05/27/04 — Mount Olive plans to hold public meeting

View Archive

Mount Olive plans to hold public meeting

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 27, 2004 1:59 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Residents can find out how downtown Mount Olive has grown over the last year at a meeting on June 22.

The time and place of the public meeting will be announced by the group that has been working to revamp downtown through a program called the Small Town Development Project. The group is inviting the public to the meeting to hear about the progress that's been made while taking part in the one-year pilot project, which was funded by a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Downtown Mount Olive has experienced a net gain of nine new businesses over the past year.

Patti O'Donoghue, chairman of the Small Town Committee of about 20 business and government leaders, said the group has accomplished so much that "we need to pray we get another two years, because we're just beginning."

Something like this has never been done before, said Bob Murphrey, the project's coordinator for the N.C. Department of Commerce. He said he expects to learn this week if the project will receive another grant to continue one more year.

"If we don't get the grant, we'll have to do some soul-searching and some prayers, because the money will have to come out of the secretary's discretionary fund," he said. He said the secretary of the commerce's discretionary fund is small.

Robert Shepherd of Southern Bank suggested inviting all of the candidates running for election this fall.

"We're going to be asking some of them for money," he said. "That's the night we're going to show off and invite them to see what we're doing. Then, we'll ask them for help."