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story.lead_photo.caption A Dollar General is under construction in Bloomburg, Texas, just south of the local school on County Road 3129. Photo by Neil Abeles / Texarkana Gazette.

Bloomburg's mayor owns a plant nursery and knows about growing things.

The town's city secretary, Suzanne Bishop, is a leader on the school board.

The two, along with town council members, say they are cultivating an atmosphere of growth expectancy. They are prepared for things to happen.

"When we have a town council meeting, we have a lot of positive things to talk about," Mayor Delores Simmons said.

Bishop agrees.

"We know we don't have a lot growth right now, but we are in the mode of upgrading what we have. We are trying to keep from going downhill," Bishop said.

Mayor Delores Simmons, at left, and City Secretary Suzanne Bishop meet in the Bloomburg City Hall and Water Department council room.

And with that, the two pointed to a big event on the horizon — the coming of a Dollar General store. The site is being completed now along County Road 3129, just south of the school, and should be open Oct. 1.

"We're glad we were accepted by them," the mayor said. "We'd approached them before but hadn't heard anything. All of a sudden they came back and said, 'We are going to put you in a Dollar General store.'"

The store's impact will reach out, she said.

"What goes on in a town is important to people in the area. They don't have to drive so far to get things. That's the big advantage," Simmons said.

Among other positive topics talked about in town council meetings are these:

1. "Electric, water and gas people have been doing a lot of upgrading in our area," the mayor said.

"And we are already have good Internet connections here," the secretary added.

2. "We've recently qualified for a $250,000 water and sewer grant, which will improve and replace water lines and connections in residential areas," Bishop said.

"We are well served by John Hathcock as our water and sewer contractor and manager. He oversees the town's needs and is doing a good job."

3. One of the biggest hopes for the town council is a way to build a new city hall, Simmons said, adding the present building had problems with mold.

"And we'd like to find a way to create a walking park on town property, which is behind the grocery store in town just across the street," Bishop said.

Another concern of interest is that the volunteer fire department is on its way to the creation of a new district with Smyrna, which should result in a fire building for Smyrna and perhaps one for Bloomburg in the future, the mayor said.

"Since the fire department is separate from the town council, we are not fully aware of all the detailed plans and changes at the moment."

The two said, in their opinion, the town doesn't have a lot of conflicts right now.

The mayor continues to put flowers around town from her own Lady Bug Nursery.

"The high school girls' softball team created excitement and a following this year with a string of wins that kept them just one game away from the state playoffs. Consideration of plans to light the softball field are under way at the school," Bishop said.

And, of course, coming up the first Saturday in November is the popular Cullen Baker Fair, which should bring 10,000 guests to town again.

That painting of Cullen Baker high on the wall inside the town council's meeting room may show the outlaw with a smile on his face.

It's all the way one looks at things, the mayor and city secretary said.

The town is getting some scenarios in place that could help it with growth, the two said.

Members of the town council include Melvin Timmons, Janice Hooker, Justin Powell, Candie Harris and Kristen Boatman. They meet at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of the month.

"With the public cordially invited," the mayor said.

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