Herald/Steven Doll - Harker Heights Mayor Ed Mullen speaks at the Centex Sustainability Conference Friday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. - -

By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

The Centex Sustainable Communities Conference ended Friday with a list of goals and objectives. Local leaders also commented on the desire to see the work continue.

"I have a strong interest in this," Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commander, said Friday addressing the attendees of the conference. "What you do have is our pledge that we will stay a productive partner," he added.

Fort Hood is not only a community in and of itself, but the people who make up Fort Hood live in the surrounding communities, Grimsley said.

Fort Hood started the talks with neighboring cities in mid-2009 to create a more sustainable community for this portion of Central Texas. This week's three-day conference was birthed from those talks.

During the conference, about 100 individuals representing area cities, businesses, Fort Hood and other organizations discussed a variety of issues to create goals for a more sustainable community and objectives to reach those goals.

The quality of life goal is to have visionary progressive leaders, government and cities that are change oriented.

It was one of many goals produced by the attendees.

Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division's Pollution Prevention Program Manager Randy Doyle presented the quality of life goal and about 10 objectives to reach it. They included high-quality housing, involved citizens, a regional hike and bike trail, economic vitality, world-class education and more.

Doyle also explained to the attendees what will happen in the future.

There will be a refining of the objectives, which will be presented to the community, Doyle said. There will also be an expansion of partnership.

"Our biggest thing is to keep the momentum going," Doyle said.

Harker Heights Mayor Ed Mullen said during his closing remarks the momentum has already affected his outlook.

"Through the good work and persistence from the people in this room, I have come a long way," Mullen said.

He discussed how in the past he didn't care too much for environmental practices, but that has all changed as he has seen organizations handle them correctly, such as the Fort Hood Recycling Center.

To meet the goals, cities really have to push for the objectives as well as for public involvement, Mullen said.

Cities have the power to change codes and ordinance to reach objectives, Mullen said.

"You have to get to the people that touch the button," Mullen said. "You have to educate people, and you got to bring them along."

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.


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