A warm welcome
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
A dedicated group of community leaders has helped to change the first glance of Hartselle's historic downtown from a parking lot to a resting spot.
Leigh Clemons, director of the Hartselle Housing Authority, has been working for two years to turn the corner of Corsbie Street and Main Street into a welcoming site for motorists and downtown patrons.
"When you come into downtown Hartselle, this is the first corner you see," Clemons explained. "It had become a parking lot for 18-wheelers, and I wanted to do something to change that."
The lot, owned by HHA, has been redesigned and now features a large gazebo, crushed stone paths, sod, plants and trees, and a large welcome sign.
"I thought it was a great idea," Larry Hannah of Hannah's Lawn and Landscape Service said. "I have heard several positive comments about the finished result from downtown merchants."
Hannah's supplied the labor for the project, Yoder's Woodwork in Massey built the gazebo, residents Sam and Angie Anders donated top soil, and the city of Hartselle refurbished the corner's sidewalks and donated trees.
HHA spent $13,000 to renovate the downtown lot.
"I think the project has really added to the look of downtown." Clemons said. "I hope people will use it year-round as a resting spot while shopping downtown and as a place to meet and picnic, as well as during Depot Days."
Clemons said HHA plans to add lighting around the gazebo, handicap accessible ramps and railings, and a connector from the site to E.A.R.T.H. Park in the near future.