• 50°

Granite looks for its identity

Granite Quarry should be commended for doing its homework.
A delegation from the Rowan County town traveled a week ago to Travelers Rest, S.C., and came back with some good notions on what Granite Quarry must do to enhance its future.
The general take-away items were these:
• Have a plan. Granite Quarry will need a conceptual idea of what it hopes to accomplish in its central business district.
• Find an identity. What’s going to be Granite Quarry’s brand — the thing that ties everything together and makes it a destination spot — not a place on the way to somewhere else?
• Involve its residents and businesses. As other municipalities have learned through the years, it’s important to have public input at every level of planning.
The Granite Quarry delegation saw and heard things in Travelers Rest of which to be jealous. Travelers Rest has benefited greatly in recent years from the creation of Swamp Rabbit Trail, a multi-use greenway linked to the heart of Greenville 10 miles away.
Created from an abandoned rail line, the trail brings in visitors, provides recreation for residents and sparks economic development for the businesses wanting to be close to it.
Granite Quarry has a similar rail line. The only problem; trains still use it.
Travelers Rest also has invested heavily in aesthetic improvements in its central business district — things such as pocket parks, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and parking. In addition, the town has developed Trailblazer Park, which includes an outdoor amphitheater that is home for a summer concert series and movies in the park.
Travelers Rest relies on economic tools Granite Quarry doesn’t have, particularly accommodations and hospitality taxes providing revenues way beyond what Granite Quarry has at its disposal.
Granite Quarry could consider a municipal service district, but for it to work, a district would have to provide income through a special tax. The idea of extra property taxes is not always a palatable notion in a small town.
F&M Bank Chairman Paul Fisher sees some momentum building in Granite Quarry. The town has a new pharmacy. A medical office building is under construction, and a new Family Dollar is on the drawing board for the downtown.
If some significant retail development can happen where the old Eastside Kwik Stop was, it could begin to define the rest of the town, Fisher says.
But a mistake, Fisher is right to point out, could easily turn into a 50-year mistake. So it all goes back to doing more homework — and having a plan.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week

Crime

Sheriff’s office: Two charged after suitcase of marijuana found in Jeep

Crime

Thomasville officer hospitalized after chase that started in Rowan County

Local

Board of elections discusses upgrading voting machines, making precinct changes

News

Lawmakers finalize how state will spend COVID-19 funds