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Efforts to revitalize Morley under way

Sunday, August 5, 2012

(Photo)
Morley City Clerk Teresa Hicks waters the newly-landscaped planters in front of Morley City Hall. The planters along with the tree, pictured right, are among the landscaping features meant to showcase the possibilities of a grassroots effort to revitalize the town.
(Scott Welton, Staff)
MORLEY -- Morley's mayor is hoping his town's city council will join him in pushing for some R and R.

Mayor Jonathan McNeely introduced his idea during the council's regular July monthly meeting.

"I made a presentation before city council asking them to adopt a program called Restoration and Revitalization," McNeely said. "Ultimately the goal is to totally restore and revitalize our little town here."

Achieving that is going to take some creative thinking.

"The city's finances are very constricted and have been for some time," McNeely said. "This program will be one of the ways that we will be able to really offer a benefit to our community without having an additional financial burden on the city."

The idea is to get businesses in not only Morley but also from surrounding communities to donate a few materials and combine those with local efforts.

"A great example is this small landscaping project at City Hall," McNeely said.

He started by presenting his plan to dress up the city facility to Paula Diebold of Diebold Orchards in Benton.

"They willingly donated what we needed," McNeely said. "Once we had the landscaping materials donated, I got with a few volunteers from town and we donated our labor. It took just a few citizens donating their time to plant the landscaping."

The results are now there for everyone to see: attractive landscaping in the two planters at the front steps of City Hall along with a tree just to the right of the building.

What has been done there so far not only has aesthetic value but will also serve as a reminder of how they can make a difference if they try.

"It's a showpiece to demonstrate for the City Council what we can accomplish if we adopt this program," McNeely said.

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