Clean sweep targeting Nacogdoches district

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Here's an idea that would benefit any city, anywhere. It's called 'clean sweep'. The city of Nacogdoches is reinitiating the idea to help one neighborhood.

The Zion Hill district is best known for its historic church, but the neighborhood is also home for a lot of residents.

"I was born and raised over here in this district. The district was really nice. Lanana Creek and that area. University Drive wasn't there. It was just like our playground," said resident Dorthy Thompson.

Thompson still has many of the same neighbors she had as a child. Together they've watched their neighborhood change.

"The houses are down and they are dilapidated, but we're working on that and we hope to restore that to its original integrity," said Thomson.

So of course, residents living in the clapboard houses are pleased the city and non-profit organizations chose Zion Hill as its first recipient of the clean-sweep program.

"It tells me everybody is watching and they want to get over and help and do what we can to make this area nice again," said Thompson.

The clean sweep follows an ongoing effort by investors to revitalize the homes. The work is giving Zion Hill district new life.

"Most of the houses were condemned by the city 6 or 7 years ago and once we brought them up to city code then we could do something with them. We put someone in them," said Gerald Hebert an investor.

Fifteen homes have been renovated. There's about that many to go. Hebert welcomes the clean sweep help, particularly the police patrol. He's replacing windows shot out by vandals.

The success of clean sweep depends on resident participation.

An informational meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 10, at Live Oak Baptist Church on East Hospital Drive. It begins at 6 p.m. Zion Hill residents are encouraged to attend.

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