This week’s Kinston City Council meeting directed some focus towards the creative district in the community.
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the meeting included the approval of an art piece location and the update on community development activities in the Mitchelltown area. Stephen Hill — co-founder of Mother Earth Brewery — has been among those leading the effort.
“I was really standing behind the arts council endeavor and how it enriches the town,” Kinston City Councilman Bobby Merritt said. “When Stephen Hill started updated houses, it seemed to catch on amongst the community. We like to see people getting excited and having a positive outlook on Kinston, especially in a historical neighborhood.
“It took a while for our Mitchelltown district to be revived and it’s a crucial part to our community. You have to take the time to drive by and see the architectural wood work. They don’t build houses like this anymore.”
Mayor B.J. Murphy agreed, saying the city had been proactively pursuing the community development, specifically in redeveloping the arts and culture district.
“Having private citizens coordinate their efforts with our public policy is a win-win for the Kinston community,” Murphy said. “We’ve developed partnerships with the Kinston Promise neighborhood, Rochelle Middle School, the J.H. Sampson CDC and others to work on implementing strategy related to property redevelopment and infrastructure improvements throughout the city.”
The council voted unanimously on all proposals brought to them in the meeting with little disagreement.
“It was pretty much standard procedure,” Merritt said. “Everyone was on board and no difficult decisions had to be made.”
There were two approved street closings for upcoming events during the meeting. On Saturday, Aug. 17, the Kinston Community Health Center will have its annual community health fair on Queen Street. As a result, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., portions of Blount, Queen and Herritage Street will be blocked off on that day.
On Oct. 12, the “Get Your Rear in Gear 5K” race will be set up at Fairfield Park from 8 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Portions of Carolina Avenue between Waverly Avenue and Perry Park Drive will be closed to set up the start and finish line.
Overall, Murphy was pleased with the meeting and what was accomplished during the session.
“Every meeting that we’ve had since I’ve been here has been a productive meeting,” Murphy said. “Receiving constructive feedback from the citizens is important for the council to make informed policy decisions. Having engaged in the private sector allows the city to be able to help spur economic development and growth.”
The next city council meeting will be held on Aug. 19 at 5 p.m.
Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 and Junious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.