The Town was awarded a VDOTEA21 (Transportation Enhancement Grant) in 2012 for $360,000. With this money, the Town hopes to finish the street improvements including street lights and sidewalks started on Rush Street and lower Main Street. In addition, there are some improvements planned for the intersection of Smith Street and Main Street, and the intersection of Main Street and Wickliffe Avenue at the railroad crossing. The project is being designed by Hurt & Proffitt and will hopefully be ready to go out for bid for construction in December with an early spring construction date planned. The project shold be completed by early fall 2014.
John Lubback once said that “What we see depends mainly on what we look for”. Some would say the Central Business District (CBD) is dilapidated, falling apart and will never return to the vibrant bustle of activity it was 20 years ago. Some would say that it has always been this way and it will always be this way. Some would say that the people don’t care about the Town and have no pride in what it looks like. Some would say – well I don’t need to go on any further for you have heard “some” of these folks and know what they say.
Rather than go into all of the reasons why “some” folks think that way, let me share what I think about the Town of Brookneal. Communities are made up of people, not buildings, streets, or other infrastructure which provides services to support a quality of life. What I see are people that believe the Town is a great place to live and raise a family. Through the decline of manufacturing the Town has seen some difficult economic times, but that does not mean that the charm and sense of community spirit no longer exists.
The Town has a unique opportunity with the award of this Phase II downtown revitalization grant. However, this will not be a Town Council project, it will take the entire community working together to make Brookneal a community that will again be the hub of activity for everyone that visits the CBD. As someone who lives, works, or plays in the Town of Brookneal what are you looking for?
It has been said that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. I believe that there are still many people in the community that can see beyond what Brookneal is today and can visualize what is possible with a little extraordinary work. Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. “Some” people would rather talk about what is wrong, but I would rather correct what is wrong and create a brighter future for those who follow me. I believe over the next 12 to 18 months we will have an opportunity to choose the road we will take concerning our destiny. I trust I will see you traveling the road that will restore the Brookneal we knew years ago.
I leave you with the words of W.A. Ward when he said “The four steps to achievement are plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, and pursue persistently”. Sounds like good advice!!