Group continues efforts to beautify Ahoskie

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2005

AHOSKIE – It’s as simple as A-B-C.

Those three letters, etched forever in the minds of current or former schoolchildren, stand for something entirely different when it comes to a group of hard-working volunteers, those who comprise the Ahoskie Beautification Commission. That group remains diligent in their efforts to make Ahoskie more attractive and appealing.

&uot;A beautiful town can be a great source of civic pride,&uot; said ABC Chairperson Meryl Brown. &uot;When people in the community are proud of where they live, they are more willing to invest in further improvements.&uot;

The group, appointed last year by the Ahoskie Town Council, is empowered to initiate and implement programs dealing with general beautification of the town as well as to provide leadership in matters of design and appearance.

Their first major project is to secure funding for the placement of new signage, complete with landscaping, of the seven major entrances to the town. That signage has been designed with brick pillars that will house a wooden sign, all painted white with the town seal at the top of the sign along with a re-adopted town slogan – &uot;Ahoskie – the only one.&uot;

Those welcome signs will be placed at the town’s corporate limits along US 13 north and south, NC 561 east and west, NC 42 west, the Ahoskie-Cofield Road and the Jernigan Swamp Road.

The group has applied for grant money from North Carolina DOT and is currently on a waiting list from that state organization. If funded, the DOT will supply, plant and maintain (for a period of three years) the plants, shrubs and trees in the landscaped areas of the new signs. At the end of the three-year period, that DOT maintenance will revert back to the town.

Meanwhile, the group is seeking private funds. To date, those private funds amount to $7,420. Additional funds are being solicited through a series of mailings conducted by the ABC.

&uot;We challenge local businesses and individuals to step-up and help us make our town attractive to both those who are here every day as well as those traveling through Ahoskie,&uot; said ABC member Hal Daniels.

Contributions, which are tax deductible, can be mailed to the Town of Ahoskie, Beautification Commission, 201 West Main St., PO Box 767, Ahoskie, NC, 27910.

The Commission meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. In addition to Brown and Daniels, other members include Rev. Richard Rice, Raymond Jones, Patricia Weaver, Carole Everett, Betty Duke, Inez Bracy, Lisa Barkley and Elsie Powell. Ex-Officio members are Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn, Town Manager Tony Hammond and Carol Jean Fretwell, president of the Ahoskie Garden Club.