And the survey said…..

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CHAPEL HILL – A project under the auspices of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC Chapel Hill is seeking additional input from Bertie County citizens.

This past summer, the Institute collaborated with the Bertie County Commissioners in developing an Economic Development Plan. As part of that process as well as to rally community involvement, the Institute hosted a series of events in an effort to gauge where the members of the community saw themselves in the next five-to-seven years, and how they would like to get there.

“We have began synthesizing the information from the community events, and we now would like to reach out again to the members of the community in an effort to involve as many that want to participate as possible,” said Stephanie Smith, Economic Development Analyst with the

Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

Smith, speaking with the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald on Monday during a telephone interview, stressed the need of her organization to solicit the help of many Bertie County citizens as possible.

“We have drafted a survey, a list of questions we need to pose to Bertie citizens about where they would like to see their county in the future,” Smith said. “But because we’re not there every day, we may be missing an important element, a key to Bertie’s future, in that survey. That’s the main purpose behind this interaction with the people there, to ensure the survey touches on all the needs of the county.”

In February, the Institute launched its effort within Bertie County, working not only with the elected leadership there, but those with the Economic Development Commission and others as well. That effort was to establish an economic development plan for the county entitled “Bertie 2020.”  Over the summer, the Kenan Institute conducted surveys and community events to gather input from residents.

“These activities helped define a community vision for the economy of Bertie County by the year 2020 and provided an engaging and interactive way for county residents to collaborate with each other,” Smith stated.

Once completed, the economic development plan will recommend both modest short-term projects and expansive long-term goals; therefore, community support and active participation will be required for successful implementation.

“In a continuing effort to collaborate with the people of Bertie County, the Kenan Institute is directly soliciting the help of residents who would like to provide feedback during the plan development process or to participate in implementation,” Smith said. “We need the community behind this effort.”

If you would like to get involved or receive more information, contact Smith at or at the Kenan Institute, PO Box 3440, KenanCenter, Chapel Hill, NC27599-3440.

“If they choose to use the email route to contact me, I will immediately reply and send them the question-and-answer survey,” Smith closed.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal