02/12/10 — Council continues planning session

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Council continues planning session

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 12, 2010 1:46 PM

Members of the Goldsboro City Council adjourned their annual retreat a day earlier than expected after they breezed through what remained of an agenda that covered everything from the latest update on potential construction of a new recreation center to progress reports from the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. and those charged with overseeing the Stoney Creek Stream Restoration project.

The recreation center discussion was fairly short, as the plans were approved -- and the project put out for bid -- at the council's Feb. 1 meeting. More lengthy conversations are expected at the end of March -- the estimated cost of the facility should be known by then.

But Thursday's session was about much more than potential capital projects.

Council members also entertained a detailed report from Travel and Tourism director Betsy Rosemann, who touted recent Chamber of Commerce accomplishments.

Travel in Wayne County, she said, generated $120.26 million in 2008, a 6.4-precent increase from the previous year. And Wayne now ranks 27th out of the 100 counties in the state for travel and tourism.

And Mrs. Rosemann had more good news for the board.

In the midst of economic turmoil, nearly 1,000 jobs across the county came courtesy of travel and tourism, an industry that generated more than $17 million in payroll.

Mayor Al King applauded the Chamber's efforts and said he -- and local coffers -- have noticed an increase in promotion for county events.

Other officials also showed up Thursday to thank the council for its support and tout recent successes.

ArtSmarts representatives Martha Bryan and Sarah Merritt said Goldsboro's relatively new fine arts academy is making a difference in the lives -- and school performances -- of many of the children who are enrolled in the program.

The council also heard, for the second day in a row, from DGDC executive director Julie Thompson, who, again, detailed what Center Street could look like if the city chose to invest in a streetscape project that would see wider sidewalks and a "walkable" median return to the downtown thoroughfare.

For complete coverage of the two-day work session, including stories on recent developments at the Golds-boro Police and Fire Departments, project up-dates and a look at the "wish lists" for the next 10 years presented by each of the city's department heads, see Sunday's News-Argus.