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Ceremony will mark street name change

AHOSKIE – A ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3 will usher in a new name for two Ahoskie streets.

At 4 p.m. on that date, the public is invited to attend the unveiling of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. That designation will replace Rhue Street (north of Memorial Drive) and the portion of Catherine Creek Road north of the intersection at New Ahoskie Baptist Church.

The renaming ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. at the empty lot at the corner of South Maple Street and East Sunset Street. There, Reverend Dr. William Barber II, President of the North Carolina NAACP, will deliver the keynote address.

Following the ceremony, the public is invited to participate in a march along the newly named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to its intersection with Malibu Drive.

The event is expected to end at approximately 6 p.m.

This issue has been in the works since September of last year as members of the Ahoskie Town Council discussed several options of renaming a street in honor of the late Civil Rights leader. Following several public hearings on the issue, the council agreed at their February meeting to rename Rhue Street and North Catherine Creek Road in honor of Dr. King.

Other suggestions for renaming a street in honor of Dr. King included the entire length of Catherine Creek Road, No Man’s Land Park on Main Street, First Street (NC 561), Memorial Drive, the next new street to be constructed and the park now planned within the FEMA buyout area.

A resolution was passed at the council’s March meeting that officially opened the door for the street name change. That resolution was required by the North Carolina Department of Transportation due to that roadway (SR 1409) falling under their control. In order for a town to rename a state-maintained road, the governing body within that municipality is required to endorse a resolution of support.

Additionally, NCDOT required the town to establish an effective date for the change. That date was set for Sept. 30, 2007.

In the meantime, the town of Ahoskie has notified residents and business owners living along the route of the newly named street in regards to their change of address.

The town has spent approximately $1,000 on the new street signs.