OPINION

Good Morning: A look at 2022, from a reporter's point of view

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

2021 is quickly coming to a close and it is time to look forward to what is ahead of us in the coming year. While 2021 saw a lot go on, 2022 is shaping up to be just as impactful. 

With no hesitation, I can confidently say that 2022 will the year of Texas Instruments for Sherman, if not most of the region. The tech manufacturer announced in late 2021 that Sherman will be the future site of a new manufacturing facility valued at $29.4 billion at full build out. The first phase, which represents more than $6 billion in investment, is expected to start construction some time in 2022.

More:Clearing 4 hurdles: Breakdown of region's TI incentive packages

However, I think 2022 will be less about the Texas Instruments site itself and more about the tertiary things that come with it. That is where I see development focusing in 2022.

The old adage says that retail following rooftops, but I believe that to some degree those rooftops follow jobs. With more than 3,000 new jobs projected, these new workers are going to need homes, so I fully expect that housing growth will continue to escalate in 2022.

With that, I wouldn't be surprised to see some retail and commercial developments come along as well in the new year to also take advantage of this. I think we are already seeing the beginning of that with a proposed new mixed-use development just across the highway from TI.

The TI project also highlights what I expect to be another priority for both cities in 2022: infrastructure projects. Water and sewer infrastructure is likely to be a major focus amid both growth and exposed weaknesses in 2021.

Sherman City leaders have previously said that Texas Instruments will bring with it an increased demand for both water and sewer infrastructure with the tech giant poised to be the biggest water customer in the city.

Beyond that, however, the past year exposed significant issues with the water systems for both cities and I expect both cities to invest significantly in this in the coming year. The winter storms and the electrical outages that followed them showed both cities that they need to invest in back up power generation for these sites.

While both cities likely hope that the storms were a fluke and a once in lifetime event, neither wants to end up on the losing end of that bet. and I expect both cities to expedite this as much as they can.

For Denison, I expect next year to be focused on its 150th anniversary and the celebrations that follow it. The city has announced plans to have events each month themed around the anniversary, so I fully expect it to be in the news many times over the course of the next 12 months.

Another story I wouldn't be surprised if I follow in 2022 is the ongoing efforts to remediate and clean up the former Johns Manville site on the north side of town. The efforts to revitalize that site have been going on for nearly 20 years, and I wouldn't be surprised if next year is the year that earth begins to move on that, figuratively and literally.