In Bladen County, Elizabethtown business owners and residents are looking forward to the town's upcoming revitalization project.
Hubert McKiber was born and raised in Elizabethtown...and has called the town home for 76 years.
He says its time for change and business owners agree. “It's time. You can see our sidewalks are cracked and they're dangerous in some places so something had to be done,” said Eckie Lancaster.
The city of Elizabethtown plans to break ground on its re-vitalization project by the end of February. The project encompasses a five block area of their downtown.
“Our town as you can see is a busy small town and I think this is just gonna bring new people in and make people just walk the streets because it's gonna be so nice,” Lancaster said.
Removal of power lines, new streetlamps, new sidewalks made of brick and concrete, new park benches and garbage bins, and the addition of a street clock are among some of the revisions.
The total bill? An estimated $ 1.6 million.
But McKiber says it’s worth it. “A lot of wear and tear out there. Me and my wife were talking about that the other day.”
And Lancaster agrees. “Anytime you're improving something, its worth the investment.>
The city received grants and donations to help make the project possible. They also mandated a 7-cent tax increase for businesses; residents did not receive a tax increase.
The project is expected to be completed in June or July.