NEWTON GROVE — Laura Wheeler of the Citizens Improving Newton Grove (CING) committee made a presentation to commissioners to improve the downtown scenery. However, some town board members believe it will not matter if nearby business don’t do the same.
Wheeler, a former commissioner, provided an update about some of the improvements at downtown’s roundabout and other areas of Newton Grove. Some of those include replacing lamp posts, placing trash receptacles around town and working wit North Carolina’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve broken curbs in the circle.
“We’ve been working hard trying to build relationships with these people,” Wheeler said about working with DOT and others.
Soon Christmas banners will go up for the holiday season.
During the discussion, Commissioner Cody Smith said the group is doing a wonderful job with beautification. But he brought up a local business with a heap of tires, which some believe are an eyesore. He was also concerned about health matters as well.
“Right across from the circle is mountain of tires that’s left out in the environment that breeds mosquitoes,” Smith said while mentioning an ordinance about new and used tires. “In my personal opinion, all of what you have done is null and void if don’t take care of some of that too.”
Smith believes a roof and fence should be placed over the tires to prevent problems.
“If you look at Florida, they got ate up with the Zika virus and it can very easily happen here,” Smith said.
Smith said other buildings near the circle need painting as well. There was a consensus when it came to other businesses improving the faces of their buildings.
“It’s a lot of work to do what we’re doing,” Wheeler said. “We get comments from Facebook and other places that people like what’s happening. They like the banners and they like the lamps. But we need support and we need backup.”
One of the suggestion was to have meetings with the CING and other groups such as the planning board.
“Our town deserves better,” she said. “We want it to look like some of these other towns.”
Other improvements included crosswalk markings to help residents cross the street in the busy area and partnering with the Mountains-to-Sea organization, by assisting with sponsorship.
“We are on the map and people walk and hike through,” Wheeler said. “We want to make our town friendly and welcoming to them.”
Wheeler and others are also meeting with a pastoral committee with representatives from different churches. The goal is to improve relationships and communications.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.