ROSEBORO — In an effort to better serve the residents of Roseboro, the NC STEP committee and Roseboro Small Town Main Street committee have decided to join forces and become one entity of the town.
According to Roseboro mayor Alice Butler, the two committees joined to work on promoting the growth of the town and enhancing the quality of life for all of the town’s citizens. Many of the aspects from both programs overlap, and Butler said the committees felt it was best to join the two together.
“After consulting with the directors of each program in Raleigh to make sure it was okay to join the two programs, the committee members voted at January meeting to combine the programs,” Butler said. “Basically, it was the same citizens that were involved in each program. Also, the goals of both programs overlap and since we are a small town, it only makes sense that we join them together.”
In 2008, Roseboro became part of the Small Town Main Street (STMS) program, which was designed to focus mainly on the downtown area. According to Butler, the program is currently not accepting new towns, so Roseboro is very fortunate to be one of their 30 active communities.
STMS helps with development assistance by assisting in organizational development, market analysis, business assistance, promotions and design. This program is managed by the N.C. Department of Commerce.
In 2012, Roseboro was awarded the N.C. Small Town Economic Prosperity grant of $125,000 total. Through this grant, citizens of Roseboro developed a plan that focused on three strategies. According to Butler, the program worked to attract residential development, business support, renovation incentives, commercial building marketing, public area improvements and economic development organizations. Strategy two goals of the grant worked on improving the “quality of life” for both current citizens and future citizens, while the third strategy developed a marketing, signage and communications program for Roseboro.
“Both of these programs have helped Roseboro by bringing citizens and business owners together with a common goal of making sure Roseboro continues to offer the quality of life its citizens and businesses deserve,” the mayor attested.
Both programs have accomplished many things for the town. According to Butler, the STMS committee changed the downtown zoning ordinance to grant permission for businesses to operate on the ground floor of their structure, while using the second floor as a residence. Through the STMS, the facade grant program has been established, which is now included in the town’s budget and works to improve the overall aesthetics of the business.
Since the STMS program committee conducted a retail leakage report in 2009, Butler said both Rupert’s Furniture and Railroad Street Steakhouse have opened in downtown Roseboro to address some of the needs found in the study.
Through the NC STEP grant, Butler said the town has been able to create a website, new branding for the town, erect new signage and landscaping.
“We also cleaned-up a lot downtown, offered matching equipment grants which were used by 10 businesses, had several movie nights for our families and much more,” Butler said.
Now, Butler admitted, the real test comes. As both programs continue, with no additional grant money, the mayor said through the desire and determination of the town’s citizens, the town will continue to grow.
The committee will meet jointly on Feb. 2 and elect the leaders for the combined programs. There will be three separate committees that work together to build a sustainable and complete community.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.