TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 city is working to make its community look better while also providing new amenities.
The city of Trumann wants to improve the quality of life for citizens by making sure dilapidated or unsightly properties are taken care of.
Trumann Mayor Barbara Lewallen said multiple properties have been donated to the city for various reasons.
"It's either too costly and/or they don't have the means or are not able to take the property down, so they have turned the property over to the city," Lewallen said.
They've also condemned some properties that aren't up to code.
Lewallen said they've even maintained some properties that they don't even own.
"The purpose of all that is to help the community," Lewallen said.
It's helped the community in multiple ways, and Captain Gary Henry, Civil Enforcement Division for the Trumann Police Department, said he's seen it help fight crime.
"You have people doing drugs, and we have calls and complaints of like needles and other drug paraphernalia where people are using those houses for illegal activity," Henry said.
While helping lower crime in the area, the city has also been able to make some properties useful to all Trumann citizens.
"The community garden is on one of the lots that was donated," Lewallen said. "Now those lots were donated by the land commissioner, and we've maintained them."
Lewallen said there is also a possible private partnership the city could enter to take some land to add on to a city park.
"It's all about quality of life," Lewallen said. "It's having a clean community, having a safe community, having the infrastructure that you need, and having some amenities so you create a good place for people to live."
Lewallen said the city has been able to repurpose 6 to 7 properties.
There are more that Lewallen said could be available for sale, but back taxes will be included on some of those lots.
One of the next projects include taking some land near the sports complex and using it as an alternate entrance to help with traffic.
Henry said it's a group effort getting these unsightly properties taken care of.
"It's a collaborative effort between the police department, the public works," Henry said. "If it wasn't for the public works and those guys doing all their hard work, they are a lot of times left cleaning up the sites, tearing the business down. Some folks just don't have the means to do that."
Lewallen also commended the city employees for their work towards making Trumann a better place to live.