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IN OUR OPINION: State helps Rolesville’s downtown dreams come true

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THUMBS UP to the town of Rolesville for earning about $4.8 million in state funding to move forward with its downtown streetscape dreams.

Construction could start next year on two major projects. One will realign the intersection of Main Street and Burlington Mills Road; the second is going to add crosswalks, curb, gutter, sidewalks and bike improvements on Main Street between Burlington Mills Road and Young Street.

Rolesville will have to spend about $1.2 million of its own money — 20% of the total project costs — but that amount is far more manageable to the town’s taxpayers.

The enhancements are expected to attract some much-needed commercial investment in downtown Rolesville and give the area a traditional Main Street-like feel, goals outlined in the town’s Main Street Vision Plan.

While streetscape projects are never fun to go through — expect noise, dust and a lot of inconvenience during construction — the new road and sidewalks will give Rolesville its own unique feel and make it a more desirable place to live, work and play. Winning these competitive grants and bring tax dollars back into the community is great news for Rolesville citizens.

THUMBS UP to the Raleigh Dream Center and its Adopt-A-Block program, which so far has handed out free groceries to more than 1,800 people in need in Wake Forest.

Adopt-A-Block, which visits a neighborhood off North Taylor Street two Saturdays a month, is just one of many community groups and programs working tirelessly to feed those who otherwise fall between the cracks — including many children and elderly citizens. We also applaud food pantries, community gardens, Meals on Wheels and countless nonprofits, churches and volunteers for stepping up and giving.

What the Adopt-A-Block ministry does differently is sets up its food distribution events in the neighborhood it serves. It hosts games, plays music and sets aside space for community prayer, and the residents can choose to come out of their homes and ask for what they need.

“Need hides,” said Patrick Delaney, one of the programs leaders. “It can be down the street from you or two doors down or across the railroad tracks. You can either ignore it or you can do something to lessen that need.”

Sometimes, whether by choice or naivety, we don’t see the need in our own community. Everyone needs food — it’s difficult to do a good job at anything when you’re hungry — and its a blessing anytime a group works to overcome barriers to access many in our community face.