For more than a year, the city of Vernon has been known for major budget cuts, job slashing and financial failings. But one group in town is trying to turn that negativity into productivity.
The Vernon Pride Committee is hoping beautification efforts will not only bring people to the city, but also put a spark back in the local economy.
Right now, downed tree branches, loads of trash and overgrown yards are a common sight around the city. It’s a sight the Vernon Pride Committee is trying to change.
“It’s just putting pride back in Vernon,” said Pamela Gosline, member of the Pride Committee. “It's just getting citizens to say 'hey we can stand up and fight and we can make Vernon a good looking town.' Or we can sit back and do nothing.”
Funding problems within the city has caused some restraint when it comes to city upkeep. That’s why Gosline said with some support of residents, they can create a community that potential businesses and new residents would like to be a part of.
“To me it's a no brainer,” said Gosline. “If people drive through Vernon and it’s clean, and your restaurants are clean, it’s just going to help the economy.”
With empty parking spaces and bare sidewalks surrounding the town square, that's exactly what the city needs.
One of the very first projects the Pride Committee will complete is a park portal across from the Vernon Police Department. A mural is getting underway at the park, and once completed, residents will be able to enjoy benches and steer cut-outs, according to Gosline.
But that project is just the first of many to come.
“We know it’s not going to happen overnight,” said Gosline. “Our motto is ‘one block at a time.’ We want to look forward to what Vernon can be.”
Vernon Commissioners said they will try to address some of those city needs in the upcoming budget workshop. The Pride Committee does not use any city funds, and the group consists of roughly five Vernon residents
The group welcomes and encourages anyone from the community, who would like to volunteer time, to join in their efforts. They hold meetings every third Tuesday of the month. That meeting is at the Vernon City Hall at 5:30 p.m.
For more information you can contact Pamela Gosline at (214) 762-5514.