01/08/07 — No waiting allowed: Development is going to come; we will decide form it takes

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No waiting allowed: Development is going to come; we will decide form it takes

Wayne County officials need to stay on top of everything from transportation to economic incentives if this area is going to get its share of the Raleigh growth boom.

It is too easy to think that by simply not making any noise, this county will be able to keep some of the rural characteristics that make it different from the hustle and bustle that is found inside the beltline.

So, when news of this transportation project or that development possibility comes our way, the first instinct could be to protect ourselves from decisions made in Raleigh that affect the future of this community.

But there is another option — one that just might make attracting more business and residents easier to handle.

We could take some bold steps to position ourselves to take advantage of the next wave — and maybe even become the “rural” area residents turn to to get out of the Raleigh traffic and headaches.

But to do that, we have to think big. How do we want to take advantage of our position along U.S. 70? How could we turn beach traffic into a money-maker for our towns? What are our infrastructure needs in the booming northern end of the county? And where could we invest as a community to become competitive when new businesses start looking for a place to build or expand?

The road to development is lined with the stories of towns that waited too long to determine where they were going and how to get there.

Now is the time to think about possibilities and the future. County officials should not be the only ones pondering those questions.

Published in Editorials on January 8, 2007 11:26 AM