Eastern Wake: Opinion

Editorial: Grant funds a big deal for Wendell

Wendell’s reciept of a quarter-million dollar grant is a big deal in a lot of ways.

First and foremost, the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund allows the town to make improvements to what is arguably one of the most important places in the collective community’s life. There are few people among Wendell’s residents who have not taken advantage of the facilities at Wendell Park. Whether they were playing baseball, softball or soccer, whether they were hunting Easter eggs or walking in the early morning around the court in the community center, there are resources for virtually every demographic in Wendell at that park.

The grant money – coupled with the town’s commitment of funds – will make that facility an even better community resource.

The grant is also a big deal because it commits the town to spending money on itself as well. The town of Wendell, frankly, has been terribly gunshy in recent years about investing in its own needs that some important needs have gone unmet. That’s not good for the town. But the town board’s decision to invest in the town – even if it means borrowing money – will help advance the quality of life for all the folks in town.

It is a clear indication that town leaders are now thinking about the big picture and not some of the pettiness that has marked the tenure of previous commissioners.

The pay-as-you-go mentality is good and noble for those who have the money to pay as they go. For the rest of us, though, borrowing money, then paying it back, is an important way to get ahead – or in the town of Wendell’s case, stay current.

We are pleased, too, that the town plans to be aggressive in implementing the projects that will be paid for through the grant. That ensures that future boards won’t be as likely to turn the grant away as the town has done in the past.

Wendell is going to grow. It already is. That will make it easier to find the resources to provide new and improved amenities. But Wendell can’t afford to wait. It shouldn’t have waited as long as it did to pursue opportunities like the PARTF grant.

It is commendable that the sitting board – which, by the way, will break apart next month as new commissioners and a new mayor are seated – saw the opportunity to make Wendell better and that they were aggressive in directing the staff to pursue the opportunity.

Now, the town will reap the rewards that come with being aggressive.