciting time" and can look forward to continued prosperity.

Village superintendent Larry Nance praised those who live and work in Cobden and noted the "fantastic events" which took place in Cobden during 2009.

Pat Brumleve spoke on behalf of the Union County Museum, which is located in downtown Cobden. (Brumleve also is a member of the village's board of trustees.)

"We have been very proud of being in Cobden," Brumleve said. He noted that the museum will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2011. The museum, which opened in 1961, is operated by the Union County Historical Society.

Brumleve said plans are continuing to develop a resource room at the museum. The resource room will be home to documents and information of value to those interested in genealogy.

Brumleve also noted that Cobden is planning to revive a Backyard Barbeque event this summer.

Village trustee David Stewart shared plans for work to update the park in downtown Cobden.

Stewart said it is hoped that trees and shrubs can be planted to provide more shade at the park. More playground equipment is planned, and a bandstand may be created. Stewart invited those present to join in helping to improve the park.

Brad Genung, owner of Owl Creek Vineyard, which is located near Cobden, noted the continued growth and economic importance of the wine industry to the community.

Owl Creek Vineyard is one of a dozen wineries on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail. Cobden sits in the heart of the trail, which Genung described as the "most important economic engine" in the region. He said the wine trail attracted nearly 120,000 visitors in 2009.

"Cobden is in a fantastic position to benefit from the wine industry," he said.

In 2009, Cobden hosted the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail Festival. The village is scheduled to host the festival again this September.

"Cobden's brightest days are ahead of us," Genung said.

Alan Eddington closed Monday night's meeting by looking ahead.

"Hopefully, we've just begun a conversation. We want this conversation to continue," he said.

As people left Monday's meeting, they could look forward to more than a dozen special events which are on the 2010 calendar in Cobden, including:

March 6, Union County Museum reopens. April through October, Cobden People's Market. April 17, Pieces of the PAST, C-Infinity Event Center. April 17, River to River Relay.

May 1, spring community yard sale. May 1, Millis consignment auction. June 5, Cobden Backyard Barbeque. Aug. 6-7, Cobden Peach Festival. Aug. 7, Cobden Peach Festival parade.

Sept. 4-5, Shawnee Hills Wine Trail Festival. Oct. 2, car show, fall festival, yard sale. Oct. 9, Union County ColorFest. Oct. 9, Millis consignment auction.

Nov. 20, Union County Museum Christmas Bazaar begins. Dec. 4, Christmas in Cobden.


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