08/31/06 — Planned growth: Counties need to monitor how they develop

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Planned growth: Counties need to monitor how they develop

Growth. It is a blessing and a curse.

North Carolina continues to be one of the fastest-growing states in the union, with increasing numbers of people choosing to start new lives around major cities and in small towns across the state.

And that’s great. We want more people — and the increased business investment that usually goes along with it.

But there are downsides to growth — especially for counties like Wayne and others that are not in Raleigh’s immediate environs.

We have larger immigrant populations, which have different needs, and sometimes business growth does not come easy or in the form that we would prefer to have it. In a sense, we are a diamond in the rough with an infrastructure that is getting there, but is not quite ready to support the future we are capable of having.

That’s the challenge of being a smaller community with a whole lot of potential that has not yet been realized.

Wayne County is poised to be part of the North Carolina boom. We have a lot to offer potential residents who want to live near a big city, but not in one.

To capitalize on that potential, we need a unified effort, a plan and a vision for where we want to be. That’s why some of the issues we are discussing now are so important — schools, animal shelter, highway projects, business incentives and downtown development.

Growth shouldn’t be left to chance.

Published in Editorials on August 31, 2006 11:48 AM