May 28, 2024 |

Photo – Hometown Hero generic image – Courtesy Time for Kids

A resident in Hanna is attempting to generate town pride by creating a public service award.

Lately, the condition of Hanna residents’ yards have been a hot button topic in the former coal town. Last year, former mayor Jon Ostling attempted to institute higher fines for properties containing things deemed by the town as a nuisance, such as junk cars and excessively high grass and weeds. The townspeople expressed their disapproval for Ordinance 401, saying it was too broad and would unfairly penalize senior citizens.

Ordinance 401 would have also brought code enforcement under the supervision of the town council. Currently, a code enforcement agent must work under the Hanna Marshal’s Office. Without a marshal, Hanna officials have no way to force residents to clean up their yards.

Julie Freeman is a nurse at the Medicine Bow Medical Clinic and a Hanna resident. Freeman said she believes that neighbors can help each other make Hanna a nicer place to live.

Freeman came up with the Hanna Hometown Hero Award to recognize residents who work hard to beautify the town. Freeman said she envisions people taking great pride in receiving the award.

Freeman said she sees a Hanna Hometown Hero Award being used as a way to show that a person is a hard worker. She said the award can give a person a leg up in their education and career.

As well as a physical award, Hanna Hometown Heroes will receive $100 in prize money. Freeman said she would like Hanna residents and businesses to contribute to the prize fund. She said the money will be an incentive for people to volunteer in the community.

After receiving help from an individual, Hanna residents can submit the person’s name for an award.

Freeman said she intends to form a committee of Hanna residents to select a Hometown Hero from the list of names every month.

Freeman hasn’t yet settled on the details of how nominations will be collected. She said residents may submit their nominations to local businesses along with monetary donations.

Freeman said she won’t be the one to decide who receives the Hanna Hometown Hero Award. She said a committee made up of residents familiar with the townspeople will choose the monthly award winner.

Freeman presented her idea to the Hanna town council during the May 15th meeting. She said the council supported the award, but refused to contribute town money toward the prize.

Freeman said she doesn’t want to handle the money. Instead, she’ll take any money donated to the Hanna Hometown Hero Award and give it to a local pastor to safeguard.

Freeman is still gauging community support for the Hanna Hometown Hero Award. She’ll need local businesses to agree to collect prize money donations before the award can be created.

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