Members of the Zebulon Beautification Committee have worked for the past several years to drum up support for improvements to the downtown area. They’ve worked hard. They’ve enjoyed some successes. But, generally speaking, they met with lukewarm support, at best.
For an organization with no financial ties to the downtown, they were the loudest advocates for improving the area. They spent their own money. The cajoled town commissioners into establishing new rules that will govern new growth and redevelopment in downtown. They convinced the railroad to better the appearance of its crossing on Arendell Avenue. And, they succeeded in erecting a sign that signifies to motorists when they are entering downtown Zebulon from the south.
They never got too much support from property owners and business owners.
As the group ages, they’ve seen a need to curtail their activities. The question now is – who will step into that void and provide a voice for the needs of downtown? Some have suggested the creation of a Downtown Merchants Association. That idea generated some interest, though no one has yet stepped up to take on the task of establishing such an entity.
We know this much: any group which does not advocate for itself will get washed away like trash in a gutter after a rainstorm.
If downtown businesses have an interest in making the area more of a destination (and they all should) then they must speak up and they must speak up with a common voice that draws the attention this area merits.