The Palmetto Theater of Walnut Cove is slated to be the recipient of a $90,000 downtown revitalization grant next month through the Rural Economic Development Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
Kim Greenwood, who’s serving as interim town manager, said the board was pleased to see the funding go towards building the downtown area in Walnut Cove.
“Representative Kyle Hall had worked with the Palmetto Theater group during the legislative session and he wanted it to go to them. It was something they’d lobbied for.”
Two other groups petitioned for a smaller portion of the grant, Stokes County Barn Quilt Trail and East Stokes Outreach Ministry (ESOM). Although they didn’t receive funding Greenwood said the town plans to allot an unspecified amount to both.
Stokes County Barn Quilt Trail is a community group designed to create a barn quilt trail through the county in hopes to encourage tourism and economic development.
“There’s a national registry and people come through to see these,” Greenwood said. “You never know what’s going to get someone’s attention. In smaller towns, you have to think outside the box to get people to come.”
ESOM, a longtime staple in the community, requested funding for façade work on the exterior of their building.
“No one would argue that the outreach ministry does so many great things. Commissioner Conaway was one that suggested we fund that from the town because it’s important,” Greenwood said.
Greenwood is pleased with the direction the downtown area in Walnut Cove is moving towards.
“The economy is picking up and that’s good for our business owners. On Friday nights we’re starting to see people come out. We want this to be a place where people can enjoy some live entertainment, have a meal and walk around. It takes time, but I think we’re getting there.”
Another downtown distinction slated for next year will be a roundabout at the intersection of Oldtown Road and Main Street.
“I think it’ll make the traffic flow easier and it also gives you a sense of entering a downtown area,” Greenwood said.
The Town of Walnut Cove is expected to announce a new town manager to replace Bobby Miller who stepped down in July at its next Oct. meeting.
“We’re interviewing soon and there’s some excellent candidates,” Greenwood said. “Everyone just wants the best interest of the town.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.