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Rockingham encourages input for Land Use Plan with online survey; supports highway upgrades

John Massey, assistant city manager, explains a survey for the city's Land Use Plan. Photo by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — City leaders are asking for public input on the municipality’s Land Use Plan.

John Massey, city planner and assistant city manager, spoke about the survey during this week’s City Council meeting.

According to Massey, the city’s current 10-year plan expires this year.

The city has created an online survey for residents to offer their opinions on what they think should be prioritized.

Massey said a flier was sent out with the recent water bill with a QR code to lead to the survey, which has 26 questions regarding zoning, housing, traffic, recreation and other related topics, and a box for comments and suggestions “regarding this survey or any other issues you believe are important to Rockingham.”

There is also a link to the survey on the city’s Facebook page and website.

Massey said the survey only takes four to five minutes to complete: “It’s a very straight-forward process.”

“It’s important that we get their participation,” Massey said. “…it’s not John Massey’s plan, it’s the citizens’ plan and we need their input…”

As of Tuesday, there had been 86 responses.

City Manager Monty Crump said the number of responses increased from 20-something after the water bills went out.

“We’d really like to get a couple of hundred, (that) would be ideal,” Massey said.

Massey continued, saying that the plan, which is now required by law for all municipalities, influences the city’s annual budget.

In the memo included with the agenda packet, Massey said, “It is impossible to develop a plan for the growth and development of our community for the next ten years without knowing our citizens’ thoughts and priorities on the issue.”

Massey told the council in June that, of the 32 objectives listed in the 2013 plan, the city has accomplished “or made progress” on 23 of them, including infrastructuring improvements — replacing the pump station and extension of sewer lines — and downtown revitalization.

This is the third plan developed since Massey came on board with the city.

The only action item on the August agenda was a request for support for a grant application regarding the future Interstate 74 project.

N.C. Department of Transportation Division 8 Engineer Patrick Norman sent an email to city and county leaders of the region on July 19 asking for letters of support.

Norman said the project would increase “resiliency, safety, and mobility for North Carolina industries and residents.”


“This project would further progress NCDOT’s goals of upgrading US 74 to interstate standards and setting the framework for several long-term benefits for the Sandhills Region,” Norman added. “NCDOT remains committed to this project and is submitting a Federal grant application … to help fund this project.”

If awarded, Norman said the grant would “accelerate the delivery of the project” to upgrade the highway between the exits for U.S. 74 Business just east of Hamlet and west of Laurinburg.

The grant application is due Aug. 21.

Crump said the improvements would provide both a direct and indirect impact on the city.

The council approved the measure unanimously.

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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.