This rendering depicts the proposed downtown Rocky Mount Event Center.

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This rendering depicts the proposed downtown Rocky Mount Event Center.

City staff told to seek funding, devise plan for event center

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

23 Comments | Leave a Comment

Rocky Mount City Council members voted Monday night to authorize city staff to pursue funding for a proposed event center and prepare a plan for the center within 90 days.

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Comments

Mr "know it all" Dancy-doesn't know what a slum lord is

Mr "know it all" Dancy doesn't know what a slum lord is? A slum lords exist in major urban cities. They exist in small cities also. The are investors that buy and rent properties but do not maintain the properties according to the local ordinances of a city. They still allow people to live or dwell in those properties and the city officials allow these type of investors to rent such properties out. This situation occurs a great deal on the Edgecombe side of Rocky Mount. So maybe Mr. "know all things" Dancy should drive around the post office area and cokey road and the many streets in between and he will see first hand.

Stop the Noise and Think

There is a show that comes on at night on WNCRTV. There is a lady that calls in and this lady makes some very important points. Why do the city polices allow slum landlords to take over that side of town without any stipulations? Why do the people that call in always talking about what should be done but never mention what they are doing for their own neighborhood? Why are Edgecombe black folks spending a large percentage of their money on the nash side of rocky mount only to get slapped in the face by a lot of those business owners? Most of the people making these comments are business owners on the nash side of rocky mount. Another point that was made, if the city council of rocky mount really wanted to improve downtown rocky mount- there are many examples around the country that they can use. many cities improved their down areas without building an event center. It seems that this city council really does not have a good long term vision for the city. The city council can do whatever with this event center. But if it survives it will be due to people outside of rocky mount supporting it. People inside of the city- are either broke, or saving as much as possible, or living pay check to pay check or they are wealthy or middle class. Wealthy and middle class people do not spend a lot of their money going to concerts.

She has no damn clue

The points sounds damn good but she don't know what is going on in Rocky Mount and every time she calls in she shows it. Who are the slum landlords? But this council has done more with slum landlords than previous councils. Just recently she talked about the Charter School the parents can't go in there anytime they wanted to but they can in the Public Schools. I didn't call in but I knew that was a LIE! I didn't call in because I was hoping someone else would call in because some folks get pissed when I call in and challenge their ignant comments. So glad Bronson brought it up again tonight about what it takes to get in Rocky Mount Schools. I called in and brought up what this lady had said. Damn I had told her to do her homework about 2 weeks ago as it relates to the Charter Schools but I should have told her to do her homework on the Public Schools also. Again SMDH!

Profit & Loss Statement

I was wondering how the Budget Manager can prepare a profit and loss statement through fiscal year 2027-2028 for an event center which has not even been built? We do not know definitely how many events or visitors will be coming either.

I can't wait

I can't wait for the event center to be built. I hope they name it the Knight's Castle. Andre deserves all the credit for seeing that this wonderful building is built. We will have an NBA team for sure, playing in the center. I suggest we buy that Sterling guy's team. We will call it the Rocky Mount Railroaders. The tracks have played such a wonderful part in dividing our city, what else could we name the team. On the nights that the Railroaders aren't playing, we can have All Star bands such as Tony Orlando and Dawn and great singers such as Slim Whitman. It will be great. People will be fighting for the opportunity to use the building which will possibly turn a deficit into enough profit to lower the electric rates for all of our citizens and provide funding for 100 new police officers. It's going to be great. So, to you naysayers, I say turn into YAYsayers. Our wonderful council members are most certainly the most bestest of all time. They know much better than tried and true business leaders how to make money. I mean, just look at electricities, that was a wonderfully brilliant decision. We get to pay the highest utility rates in the world because of that great decision. I KNOW beyond a doubt that this bunch of council members are at least as wonderful as that bunch was.

I hope!

Magic Johnson buys the team! Damn wouldn't that be news? LMBAO!

SMDH!

But it didn't begin with Councilman Mayor Pro-tem Andre Knight but with the City Manager and Staff. Damn!

Event Center and Development

I mentioned in a previous post that many cities large and small/medium sized have built downtown convention centers in the hope of stimulating growth. Unfortunately, most of them are not comparable to Rocky Mount. One possible comparsion is Owensboro, Kentucky located in the western part of the state. Their population is close to Rocky Mount and their new convention Center is similar in cost. It is probably too early to know how the center has affected downtown development although local officials appear pleased. And I don' know anything regarding the funding of the convention center. However, there are some important differences between Owensboro, KY and Rocky Mount, NC. Owensboro has different demographics, lower unemployment rate, and different geography. I believe it is located in/on a scenic riverfront setting in Western Kentucky. There are many more differences.

Comparison

I should look for cities which more closely resemble Rocky Mount. Wilson, NC might be a better match. I don't believe they have a major event center unless you want to count the Bill's Barbeque Convention Center.

A better comparison.....

