Since living across the parking lot from the burned downed apartment building on Sunset Lane, I have seen firsthand the impact it made on the area and on my family.

I personally witnessed it being used as a dumping ground. The site was unsafe — full of nails, splintered wood, concrete boulders, and other sharp objects including needles.

I have two small children. It was very frustrating for them not to have a safe place to play. Cleaning up the debris was a great improvement and once the fire department hoses down the site and the steel anchor bolts are removed, I can then let my children play there worry-free.

I would like to give praise and thanks to the Lord, the city, the Chamber of Commerce, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, Cove House, City Manager Andrea Gardner, city council members Mark Peterson, Marty Smith, Frank Sefford and Cheryl Meredith, the community, and all the citizens who joined together on Nov. 16 to clean up the debris, especially the citizens from other towns such as Killeen and Kempner.

I was really moved when I met a lady there helping to clean up the area. She was in a wheelchair due to an amputation. This particular lady inspired me because she worked just as hard if not harder than I did — and I live there. She demonstrated willpower and determination.

Without the joining together of all the members I’ve listed here, I believe 313 Sunset Lane would still be an eyesore, a dumping ground and hazard to the area and its inhabitants.

There is still a lot of work to be done in the area concerning criminal activity and drug use.

However, if our community continues to show an interest in helping the reputation and outcome of the area like it has done with the cleanup, then we should have no problem moving in the right direction so that it will become a safe and desirable place to live.

I believe with lots of tender, loving care, the area around Sunset Lane will become a place that we are proud of as a community and we will no longer cringe when we hear the name.

For that to happen, we, as citizens, need to do our part in the revitalization of Sunset Lane and Casa Drive and continue to stay involved. Change does not happen overnight. But we have already gotten off to a great start.

Sherrie Lipsett lives on Sunset Lane in Copperas Cove.

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