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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2007
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Bill Brunner and Frank Smith, residents of Vestavia Court subdivision, volunteer their time to paint the steel fence around it, an effort to help beautify the city and their neighborhood.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Bill Brunner and Frank Smith, residents of Vestavia Court subdivision, volunteer their time to paint the steel fence around it, an effort to help beautify the city and their neighborhood.

Beautifying
in plain sight

Vestavia Court residents
are keeping up appearances

By Catherine Godbey
cgodbey@decaturdaily.com 340-2441

Drive by Vestavia Court and you will see people with paint brushes and rollers. Don't be alarmed. These people aren't required by law to do community service hours, and they haven't been the subject of a "Hiding in Plain Sight" article.

The painters, Vestavia Court homeowners, are painting the gate that surrounds their neighborhood because they want to beautify their community.

Frank Smith, an organizer of the painting project, said the steel of the 10-year-old gate that encircles the neighborhood is in good shape but the paint is faded. The homeowners association researched hiring someone to paint the gate but all of the painters' quotes were too expensive.

The solution was to paint the gate themselves. "We decided that the homeowners association would pay for the paint and the homeowners would supply the labor free of charge," Smith said.

To get the project started, Smith called the other homeowners. "It is remarkable how people have responded," Smith said. "Everyone here takes so much pride in their own homes and in their neighborhood." Of the 80 homeowners in Vestavia Court, 16 have volunteered their painting skills.

Betty Sims, a Vestavia Court resident for three years, said, "I came to paint to keep the neighborhood beautiful for Decatur." Bill Brunner added, "I just wanted to do my part."

Sims said that one homeowner, James Petty, deserves extra notice. "Mr. Petty has been out here every day for the past two weeks...He's not out painting today (Friday), because I told him to take a break...he deserved one," Smith said.

Communities in Decatur could take a cue from the Vestavia Court homeowners and make their own neighborhoods more appealing.

"We are having fun," Smith said, "We are keeping the neighborhood clean and having fun."

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