Officials in St. Clair County have taken the challenge of providing more than just the basic services for their citizens, and for that we can only applaud them.

Around the area, virtually every city is making an effort to upgrade its recreational facilities for its citizens. Leeds is in the process of building a splash pad, something they have patterned after the success of similar facilities in Ragland and Springville. In Moody, the city council is preparing plans for a new civic center on U.S. 411, which will include a splash pad, a gymnasium and meeting rooms.

Virtually every municipality is exploring options for new or improved library facilities that will serve the children of the area for more than just books. St. Clair County has been part of the act, as well, evidenced by the improvements ongoing at the St. Clair County Arena on Blair Farm Road, as well as the improvements taking place at Canoe Creek Park.

These are all welcome developments, and they are evidence that our local finances are strong enough to allow officials to make considerations for more than the basics. They are also evidence of growth, and a population base that wants to keep its tax dollars and its recreation activities at home whenever it is possible.

Just one more reason to feel hopeful about the future around here these days.