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Our View: Award recognizes city's vision and focus

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When it comes to self-evaluation, we tend to go over the top with our enthusiasm or we become our own worst critics, depending on the criteria and the mood we happen to be in.

That’s why it pays to ask peers to offer a third-party opinion every now and then.

The city of Rocky Mount has committed millions of dollars and countless hours to the revitalization of downtown. In the past couple of years, that investmen has begun paying off in big ways, with more shops and offices, more signs of entrepreneurship and even quality restaurants that are drawing diners down to the Douglas Block area on weekends and weeknights.

There is still much to do, but downtown Rocky Mount has moved forward in big ways in the past few years. And if you don’t believe City Council members and administrators, then step back and ask other urban planners in North Carolina.

The N.C. chapter of the American Planning Association recently presented Rocky Mount with the Great Main Street In-the-Making Award, an honor that recognizes both the efforts that have been poured into downtown revitalization and the direction in which the city is headed.

Judges took into account the Douglas Block, the downtown streetscape project and the city’s master plan for the area, among other criteria.

“Rocky Mount is proactive with its planning efforts and strategic public improvements,” one judge noted, “which are generating renewed interest and private-sector investment in its downtown.”

Rocky Mount was the only city in North Carolina to receive the Great Main Street In-the-Making honor.

Congratulations to those who have shown the focus and vision of a better community in the near future.

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