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Front Page » April 15, 2008 » Local News » Beautification projects in downtown Helper accompany warm...
Published 2,737 days ago

Beautification projects in downtown Helper accompany warmer weather

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Sun Advocate reporter

Warmer weather has kicked "Helper's beauties" Lois Giordano and Neida Garcia's beautification committee into high gear. The ladies and their army of volunteers are ready to plant flowers all over Helper.

Now that sun's warming the planet, plans hatched when the landscape was still buried in piles of white are about to come to fruition in downtown Helper.

Neida Garcia and Lois Giordano set their sites on making their hometown a prettier place to be last November and have been rounding up volunteers and raising funds to do the job.

The co-founders of Helper's beautification committee reported at the April 3 city council meeting that they're ready to start adorning Main Street with some colorful fauna.

"We have 10 huge containers of flowers from Sutherland's," Garcia told the council. "And we have lots of people who volunteered to give us some of their plants."

The council had only one comment for Garcia and Giordano.

"We will bring in the dirt," said Mayor Mike Dalpiaz.

Nicknamed "Helper's beauties" by Dalpiaz, the two women have been buzzing about town the past five months carrying the message that, with a little tender loving care, the town can have a shiny new face.

The pair have recruited so much help that Garcia actually uttered the words rarely ever heard from project organizers: "I believe we have enough volunteers" at the April 3 meeting.

When the flower project is completed, color will hang from light poles and burst out from barrels on sidewalks in front of stores.

While the most recent project required waiting until the weather warmed up, the ladies had other efforts that they undertook with the help of countless volunteers undaunted by snow banks.

In one of the pair's regular reports to the council Jan. 17, the beautification committee listed a number of tasks in the overall work plan were done or about to be completed, including cleaning a ditch at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, designing a welcome to Helper sign and recruiting junior high school students to create art for store windows.

Since first approaching the city in mid-November 2007, the determined duo has easily swept the councilmembers up in helping them carry out their mission.

Garcia and Giordano have steadily shown everyone that vision and a lot of energy is all people need to accomplish goals.

They requested a little assistance from the city concerning the dog droppings situation on the parkway, expressing concern that efforts planned for the walkway would be seriously hindered by canines.

After several meetings and considerable discussion and comments from the public, an ordinance banning the pups from parks was adopted at the April 3 council meeting.

"I want us to be known as the little city that can," said Garcia in her initial presentation before the city council last year.

It appears, month after month, that she is making her wish come closer to being a reality.

What was merely a concept for consideration five months ago has become a working part of the city as the discussions evolved from how to make it happen to how to maintain it now that it is.

The main concern at the last council meeting was the best mechanism to keep the flowers alive once they are planted.

"We have a dilemma on how to get everything watered," Dalpiaz said. "We need to purchase a pump and a container."

In addition, the council pondered the addition of a halftime city position to help maintain among other things the newly spruced up areas.

"We need a half a person the parkway maintenance," said Dalpiaz. "Parkway's been neglected for the last five or six years."

Not only were the dog droppings a problems, but beavers had taken over the waterway, added the mayor.

Beautification fever appears to have spread throughout the council, Councilman Dean Armstrong signed on to help the ladies with finding donations and grant money and Councilman John Jones was spotted last week painting light poles.

In the spirit, Jones reported that R.W. Clyde has offered to build a pavilion at one of end of the parkway that would provide a picnic area.

The momentum doesn't appear to be waning and, despite the ladies' assertion they are volunteer rich, there is still help needed, specifically financial donations to continue the work and projects.

Interested people can give donations at the Utah Power Credit Union. People should make the checks out to the Helper Community Development Committee and note that the donations are for the Helper Beautification Committee.

The donations are tax deductible.

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