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In The News, August 28, 2017

Morganton receives skate park grant from Tony Hawk

It’s one thing to get the approval of the city to construct a skate park in downtown Morganton. But to get the approval of arguably the world’s greatest skater — now that’s something special. The Morganton Parks and Recreation Department received a $15,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation on July 25 to help construct a skate park behind the Collett Street Recreation Center. Andy Smith, the city’s risk management coordinator and self-described “last person who should want a skate park,” said he first applied for a grant in December. But the foundation said Morganton did not have enough plans and support in place. The foundation was looking for more community involvement, Smith said. So when he applied again in June, Smith had documented Facebook shares, community meeting records and a final design. “I was pretty excited and shocked when I got the phone call that we got the grant,” Smith said. “(The foundation) has been really helpful through this whole thing.”

Town sees trail as economic tool

The Gateway Trail, a pathway for both walkers and bikers, now covers nearly seven and a half miles, stretching from the trailhead near downtown Kings Mountain, across Interstate 85 on a pedestrian bridge, and on to a second trailhead at Galilee Church Road. The progress of this trail, which did not exist a decade ago, cannot be adequately measured in a mere recitation of miles covered, of hills climbed, of bridges crossed. Instead, it must also be examined as an example of a community working together to turn dreams into reality.

Wilmington identifies new brick streets

Three newly discovered blocks of historic brick road could soon be refurbished in Wilmington. Six months after city leaders approved a policy to protect more brick streets, council members voted last week to add South 13th Street between Dock and Ann streets and Greenfield Street between South Second and Third streets to a citywide restoration plan. While a timeline has not been set to remove asphalt from the blocks, they join a network of brick streets that could be restored in the coming years, including parts of Red Cross, Princess and North Fourth. Dave Mayes, the city’s public services director, said this year’s budget includes $250,000 for brick streets. He expects a project to go to bid in the next few months, but said it will likely deal with repairing brick streets that have already been uncovered.

Town of Windsor gets $500,000 grant for new library

The town of Windsor is getting new library thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation of Rocky Mount, the town of Windsor the getting a new public library. The old library was forced to shut down after flooding from storms, including Hurricane Matthew, tore through the area. Some of the money is going into the temporary library, while the rest will go the new public library. Bertie County manager Scott T. Sauer said the grant will not only help the town but also the community.

Laurinburg awarded grant for business park, incubator

The Laurinburg City Council voted on Tuesday to accept a state grant for an industrial park that could bring as many as 415 new jobs to the area. The vote came after Mark Ward, county economic development director, updated council on where the county and city stand in terms of attracting new business and manufacturing to the area. Ward said the city has been awarded a grant for as much as $1.5 million from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority to assist in infrastructure needs for a 42-acre incubator park and a 85-acre industrial park — both located behind the Small Business Innovation Center at 16800 US 401 Bypass. “On behalf of the city council and Laurinburg citizens, congratulations to Mark Ward, Charles Nichols and the EDC for securing this large sum of money from the state that will surely make Scotland County more competitive in recruiting industry,” said Mayor Matthew Block in a statement.