Recycling coming to city customers; EDC votes to promote Liberty Hill with lip balm, koozies

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By WAYLON CUNNINGHAM

Recycling services for businesses and all homes inside Liberty Hill’s city limits are slated to roll out Sept. 1.

The announcement was made at the Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors meeting July 20.

Dumpsters for all recyclable materials will be available from Al Clawson Disposal to businesses that sign up for the program. Residences, that have until now had access to smaller bins, will now be delivered a 95-gallon can for free.

“It’s important to make recycling a part of your brand,” said Clawson’s Vice President Troy Clawson to the EDC Board. “This younger generation demands it.”

For businesses, the program comes with some costs.

Clawson said they should be offset by savings from downsizing their waste dumpster, which has higher service expenses.

Carts are also available for businesses that do not have enough room for another dumpster. Clawson said they would work individually with businesses if necessary for a particular situation.

A program for commercial recycling was brought up by several businesses in last month’s business forum hosted by EDC Executive Director Lance Dean. The idea quickly gained traction among EDC Board members when Dean presented it to them.

Recycling services have been available for residences throughout Liberty Hill and the greater area since the late 1990s.

With the larger cans, recycling pick-up days for residences will move from every Friday to every other Friday.

Recyclable items include many metal, plastic, paper and glass items. Those include cardboard boxes, soda cans and bottles, newspapers, plastic bottles, packaging wrap, and egg cartons.

Plastics, paper and glass do not need to be separated when put in.

Non-recyclable items include plastic bags, light bulbs, mirrors, ceramics, motor oil, batteries, electronics, brush and yard waste.

EDC Board wants lip balm, koozies
In a quest to increase Liberty Hill’s brand recognition among potential retailers, the EDC Board voted last Thursday to approve the bulk purchase of lip balm sticks and magnetic can holders with the EDC’s logo.

“While not exciting, it’s a start from zero,” Dean said.

The Board has in recent meetings discussed the importance of keepsakes for a town that might otherwise fade next to larger competitors with more memorability. In June, the Board created a subcommittee to explore different marketing and merchandising options.

The executive director will be hitting the road this fall to pitch Liberty Hill as a commercially viable location to retailers at trade fairs and conferences.

Dean said Liberty Hill’s membership with the Williamson County Economic Development Partnership allows them to claim some booth space shared with other Williamson County members. The Liberty Hill EDC does not have a tablecloth with their logo, but that was also discussed as a future item to acquire.

The price quotes Dean presented to the Board were for 50 magnetic can holders for $302.50, and 250 lip balm sticks for $205.

Dean said the ideas came out of a meeting he had several weeks ago with several vendors and other consultants. A branded lip balm stick he was given, he said, had personally proven effective.

“I’ve had this in my pocket for a while now,” he said about the lip balm stick. “Every time I pull it out, I see their logo.”

The purchase plays into the larger move for the EDC to create a memorable “brand” for Liberty Hill as growth continues to sweep through the northern corridor of Austin.

Earlier in the meeting it was reported that there have so far been 230 building permits filed within Liberty Hill’s city limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction, compared to 53 last year.

EDC delays sponsorship of 2nd Sculpture celebration
Amidst questioning, the Board chose to delay considering whether to sponsor a second sculpture park celebration.

The official motion was to table the discussion until next month, when Liberty Hill Development Foundation member and City Parks & Recreation Board Chair Mary Lyn Jones is asked to come and provide more information. The decision was unanimous.

“Everyone is receptive to the idea and we want to support it,” said President Bill Chapman.

He went on to echo the concerns from some board members about a lack of clarification on some expenses.

The request from the Sculpture Garden Festival Committee for $5,000 or less was presented by Susan Barnes, an art teacher at the Intermediate school and the organizer of last year’s event.

Other potential sponsors listed include the Liberty Hill Development Foundation, the City of Liberty Hill, the Texas Society of Sculptors, the LHISD Art Teachers, the Liberty Hill Intermediate School, the Lions Club, Mathis Rentals, and the City’s Parks & Recreation Board.

Last summer the Board donated $3,000 for the Liberty Hill Sculpture Symposium’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.

The event was a throwback to the 1976 Symposium, which brought together 25 sculptors from six countries to make an original series of sculptures. Many consider the event to have put Liberty Hill on the map.

Several board members said they supported the idea, but wanted to know what expansions this year necessitated an increase in the requested amount, and where sponsorship money will go.

Art restoration experts last month judged the sculptures to be in need of a professional cleaning, a cost that could prove expensive.

EDC Director John Johnston said he wanted to know if a $9,400 revenue figure reported on last year’s budget is going toward that preservation, or if not, then what else.

Barnes said that she did not believe the line item referred to profit, but that the Development Foundation, which owns the sculptures, would know more.

Money from sponsorships into the celebration, both last year and this year, flow through the Foundation, which Barnes is not a member of.

The exception was the City’s sponsorship last year, which Barnes explained came in the form of invoices paid directly by the City.

Johnston also said he was disappointed in last year’s event because the vendors and crowds seem to have withdrawn several hours early, and the live music advertised never played.

Barnes said the crowds had mostly moved from the sculpture park for an auction, and that there had been a miscommunication with the band.

The request for sponsorship this year reported that the Committee expects more than 1,500 to attend the event, which will be free. It also says that the event would include more sculptors than last year. It estimates a minimum overall budget of $15,000.

Director Rick Hall said the first time for any event would be a struggle, and added that the Downtown Art Exhibit last month, which involved many of the same organizers such as Barnes, was an “overwhelming” success. But he, too, wanted more information.

“Going forward, this is something we need to be in line with,” said Director Jack Harkrider. “This is the kind of thing that prompts people to come to Liberty Hill.”

He added that he would also like to see Gary Spivey, who is the current president of the Foundation, attend next month’s meeting.

Jones, who was the only one requested in the approved motion, was the president during last year’s celebration.

The event is planned Oct. 7 at Lions Foundation Park.

The next EDC meeting is set for 5 p.m. August 17. The time for meetings was changed from 6:30 p.m. following a unanimous motion this meeting.

A budget workshop is planned for 5 p.m. August 14 at the Liberty Hill Learning and Event Center.

Waylon@LHIndependent.com

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