Up & Coming Weekly

December 07, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 8 of 24

8 UCW DECEMBER 8-14, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM e annual State of the Community was presented last week with leaders from Cumberland County, Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, Spring Lake and Hope Mills all talking about the past year, what's to come and their biggest challenges. CUMBERLAND COUNTY Cumberland County Chairman Charles Evans spoke in a pre-recorded video about Cumberland County. He said that some of the accomplishments the county had, over the past year, included creating and running massive COVID-19 vaccina- tion sites, implementing an Emergency Rental Assistance Program, creating a new American Rescue Plan committee, creating a military food policy council to address food insecurity among military service members and their families and addressing racial injustice and diversity initiatives. Looking forward, Evans was excited to announce that several compa- nies like Metronet, Amazon and Cargill will develop jobs locally and invest in local businesses. Other future plans include the construction of a homeless shelter, new emergency services and 911 call center and entirely replacing the Crown eater and Arena. e biggest challenge for the county is continuing to getclean water and sewer to all areas of the county. Specifi- cally in the area of Gray's Creek. "Getting water to Gray's Creek and other areas of the county remains a priority," Ev- ans said. "e county is working to partner with available Public Works Commission to have utilities serve as the water supplier at Gray's Creek." FAYETTEVILLE Mayor Mitch Colvin spoke live at the Greater Fayetteville Chamber about the state of the City of Fayetteville. Colvin said that the city made several investments in the community this past year. City wages have gone up to $15 an hour, over $50 million will go to the airport, a new aquatic center was built and $33 million was dedicated for public and govern- ment housing. Colvin confirmed that Amazon will be coming to Fayetteville, which will bring in an additional 500 jobs and $100 million of investment. He also announced that the Cape Fear River Trail will continue to be developed in the upcoming months. e biggest challenge for the City, according to Colvin, is getting people trained and having a ready work- force in Fayetteville. FORT BRAGG Garrison Commander Col. Scott Pence spoke on behalf of the ongoing work at Fort Bragg. Over the past year, community meetings about the renaming of the base have been taking place but other positives, such as Smith Lake reopening this year and new strategies from the Army to help attract, retain and enable people are just a few positive takeaways. One major renova- tion the installation is looking at is the creation of Liberty Trail - a 14-mile loop around Fort Bragg. at trail will open in January. One concern for Fort Bragg is that one-third of soldiers, who are usually on deployment, are now at the post — creat- ing a demand on resources. SPRING LAKE Spring Lake Mayor Larry Dobbins spoke briefly about the town's financial troubles but primarily focused on what the town needs to do in the future: restructure, rebuild, rebrand, regain trust and rebirth. Dobbins will be stepping down as Mayor later this month. Mayor-elect Kia Anthony will take his place. HOPE MILLS Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner spoke about that change is happening in the town. Many officials have or will retire and the town will need to find new replace- ments for these town figureheads. In addi- tion, a new City Manager, who is relatively unfamiliar with the area will need support. Warner says other challenges Hope Mills faces are the replacement of roads and dealing with traffic. Overall, she says the future is bright for Hope Mills continues to grow. Leaders of the community pose after talking about the biggest accomplishments, biggest chal- lenges and what's to come in Cumberland County. (Photo courtesy of Greater Fayetteville Chamber.) NEWS State of Community addresses past, present, future by HANNAH LEE HANNAH LEE, Assistant Editor. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. FREE HEALTH CARE • for Eligible uninsured Adults call 910.485.0555

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