IMO, East Saint Louis, Illinois, offers a better comparison with Rocky Mount. The socio/economic histories are similar and Rocky Mount seems headed on the same path as that city. Here is a link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_St._Louis,_Illinois

Not Surprised !

It is and has always been plain to see that this event center is going to be built. And the city council and city manager does not care what the citizens want or their opinions. And to build it on Marigold Street? I want even ride down in that area unless I am armed. I still believe that there is more to this center being built then what is being said. Somebody has their hands in the cookie jar and is going to make a profit off this. And that somebody is Charles Penny,Andre Knight,Rueben Blackwell and Mayor Combs. By the way Dancy I mentioned Mayor Combs so your stupid butt can't scream discrimination. I think it is time for the citizens to get mad and get rid of the city manager and most of the city council. Its time for new leadership in this city !

Profit?

Again more ignant conversation. How will they profit? Please enlighten me! Thank you!

A brighter future?

There are two articles in the "Telegram" today that provide sharp contrast in the manner in which the cities of Rocky Mount and Tarboro are managed. As regards Tarboro, there is an article that deals with the annual budget proposed by the City Manager. From what I can tell, the manager is charting a course that offers a financially sound and well thought-out plan for the future development and growth of the city, while at the same time keeping the welfare of the tax-paying citizen in mind. It is easy to see why Tarboro is marketing itself as a nice city for retirees to live. The other article deals with the Penny/Knight folly. Enough said about that. It is fairly easy to determine which city has the brighter future. Indeed, that same contrast is apparent when looking at the future of Nashville. The only problem facing Nashville, IMO, is its close proximity to Rocky Mount: the disaster waiting to swallow up Rocky Mount might well have some effect on that town, and that would be a shame.

So true Louis. The article

So true Louis. The article states that Tarboro's proposed budget reflects no property tax increases and no increase in utility rates for the coming year. Congrats to historic Tarboro. Speaking of small neighboring towns, did anyone notice the attendance numbers for Nashville's Blooming Festival? Estimated at over 30,000. Yet, a neighboring city of over 56,000 (and dropping) can muster less than 5,000 for the Down East Festival. Makes one wonder why. The perception of a dangerous environment and having to put up with people acting unruly? Finally, inregards to today's Telegram, readers should also take note that a woman was robbed at gunpoint in her driveway on Wellington Ave Friday night, and, a 75 yr old man was severely beaten on Raleigh Rd in broad daylight Friday. And the worm keeps turning.

Again y'all, you do have options!

No surprise or real news here; I've said all along that the decision was made long ago, including the location (By-the-way: It will be at the corner of Marigold & Arlington St where the former Jeff's Furniture was located and burned down. The project will involve the entire block including demolishing businesses currently fronting S. Washington Street on that block). The only unknown is whether financial institutions will loan the City the money, how the financing package will be structured, how the project and growing debt ratio coupled with a shrinking tax base will impact the City's bond rating, and whether the Local Government Commission approves the deal. These are really formalities given the resolve of the current administration so I see no reason the project will not move forward. Having said that, those who oppose the project, or more importantly those who oppose how the decision was made without gaining public support, you have few options remaining. Make no mistake, if you live within the corporate limits of Rocky Mount your taxes are going up significantly in order to pay the annual debt service on the event center. Moreover, municipal services will be impacted negatively (including public safety) as departmental budgets are trimmed further and further to off-set the operating costs of the event center. Aging (and in some cases crumbling) infrastructure involving water, sewer, storm water, streets and governmental facilities will deteriorate further as more funds are needed to cover new and existing debt service. These things are inevitable. Sadly, the long-range financial plan for Rocky Mount is based on the hope that the NC General Assembly will again one day be run by liberals and Forced Municipal Annexations will return. While nothing surprises me any longer, I believe that is a fools folly to bet the City's future on that long shot. Again, if you stand in opposition to the current direction in Rocky Mount, you have few options. Yet, the most powerful thing that you do have control over is your purchase power...that is to say where you live, where you shop, where you eat, and in general what activities you support. Feel frustrated over the general climate surrounding Rocky Mount politics? Feel that you don't have a say? Feel like spite & arrogance have been the determining factors all along concerning the decisions made by this council & administration? Well, you do have options...powerful options. Simply opt out of Rocky Mount. When cut off from speaking at a public meeting in the council chambers, when ridiculed and called a racist because you are trying to employ some commonsense to the decision-making process, when basically told "to just get over it," people simply opt out. Yes, it's sad, but you've been left no other means. I assure you that waiting until property taxes skyrocket and the division that exists in Rocky Mount grows worse will be a costly mistake for you and your family. By opting out send a message: "We're mad as H**L and we're not going to put up with this any longer!" Develop an exit plan and execute the plan, and in the meantime, voice your opposition by simply opting out and take whatever lawful measures are necessary to keep your family safe until you can relocate.

SMDH!

SMDH!

