LaHarpe Pride nearly in place

LAHARPE — Since early summer, a group of about 20 local residents has met four times to put in place the framework for a new LaHarpe Pride Committee, a group dedicated to a better, more appealing community.
With the guiding hand of Thrive Allen County, the group met again Monday evening to discuss the new committee’s short- and long-term goals.
Three short-term goals were meshed out:
— The formal creation of LaHarpe Pride, which requires a sanction from the LaHarpe City Council and an application through the state. That should be accomplished by the end of October.
— Enhanced communications throughout the community about news and upcoming events.
— A cleaner, more attractive downtown, with weed control and store windows getting the first priority.
LaHarpe Pride has tentatively planned to meet on the fourth Monday of each month. Its first official meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 26.
Members spoke Monday about a cleanup day, particularly for a four-block stretch of Main Street, and assisting with a similar cleanup project at LaHarpe Cemetery.
Other projects include raising funds for light pole banners downtown and placing trash receptacles along the street to prevent littering.
Among the long-term goals is to replace most of the sidewalks in front of Main Street businesses.
David Toland, executive director of Thrive Allen County, lauded the group, recounting their first meeting in June, which featured plenty of ideas but little direction.
“I’m sensing a momentum that only you can keep going,” Toland said. “You’ve gone further than many thought you would.”