WILLIAMSON, WV (WOWK) — The city of Williamson has a special project coming down the pike.
City officials are looking to their tourism industry and preserve their history; to do that, they’re starting with a fresh coat of paint.
“Well that water tank is situated right there as you come in to Williamson on 119. It’s highly visible, 14,000 cars a day the highway department tells me passes by there and to me that tank… its the welcome mat for the community, or can be. It’s an eyesore right now.”Mayor Charlie Hatfield, Williamson, West Virginia
So, the city is taking on a project to fix it up, and they’re calling it ‘Paint That Tank.’
Wes Wilson, Executive Director of the Tug Valley Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, says it’s a great place for a mural of the town’s past.
“It’s the perfect billboard for us to show what we’re about, what we have to offer, and where we’re wanting to go with things,” Wilson says.
The image, created by artist Tom Acosta, displays the area’s rich history—its roots in coal mining and the railroad, the famous Hatfields and McCoys— alongside the future they envision with scenes of outdoor recreational activities featured prominently.
“Our name is ‘coal country.’ We’re evolving from that. Things have grown so much, we have to. People need work, people need jobs and we’ve found that through tourism—specifically adventure tourism—we can really make a thriving economy here,” Wilson says.
Tourists in the area like Adrian Cretu of Michigan agree: this place has the promise to become a travel destination.
“Good potential, yeah! Cause you have everything you need for a comfortable stay when you’re not riding…I think the trails should be heavily marketed throughout the rest of the U.S., because that’ll bring a lot of people, a lot of revenue,” Cretu says.
Between the outdoor recreation and soon that welcoming water tank, Mayor Hatfield has high hopes for his city.
“I think it’ll get people to come here and stop here and I believe it’ll be a place of photographic destination.”Mayor Charlie Hatfield, Williamson, West Virginia
To fund their ‘Paint That Tank’ project, officials have come up with some interesting ways to accept donations.
For more information on how to donate, visit their Facebook page here.
So far, they’ve raised more than $17,000 dollars towards getting this project funded—and with a goal of $78,000 dollars, local officials are hopeful they will raise the funds within the year.