Rocky Mount City Council

“I’m not against an event center, but all of the information we’ve gotten is that it ‘could or should’ do this, but there is no proof,” Bullock said. “... I just feel that we’ve overlooked private investments and if this is such a great economic opportunity, why haven’t entrepreneurs and investors already done something like it?” W.B. what? If a business move to Rocky Mount they could make money and they could not. I would think private investors could step to the plate if they wanted to however we know the reason why they have not. Yep! They wanted to do it years ago but who was the majority then? Well we know there is a hidden factor but really not hidden just some folks are in denial. Councilman W.B. Bullock was the only council member to vote against the motion to pursue funding, saying afterward that he feels now is not the time to plan an event center, adding the project would put other important concerns such as jobs and education on the back burner. So W.B. you are saying the city staff and city council can't do more than one thing at a time? I believe they can and they will.

Mr. Dancy

AGAIN AND AGAIN WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO IN HELPING CREATE JOBS FOR POOR BLACKS??????????? YOUR PEOPLE. ANSWER THIS QUESTION AND STOP ACTING LIKE A DUMB AS BLACK MAN IN FRONT OF WHITE PEOPLE. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO HELP POOR BLACKS CREATE JOBS???? MAN UP DANCY!!!!!! PUT UP OR SHUT UP, DO SOMETHING TO CREATE JOBS FOR POOR BLACKS OTHER THAN RUN YOUR TRAP OR GET OUT THE WAY. POOR BLACKS IN ROCKY MOUNY ARE SUFFERING, KILLING AND BEING KILLED AND ALL YOU BLACK SO-CALLED LEADERS AND FAITH BASE COMMUNITY WANT TO DO IS HOLD MEETINGS AFTER MEETINGS AND RUN YOUR TRAPS SAYING NOTHING AND DOING NOTHING ALL OF YOU NEED TO SIT YOUR %^$%%^^ DOWN, AND GET OUT THE WAY, RELEASE OUR RESOURCES SO THAT WE THE POOR CAN REBUILD OUR OWN LIVES AND COMMUNITIES. THE POOR HAVE WAITED ON THE "FAITH BASE COMMUNITY FOR 25 YEARS AND THEY HAVE NOT SHOWED UP AND THEY HAVE FAILED THE POOR AND THEY DON'T DESERVE ANOTHER BITE AT THE APPLE BECAUSE THE PRICE TO PAY FOR THE FAILURE OF THE "FAITH BASE COMMUNITY" IS THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN. IF THE "WHITE BROTHERS" (AS PASTOR OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH SAY) WANT TO HELP THE POOR THEY NEED TO WORK HAND IN HAND WITH THE POOR NOT WITH SOME GREEDY PASTOR WHO'S ONLY AGENDA IS TO BUILD A "MEGA CHURCH" To the "Faith Base Community" If you want to help the poor help themselves then step up to this plate or get out the way. Johnny Cunningham 252-266-3858

I don't create jobs

The city council do not create jobs. I repeat I am not going to create not one job unless I go into cooking and communications full time. Some folks have been trying to get me to go into cooking but not at the moment. And lastly you don't tell me what the hell to do, I do me because I know what is real and what is perceived. I ain't going to comment on the PASTORS. The majority of the folks I know even myself are poor so obviously you are not. SMDH!

And once again we have the

And once again we have the village idiot, dancing curly, rambling on about a subject he has little knowledge of other than it supported by blacks which makes it right in his eyes. Tell us, dancy, why you are so concerned about a project that you pay NO taxes on,in an area 15 miles from your hometown od Dodge City ? It would be in your better interests to concern yourself more with the gangs & drug problems among blacks in your area than a ROCKY MOUNT taxpayer funded modified juke joint. One more question my dwarf-sized friend---Do you know me ?

You work the gangs

while the City Council work the Event Center. Yeah I know you! I know the correct spelling of your name. LMBAO!

Sorry but...

Sorry but this is not economic development. This is simply increasing the burden on the tax payers. It's nice how consultants are so cavalier with spending the income of others. Will this reduce the overpriced utilities? Will this lower property tax for those on fixed incomes? Will this reduce the cost of living here in Rocky Mount? Will this bring manufacturing jobs back? Will this slow the exodus out of RM? NO, NO, and NO. This is an idiotic pipe dream on the level of "if you build it they will come..." Are those on the city council so arrogant and unfeeling that they are willing to inflict larger burdens on their constituents? Looks like the answer to that is yes. No one wants to run for city council because of the attitudes and viciousness of the existing members. They don't give a fat rat about RM. All they care about is doing what they want. Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!

Why?

There is no general support for this event center. Why will the wise ones on the City Council not put this up for a referendum. Are they afraid that the citizens of Rocky Mount will not support this. It's time to get rid of every one on the council. They don't represent the people of Rocky Mount, they all have conflicting interest, and they all play into the racial divide that doesn't exist except in the small minds of the council.

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