As we review where we’ve been and a “next agenda” for the future, we I think we must acknowledge that our ship is sailing into new seas…with the potential for much change.
Our partner the City of Kinston will soon be in the hands of new leaders…a new city manager, and new members of the City Council. The election ahead features a heady mix of ideologies, personalities, ideas and opinions. What this means for Pride of Kinston remains to be seen.
I believe that Pride’s long and steady record of working hard—with a minimum of staff, budget but great volunteers—will carry substantial weight as new approaches and new budgets are melded.
We can be proud of our record … money and manpower… regarding the appearance of downtown.
We can be proud of our record in assisting investors acquire properties and establishing new businesses downtown. And we are truly grateful to those who are taking a risk when they plop down their own money to purchase, to renovate, to open a new enterprise.
We can be proud of the promotional efforts, advertising and events we host to bring people downtown—Sand in the Streets, the Kinston 8000: Run for the River, Holly Days Celebration….And in that regards, we are grateful for the many sponsors who have lent their hands and dollars.
And Pride has been a productive and good citizen.
Since 2002, when the Kinston Enterprise Center opened, we have paid a total of $110,598.76 in property taxes on that building alone: some $52,330.37 to Lenoir County, $40,724.92 to City of Kinston, and $17,543.47 as our portion of MSD taxes.
Since 2004 we have paid to the City of Kinston utilities a total of $227,775 for electricity.
We have distributed a total of $91,634.20 in façade grants and other physical improvements for specific projects with a total value of $230,000. Incidentally, those façade grants helped to increase the tax value by $594,148 of those structures, comparing the 2004 valuations with the 2009 valuations.
We were able to report to the City Council last spring that the City and Pride were successful in acquiring a Main Street grant to help Stephen Hill renovate the old Miller Furniture Showroom into an awesome facility.
That we are paying $6,500 a year to trim the trees along Queen Street, that our expenditures for MSD purposes each years amount to nearly 3 times the $50-55,000 we receive from that fund.
If informal polls heard on the street, in grocery stores, at Wal Mart and elsewhere are indications, then I believe that we enjoy the support and encouragement of the vast majority of Kinston’s citizens….in all walks of life.
What you have in your hands is a document in two parts:
- A scan of what we have been doing over the part two or so years; and
- A section containing suggestions as to future projects and issues we might tackle.
These ideas and suggestions have come from members of the Board of Directors, from our committees and from citizens in the community.
In general, I believe – taken together—these ideas and suggestions reflect a broad and deep belief in Pride’s work and in our future.
Pride of Kinston • 327 North Queen Street • Kinston, NC 28501• (252)