Many great things have been happening in our fair city for the past year as a result of the New London Beautification Committee, a group of business professionals who took on the task of sprucing up New London.
The New London Beautification Committee was originally formed in the spring of 2010 in response to a funding designation by the City of New London that provided $2,500 towards beautification efforts within the downtown area. The City Council suggested that City Administrator Kent Hager attempt to find matching funds from other groups. Hager requested funding from the Chamber and Tourism Commission. The Chamber gave $1,500 and the Tourism Commission gave $1,000.
The total of $5,000 was used to purchase 15 custom-built metal trash receptacles that were attached to light poles on N. Water and Pearl St. The receptacles were bid locally and were purchased from Weld-All. The receptacles are being used regularly and emptied by city workers each week. This project has resulted in a cleaner environment for our citizens.
In 2011 the City of New London pledged $5,000 towards beautification efforts and again suggested that the city administrator attempt to mobilize a group (the Beautification Committee) to find matching funds from other groups. Gordy and Wendy Schirpke of Custom Carpets by Gordy assembled the following committee to work on this effort: Stacy Huebner – Advantage Signs, Tabitha Meyer and Kim Relien – River Edge Salon, Kent Hager – City of New London, Dorothy Nielson – TV-Pliance, Laurie Shaw – New London Area Chamber of Commerce / New London Tourism Commission, Beth Hutchison – Familiar Grounds, Rick Gauslin – Dry Cleaners Etc., Wendy Schirpke – Custom Carpets by Gordy, Terri Allen – Quick Stitches, Nancy Gagnow – Gagnow Pallet and Riverside Tool & Carbide and Donn Howard – Back to Original Auto Body.
The committee members were selected based on their businesses geographic location and their community involvement. We wanted representation from the southern, central and northern businesses so that beautification efforts were considered on a citywide basis.
We set out with high hopes of matching the $5,000 pledged by the City of New London and created a $10,000 budget. We considered needs throughout the city. We looked at existing items and considered new items, including the state smoking ban and the new dog park.
Our group decided that we should offer businesses an incentive program to purchase smoking receptacles that would mount to the buildings. This would allow snow removal and foot traffic to continue without obstacles. We proposed that any restaurant / bar could commit to paying half the cost of the unit and the beautification committee would fund the remaining cost. Each business owner would be responsible for installing the unit on their building.
Dog waste receptacles
Our group determined three areas in need of dog waste receptacles in the City of New London: Bernegger Trail, the section on the northern edge of the city between railroad tracks and Burger King, and the section of the trail on the northern edge of the city between Plach and Wal-mart. With the addition of the Jaycee’s Dog Park we are hoping that more people will walk out to that park and that we can accommodate them during their walks.
Our group determined that freestanding garbage receptacles were needed along the trail between the railroad tracks and Burger King and the section of the trail on the northern edge of the city between Plach and Wal-mart. We proposed the purchase of four receptacles.
Our group determined that three additional mounted garbage receptacles (black metal units built by Weld-All) are needed; one for placement by the Library / Museum, one by the trail on the Southside of the river from Shawano Street extending towards The Waters Restaurant, and one near intersection of Pearl and North Water streets.
Free standing floral planters
We also determined that freestanding floral planters would be very welcoming along the trails on the section of the trail between railroad tracks and Burger King and between Plach and Wal-mart. We proposed the purchase of eight freestanding garbage receptacle bases. We would simply take the top off the cans and use the stone base. We felt the height was necessary to make a visual impact.
Our group determined that benches would be very welcoming along the trails on the section of the trail between railroad tracks and Burger King and the section of the trail between Plach and Wal-mart. We proposed the purchase of four metal / recycled resin benches.
Items that have been purchased and placed to date in 2011 include 31 wall mount smoking receptacles at area restaurants / bars, one metal hanging garbage can to be placed by the Library / Museum on Pearl St.; three dog waste receptacles. There are four locations along the trails on the northern edge of the city where a bench, two stone flower planters and one stone garbage can has been placed. Each of the stone planters have been filled with mums purchased from Rice’s Greenhouses. The benches were purchased through Familiar Grounds. All other items were priced locally and every effort was made to shop local and support our area businesses
Financial Contributors included the City of New London – $5,000; New London Area Chamber of Commerce – $1,700; New London Tourism Commission – $1,700; Shamrock Club of New Dublin – $1,600 for the cost of two benches; Bill and Karen Gething – $259 for one pet waste receptacle; New London Women’s Club – $50.
If people are interested in donating to the beautification fund they can do so by contacting the New London Area Chamber of Commerce at 920-982-5822. Contributions can be made to the general fund or can be directed to particular items, such as memorials.