Council orders tourism sign revisions


Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

City engineers and consultants were sent back to the drawing board Monday night on tourism signs by a councilman who demanded east Rocky Mount receive attention.

The Circulation Plan is meant to provide first-time and infrequent visitors to the city with signs pointing them toward different attractions. The plan had four districts: Downtown, the Mills, the Sports Complex and Gateway, which is the area around Nash UNC Health Care with hotels on Winstead Avenue.

Councilman Andre Knight pointed out that all of the districts were in west Rocky Mount, with nothing in the east side of Rocky Mount. During discussions Monday in the Committee of the Whole workshops, officials used the terms west Rocky Mount and east Rocky Mount when it was clear they meant the Nash County side of the city and the Edgecombe County side of the city, which is divided by railroad tracks.

“I can't approve something with just four districts on the west side of town,” Knight said.

City Engineer Brad Kerr said the districts were based on existing development, and there is consideration of a Gateway East district on U.S. 64 once that part of the city is more developed.

Knight suggested a fifth district for east Rocky Mount centered around black culture.

The council agreed on industrial-themed signs to go along with the redevelopment of industrial buildings at attractions like the Imperial Centre and Rocky Mount Mills.

In the regular meeting, the council voted to move forward with signs that would direct visitors to the Rocky Mount Event Center.

The council also approved the hanging of 128 portraits of members of the Twin County Hall of Fame, which will be placed in the hallway leading to the banquet hall on the first floor of the Event Center.

During the public comments section of the regular meeting, a trio of residents complained about the condition of downtown and the city not having term limits for the council.

Rod Myers said downtown had mold and broken glass.

“I thought the city would want to put its best foot forward for the Event Center opening,” Myers said, adding that he planned to contact the state if conditions aren't improved.

John Mans told the council it should have term limits to stave off corruption, nepotism and ineffectual leadership. He said the terms should be limited to serving twice and should be backdated to 2000.

Samuel Battle backed Mans' complaint, saying some council members have been serving for 20 years and the city still isn't prospering.

“We need new leadership,” Battle said. “We need new ideas.”