By Wyatt Goolsby
MONAHANS - A major cleanup on the way in Monahans. People complain, over the years, the amount of junk has just built up and they want to make their town look nice again. Now, they're getting backing from the City and County.
"It's a neat place. But does it look trashy? I mean, there's your deal," Monahans Mayor David Cutbirth told NewsWest 9 on Wednesday. "You drive through town, you say 'Am I going to live here?' Well, we've had that problem and you take a look at it. We need to clean [it] up. If we clean that up, we are the jewel out here in West Texas."
Monahans has a long way to go before it can look as nice as officials and residents want it. There's still visible trash around the town, and there's no doubt lots of abandoned or old storage buildings. However, thanks to a Town Hall Meeting within the last week, City, County, and local residents say they want to work together to make it better.
"The world's changing out here, and we're looking to have a different type of Monahans," Cutbirth explained. "Tourism is one of those things that we desperately need to convert part of our economy to. We've been so dependant on oil and gas industry."
Cutbirth said the problems are especially downtown and all long Business 20. He said the work continues to locate building owners who may be living in other cities.
Even with lots of run-down or abandoned buildings within city limits, officials said there's not much they can do without the property owners' permission. They can't just come in and tear down all the buildings. Even if they could, it would be a very lengthy and expensive process. Fixing or destroying all the old buildings will likely take a long time. However, Monahans residents told NewsWest 9, they really just want people to throw away their trash the right way, and stop throwing away beer bottles in their yard.
"People come through town, and it's either some of our neighbors or just people passing through, and they just dump trash and then just drive off and leave it," T.J. Price, a resident who has volunteered to help clean up, explained. "And we've got to clean it up."
Price hopes others will get on board with the new committee, and work together to solve the problem.
"Ask everybody to start picking up their own trash, and don't throw it out on the road," Price said. "Because somebody else is going to have to pick it up. People are supposed to feel proud about their home. Well, they need to feel proud about their town."