With work set to begin in the coming months on the final portion of the Fall Line Freeway, next week’s Eggs & Issues breakfast presents a key opportunity to focus on Baldwin County’s economic development future. Baldwin County has a lot at stake with regards to the Fall Line Freeway, potential fertile ground for new industry and economic development for the Central Georgia region. In the year’s to come, the Fall Line Freeway will play a significant role in shaping the economic development future for not only Baldwin County but Wilkinson and other surrounding communities as well. The $58.3 million contract for construction of the route’s final nine-mile section between state Route 24 and U.S. Highway 441 south of Milledgeville in Baldwin and Wilkinson counties was awarded last week. The roadway is a potential hub for manufacturers and increased traffic for state commerce. Work is scheduled to be completed in 2015 — a short time away when charting Baldwin County’s future. The Fall Line Freeway will likely be one of the topics discussed at next week’s breakfast when Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority Executive Matt Poyner presents an overview of the past six months in local industry and economic development progress and relay details on the future. This is an opportunity for local residents and business leaders to hear firsthand at the same time insight on Baldwin County’s future. It’s an open venue to ask questions about what is to come and find out details on what lies ahead long-term. As Dr. Ed Poppell, former vice president for Business Affairs and Economic Development for the University of Florida told a group of locals Tuesday morning with regards to economic development, “ownership comes from participation.” That participation is most effective when it utilizes a singular, unified voice. This is the third in a series of Eggs & Issues sessions held in the past several months. The first two sessions focused on education and health care. Each topic in this series provides a glimpse at how all the pieces — education, economic development, health care — fit together in enhancing Baldwin County’s overall quality of life and how these elements improve the local community’s standing as we work to attract new jobs and industry. Each Eggs & Issues session is valuable to local residents, no matter age or occupation, because everyone has a stake in Baldwin County’s course. It’s a new year, creating a new opportunity for all of us to place a renewed sense of focus on Baldwin County’s future. Next week’s breakfast presents one such opportunity — a chance to walk into 2013 with the future of Baldwin County as the primary focus.