HALLSVILLE — The city of Hallsville is growing. By every measure — the school district, new businesses and home development — Harrison County’s most western city is in the midst of a growth spurt, Hallsville Mayor Jesse Casey said Thursday.

Casey spoke to business leaders, community members and elected officials at Gold Hall Community Center in Hallsville during the Hallsville Chamber of Commerce’s second annual State of the City address.

“We’re exploding,” Casey told the group. “We’re one of the lowest tax rates, within the bottom five to 10 cities in the state, and yet we’re progressing while keeping the tax rates low. That’s something to be proud of.”

Casey said the Hallsville City Council recently voted to lower the tax rate for the second straight year, in part because of new homes being built in the city and added to the tax role and because of an increase in appraisal values.

Casey listed growing neighborhoods and subdivisions such as Tealwood, Germantown and Saddlebrook, where new construction is underway.

Casey also discussed the purpose of the city’s Strategic Planning Committee, which consists of about 35 Hallsville business owners and residents who meet periodically to make plans on key issues that affect the community.

“We wanted a Strategic Planning Committee so we could work on the major things that will affect our city down the road,” Casey said. “That committee has six subcommittees, including streets, economic development, water and waste water, culture and heritage, quality of life and city ordinances.”

Casey said anyone interested in serving on the Strategic Planning Committee may contact Hallsville City Hall.

“We also had a Senior Day at City Hall, where Hallsville High School seniors came to shadow city administrators for the day,” Casey said. “They also sat down and created a mission/vision statement for the city, and we used some of their ideas in the city’s final mission statement.”

Casey discussed the progress made at Hallsville City Park.

“When we were here last year, we talked about how much we wanted that park grant. Well, we got it,” he said.

The 50/50 matching park grant from Texas Parks & Wildlife will allow more than $150,000 for park upgrades at Hallsville City Park, including new playground equipment, park pavilions with solar-powered lighting and a new drainage system.

Casey also reminded the audience of Hallsville Western Days on Oct. 4-6 and the Sesquicentennial Celebration marking Hallsville’s 150th anniversary Oct. 25-27.