Good Neighboring

For the second year in a row, I’ll be attending the Blockhouse Creek homeowners association’s Harvest Fest. No, I don’t live in Block House Creek. Not even close. But one of our clients, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), is constructing a 5-mile extension of the 183A tollroad right in their back yard. And that means noise, dust and traffic troubles for the thousands of residents who live there. Luckily, the folks at the CTRMA understand that public involvement isn’t just about posting lane closures and answering hotline calls. It’s about community building. And that means being a good neighbor and a friendly one, too. Last year, Webber LLC, the 183A extension project contractor, footed the bill for most of Harvest Fest, including hotdogs and hamburgers for 400 people, a live band and inflatable attractions. Sure, it wasn’t cheap. And sure, it meant giving up a beautiful Saturday. But guess what? We all had a great time. The good will created by that is the difference between a distrustful community of stakeholders and a community who is a partner in the project. A few months after that first Harvest Fest, we were invited to judge the barbecue competition at the HOA’s annual “Smoke Out.” As I licked my fingers after sampling a particularly succulent pork rib that day, I realized how lucky I am to do what I do. What could be better than making friends for a living? And of course a little barbecue is also nice.