HALLSVILLE – The Hallsville Chamber of Commerce on Thursday brought back a tradition that stretches back decades by hosting its first annual awards banquet and state of the city address.
Hallsville Chamber of Commerce President Chris Comer said the awards banquet was something the Chamber did decades ago and wanted to bring it back to recognize the businesses and workers of the city that meet the needs of the community so well.
On Thursday, several businesses in the region were nominated in each of the four categories.
In the New Business of the Year category, the nominees were Rise Salon, Cajun Tex Hallsville and Corner Grocery. Cajun Tex owners Johnny and Donna Horne won the award on Thursday.
In the Businessman of the Year category, JP Daub of Daub Realty, Ken McFerrin of Circle K Trailers and Ray Jackson of Brookshire’s Hallsville. Ray Jackson of Brookshire won the award on Thursday.
In the Business of the Year category, the nominees were Pool’s Chevron, Hallsville Floral and Gifts and Ballard’s Septic Services. Ballard Septic Services won the award on Thursday.
Mike Buchanan of Buchanan’s Hardware in Hallsville and Marshall were also honored this year by receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for years of service to the community through its stores.
“The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes members who have spent decades serving the community,” said Comer. “The Buchanan family, and it truly is a family business, has served the community for over 40 years with their hardware store and pharmacy. They help us stay operational, especially during COVID-19 and Snowmaggedon. “
Buchanan said Thursday he was honored to receive the award.
“My wife and I wanted to raise our kids like we were raised in Hallsville, so we came back here after we left pharmacy school, even though there was no pharmacy here at the time,” said he declared. “We wanted to be in a small town where you have good friends and good people around you.”
In addition to the awards banquet, Hallsville Mayor Jesse Casey delivered a State of the City Address to recap what happened in the city over the past year, as well as to remind residents what’s coming.
Casey reviewed the declining tax rate in the city, which has fallen every year for the past four years to currently stand at around $ 0.36, he said. He said the city has also managed to increase its general fund account by 46% and its exclusive fund by 39%, in order to put the city in a good position should a need arise in the future.
Casey said the city would also be able to repair two to three roads per year, each year on a rotation, without having to borrow money, thanks to savings and grants.
He also said the city continued to grow, with new homes being built at a rapid pace and new townhouses being built.
“Usually there are around 60 to 70 homes for sale in Hallsville at any given time, but right now there are 13,” Casey said. “We have people coming from all over.”
Casey said the city looks forward to an upcoming Texas Department of Transportation project that will see a sidewalk and bike path built from Hallsville High School, up Cider Lane to Highway 80. He said the City was also considering expanding roads near Hallsville ISD Intermediate campuses and baseball diamonds after a fall traffic survey revealed the need for a turn lane.
Casey said the city is also benefiting from recent park updates and is eagerly awaiting a potential grant project through the Texas Municipal League that could see the construction of a new water tower on the city’s north side.