Tarboro recognized as retirement community

By Darla Slipke

Staff Writer

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Tarboro has been designated as a certified retirement community through an application and selection process of the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Division.

As such, the town will be highlighted and promoted by RetireNC, which is a marketing and promotional campaign through the Department of Commerce. The Department of Commerce also will assist Tarboro by marketing the town as a retirement location and helping to develop the town’s retirement community assets and continuing care facilities, according to information provided by the town.

The designation is good for five years.

To apply, the town was required to submit a $10,000 application fee. Town officials received $3,000 from ElectriCities and Tarboro Savings Bank to help with the cost of the application fee, and the town paid the remaining $7,000.

Senior Center Supervisor Morgan Whitehurst and Planning Director Josh Edmondson worked with a committee that included representatives from different segments of the community to prepare the town’s application for the program.

Now that the town has received the designation, members of the committee plan to shift their focus to an action phase.

“This is when the real work begins,” Whitehurst said.

Edmondson said they plan to work to promote the program, to develop marketing materials and to brainstorm ideas.

In addition to working with original members of the committee who are willing to continue to serve, Edmondson said they plan to seek additional volunteers who also would be willing to help serve.

The certified retirement community designation will benefit the entire community, not just retirees or potential retirees, Whitehurst said.

Edmondson said the designation will be used as an economic development tool for the town.

“It’s another way for Tarboro to promote what we know to be a special place to a growing section of the United States population,” Edmondson said. “I believe that attracting retirees will create new opportunities for young entrepreneurs and our small business community.”