By Christine Foster
The 2013 Leadership Belton Class, a program of the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce, has erected a gateway marker to welcome visitors to the City of Belton at the intersection of Loop 121 and Highway 190 with the help of Harvest Technologies and the City of Belton.
Leadership Belton is a Chamber of Commerce program lasting 10 months featuring the three key elements of community awareness, training leadership and team building.
The final element of the program is to select a project in the community that has a lasting impact and is fully funded by donations to the team.
The gateway welcome marker is one of those great projects and a tribute to the spirit and optimism of the class of 2013, comprised of Ronnie Bruggman, Scott Smith, Amy Swinney, Dan Bartnesky, Kim Hamilton and Nancy Bourget.
Harvest Technologies and its employee Mark Hanna donated Hanna’s time and expertise as a bricklayer to help construct the sign.
Situated on the Chisholm Trail, Belton is drenched in cowboy lore and early Texas history, a lot of which can be found at the Bell County Museum located in the heart of Belton.
But this is only a small part of the whole picture of Belton. The welcome marker also introduces you to the vision of Belton. The “welcome” that makes visitors want to stay. The “welcome” that makes people feel safe and important and part of a vital growing community.
Our police chief, Gene Ellis, cites our low crime rate as something exceedingly important and welcoming to our community. We have an extremely low violent crime rate of 30l.l per 100,000 (FBI Uniform Crime Report 20ll). This compares to Texas, as a whole, at 408.5 and to all the U.S. at 386.3 (again per 100,000) Chief Ellis states that the figure “enhances the quality of life in our community.”
But what welcome to the community would be complete without a vision statement from the school district? Belton schools are rated l62nd in Texas and in the top 1,900 in the U.S.
“This is a strong legacy of taking care of each other in Belton, and of encouraging kids to excel,” said school board president Randy Pittenger, “Pulling together the Belton way.”
Future plans for BISD include two new schools (under construction), expansive plans for the high school and Dr. Kincannon ‘s Roadway to 2025.
The Belton Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes one and all to town with a business registry, specific plans for future growth, and further development of their leadership Belton Group. As stated earlier, the leadership group erected this beautiful limestone marker to enhance another entrance to our community. So whether you are here for the tangibles or the intangibles, let the participants of “Leadership Belton” wish you a very warm welcome to come and enjoy what we have to offer. WELCOME!