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Group aims to beautify Hallsville

By Sherry Koonce
Nov. 28, 2012 at 11 p.m.

HALLSVILLE - "Spruce up." That's a phrase bantered about in Hallsville these days among a group of citizens tapped to spearhead a campaign to beautify the community.

"We like the word 'spruce.' We use it a lot," said Laura Welch, city secretary.

Welch is city liaison and secretary for the newly formed City of Hallsville Beautification and Development Committee.

The 12-member group first met in September and has since identified several projects they believe are key to enhancing the city's appearance.

They also have given the beautification campaign a name: "Hallsville Lookin' Good."

Committee members have short-term and long-term goals designed to promote community pride and support by encouraging citizens to work together. At the same time, the group hopes to encourage trade at area businesses and is seeking to attract new businesses to what has traditionally been a bedroom community along U.S. 80 between Longview and Marshall.

Heading the list of projects is an enhancement of the city entrances on each end of U.S. 80.

The brown and green wooden signs could use a new coat of paint, Welch said.

The group also would like to see improvements made to the city park, including additional lighting in dark areas along the walking path; gazebo upgrades; additional equipment and a system implemented for residents to rent the park pavilion.

To fund city improvements, the committee has planned fundraising events. The first was a booth at the city's annual Western Days festival, and now they have enlisted the aid of Santa Claus.

On Thursday and Friday, Santa will make an appearance at City Hall, 115 W. Main. Children can have their photo made with Jolly Ole' St. Nick for a $5 donation.

Hot chocolate, cider and cookies will be served.

The committee is selling plastic tumblers, T-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with the "Hallsville Lookin Good" logo.

All proceeds go toward beautification projects.

"We want people to know who we are, and that any money raised will go toward the city projects," said Sharon Davis, committee member. "So far, it seems like people are very receptive to what we are trying to do."

Since organizing, Welch said the committee has been on task, but needs volunteers from the community to help implement some of the projects.

The committee plans to host a clean-up day, when Hallsville residents roll up their sleeves and work to clean the community.

Other projects on the committee's wish list include:

<ul> <li>New city Christmas decorations</li> <li>Encourage business owners to decorate with lights</li> <li>Sponsor a barbecue cook-off</li> <li>Main Street improvements</li> <li>Maintain and update storefronts</li> <li>Reduce litter, including signs not taken down after events such as garage sales</li> <li>Mow ditches along major roads</li> <li>Entice citizens to create curb appeal in residential areas</li> </ul>



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