Mayor unveils new www.ePortalParis.com site to promote Lake Crook and Cox Field Airport

Mayor Arjumand Hashmi

Mayor AJ Hashmi

Mayor AJ Hashmi unveiled at Monday’s meeting of the Paris City Council a new website — www.ePortalParis.com — to promote Paris and Lamar County, with an emphasis on future plans for Cox Field Airport and Lake Crook.

“Paris is a great place to live and do business, but in my opinion, we are not getting the word out,” the mayor said.

“As we progress in developing our new infrastructure, developing Cox Field Airport and Lake Crook, it is time to start planning to market our city to attract developers and businesses into the area,” Hashmi said.

The site is aimed at providing an easy access to information about Paris — a site that will help make developers and investors aware of what Paris offers “in terms of quality of life,” the mayor said.

The mayor then displayed on computer screens in the council chambers the website.

“See where it says PROJECTS at the top right corner of the site?” the mayor said. “Click on PROJECTS.”

That opens up another page with a heading: “Lake Crook Development Project” that says: “Plans and finances are beginning to be allocated for a project to develop Lake Crook in Paris in an effort for citizens to further enjoy its scenic views, local wildlife, and well-known fishing. Considered a local gem, this reservoir lake will be the new site for development hotels, restaurants, and further recreation activities to be enjoyed on the lake.”

A scenic view of sunset on Lake Crook also is shown, along with a picture taken several months ago of Hashmi, City Planner Alan Efrussy, City Manager John Godwin and City Engineer Shawn Napier holding up a map of the lake and planned development.

Later, there will be added development prospects at Cox Field Airport, to which the city has committed to extending water and sewer infrastructure.

“This is just the beginning,” Hashmi said.

“For the airport, I am going to have an airplane landing and taking off. It will be live video, so that if you click on it, it will not be a static picture but will show a video.”

No city funds have been spent to date on www.ePortalParis.com, the mayor said.

“This is just a preliminary thing at this point, done by non-professionals at home — by my son, in fact,” Hashmi said.

“Once we have it running a little bit, then we may get a professional to straighten out everything and fix any issues,” he said.

By Charles Richards, eParisExtra

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Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.