Economic development happening in municipalities
Municipalities in Beaufort County are working toward economic development following funds received from the American Rescue Plan.
The funds for these developments come from the American Rescue Plan funds, which are part of a nationwide stimulus funding program to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law on March 11 and promised $1.9 trillion in funding to individuals and municipalities to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The town of Bath received a portion of the funds from the American Rescue Plan to remedy the negative financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These negative financial impacts stemmed from the lack of utility usage when businesses and offices were shut down to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The installation of lights on the bridge across Bath Creek is currently in progress. This process is ongoing through a partnership with several state regulatory agencies and officials with the town of Bath. These lights will serve as a safety feature for any boaters on the waters of Bath Creek after dark. According to town manager Bubs Carson, the project is a work in progress.
“We’ve been in contact with the Department of Transportation and we’re working toward installation,” Carson said. “Bath has a lot of positive developments going forward at the moment and we’re already working on next year’s Memorial Day celebration. We’re really looking forward to having fireworks over the Pamlico River again and all those boats along Hawkins Beach. It’s a big highlight for us and we’re really looking forward to hosting the event again after not being able to because of COVID.”
The town of Chocowinity is moving forward with broadband expansion.
According to town manager Joy McRoy, a contract has been signed and the data cables are currently being installed across town to improve broadband access in town.
“Right now, we’re trying to get cameras installed at our intersections and we’re hoping to get public wifi at the ballpark,” McRoy said. “Looking forward, we’re interested in getting wifi access across town that people can pay to log on and use but that will be a future project.”
Other economic developments in Chocowinity include the opening of new restaurant Poppy’s Smokehouse. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, the Poppy’s Smokehouse will be open for business as soon as July 28. The restaurant will serve beef and pork barbecue and local produce from area farmers and will offer in-restaurant and to-go options.
As these developments continue to move forward, both towns are hopeful about the positive impacts these developments will make.
“A lot of good things are in the works right now and we’re really looking forward to what’s to come,” Carson said.