Ups and downs mark first 10 years of 2000s
In January, 2000, Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations officials had just announced they had locked up a much-needed lignite fuel source. Reserves in Bastrop and Lee counties would fuel Sandow generating facilities, and the Alcoa smelter, for the next 30 years.
Ten years later Alcoa’s Rockdale smelter is closed.
In Januar y, 2000, R ichards Memorial Hospital officials did not know if their facility would be open another 10 weeks, let alone 10 years. Financial problems, including government reimbursement for Medicare patients, had plagued RMH for 10 years.
Ten years later the Rockdale health care community is thriving under the auspices of Blackhawk Healthcare, an Austin-based owner/ operator of rural hospitals.
Rockdale is now on the verge of getting a new hospital.
Ups and downs
That’s the way this tumultuous decade has gone, the unexpected followed by the unanticipated.
By the very nature of news, much of it has been bad.
Rockdale has grieved over 9/11 terrorism and a landmark downtown fire, been shocked when a woman near a neighboring town was mauled to death by a pack of viscious dogs.
It’s estimated 1,500 of them spent the night in Rockdale.
Rockdale residents have taken pride in new school buildings, and seen a new economic base take hold with the completion of the Sandow 5 power plant.
The decade has certainly seen its ups and downs. A few of the major ones begin on page 4A.