Hearne Cleans Up

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The city of Hearne is cleaning up with high hopes of attracting people to the area.

"The fact that the power plants may come to the county gives us increased motivation to try and clean up even more," Kent Brunette with Hearne's Economic Development Corporation said.

Brunette started spear-heading Hearne's clean-up 2 1/2 years ago, but now with the possibility of thousands of workers pouring into the area, Brunette says the clean-up has become even more important.

"There's just a lot of opportunities," Brunette said. "Whether our restaurants are full of people, or there are people at our grocery stores or visiting local merchants, there is just an awful long list of reasons why we're very excited about the potential these plants may come to Robertson County."

Right now the city is tearing down 20 rundown properties that owners voluntarily gave to the city, and nearby residents say they're glad.

"I couldn't wait until the day they got ready to tear the buildings down," Hearne resident Queenesther Crawford said. "I've been waiting for it ever since I heard they were going to tear them down, and I'm just elated today.

It's not just the houses getting made-over. A recent 13.9 million dollar bond election was passed to build new schools, the airport could get upgrades if needed, and the railroad has also pitched in to help.

Union Pacific has started a month of reconstruction of the U-P track, and following that they have committed to cleaning Hearne's right a ways.

However, the clean-up process has a long ways to go. The city is looking into phase two, finding more distressed houses to tear down. They are also looking for businesses to come into the area. A process that will take time.

Hearne city officials say one of the old Hearne schools will be demolished sometime this month.