Residents, community leaders, business and property owners from downtown and throughout the Town of Smithfield are invited to participate in the Downtown Smithfield Community Economic Vision Forum on Monday, March 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Church, located at 215 S. Third Street in Downtown Smithfield. The main purpose is to develop a five-year vision for Downtown Smithfield. The public is invited, but everyone should to register in advance. The forum will be facilitated by Liz Parham, Director, Urban Development Division, North Carolina Department of Commerce.
The purpose of the forum is to gather input from citizens, business and property owners regarding their views of:
- What is good about downtown
- What needs improvement
- What downtown should become in the future
During the forum, participants will work together in small groups to identify downtown’s strengths and weaknesses and write vision statements, based on Smithfield’s economic drivers, describing what they want downtown to be. Everyone will then determine the best themes and ideas to develop a single vision statement for Downtown Smithfield, which will help update the long-range plans for the central business district.
“Ensuring the long-term success of Downtown Smithfield should be a collaborative effort involving everyone who benefits from having a healthy downtown” said Sarah Edwards, Interim Director of Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation. “We hope to have 75-100 participants that represent Smithfield’s diverse population” That representation includes residents and property owners from throughout town, representatives from civic organizations, arts and cultural groups, educational community, industry, civic leaders, church leaders, high school youth, commercial and residential real estate agents, bankers, accountants, attorneys, and town staff, especially from public safety, utility and public works departments.