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Tailgating packages, game tickets on sale for 2023 Down East Viking Football Classic at Rocky Mount Sports Complex
Tailgating packages and game tickets are on sale for the 2023 Down East Viking Football Classic, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 9, in the Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium at 600 Independence Drive.
The Elizabeth City State University Vikings will take on the St. Augustine’s University Falcons in this year’s game. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Game tickets are available for $25 by visiting the Booker T. Washington Community Center, 727 Pennsylvania Ave., from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Two tailgating packages also are available. The standard tailgating package costs $100 and includes two game tickets, one tailgating spot and one parking pass. An RV tailgating package is available for $120 and it includes two game tickets, one RV tailgating spot and one parking pass.
Tailgating packages can be purchased at the Booker T. Washington Community Center or by calling 252-467-4925. Tailgating spots are reserved on first-come first-served basis. Those entering tailgating areas must have a game ticket.
Since the inaugural game in 1998, the Viking Football Classic has grown into a popular annual event that marks a strong partnership between Elizabeth City State University and the city of Rocky Mount.
City offers housing-repair assistance programs
The city of Rocky Mount currently has three housing-repair assistance programs to help homeowners.
City earns Certificate of Achievement for financial reporting for 29th consecutive year
The city of Rocky Mount recently received a Certificate of Achievement for its fiscal year 2022 financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.
This is the 29th consecutive year that that the city has earned a Certificate of Achievement from the GFOA. This is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting.
“This is a significant accomplishment and a positive sign for the city’s financial operations,” said City Manager Keith Rogers Jr. “I commend our Finance team for their great work.”
City may be able to help residents affected by tornado
Mayor Roberson declares state of emergency related to July 19 tornado
Rocky Mount Mayor Sandy Roberson signed a proclamation Thursday declaring a state of emergency because of significant damage and destruction of property caused by a tornado that moved through the northern part of the city on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 19.
The tornado had winds of up to 150 mph. As it moved through the area, employees in several city departments scrambled to help residents.
The Fire Department quickly responded to the two hardest-hit areas: the Pfizer plant on North Wesleyan Boulevard and the Belmont Lake Preserve neighborhood, where about a dozen homes were damaged. Two minor injuries were reported but fortunately there was no loss of life.
The department, which serves as the city’s emergency management provider and as the liaison to Nash County emergency management, also contacted 3,200 residents through use of its Code Red alert system.
The Police Department increased staffing in its 911 call center to handle a deluge of calls. The department also provided traffic control at major intersections with inoperable traffic signals. Additionally, the department increased patrols in neighborhoods without power where storm damage occurred and other areas of the city.
Energy Resources crews worked tirelessly to restore power to customers. At 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, 3,200 customers were without power. By 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, only 235 customers remained without power and that number dropped to less than 50 by Wednesday. Ten transmission poles and 27 distribution poles were damaged and repairs to damaged infrastructure continues.
Crews with the Public Works Department worked to clear downed trees on numerous roadways, including North Wesleyan Boulevard, Old Battleboro Road and Seven Bridges Road, all of which open to traffic by Wednesday night. Streets in Belmont Lake Preserve also are now accessible.
No city buildings or facilities were damaged. The Senior Center was used as a cooling station and American Red Cross staff were there to assist anyone displaced by the tornado.
Business and Collections Service extended the hours of its customer service line until 11 p.m. Tuesday to field a heavy volume of calls about power outages.
The Communications, Marketing and Public Relations staff posted updates on city’s social media pages and responded to inquiries from numerous media outlets.
Rocky Mount Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) opens comment period and public hearing for the draft 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan
The Rocky Mount Urban Area MPO has released the draft 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for public comment and is holding a public hearing on August 7, 2023. The purpose of this project is to create a cost-constrained, long-range transportation plan that defines the vision for the MPO’s multimodal transportation future and provides project recommendations. The MTP planning area includes the municipalities of Rocky Mount, Nashville, and Sharpsburg as well as surrounding portions of Nash and Edgecombe counties.
The draft MTP was released on Monday, July 17, starting a 22-day comment period. Comments will be accepted through Monday, Aug. 7. The draft plan document, as well as other project information and materials, can be viewed online at http://www.rockymountnc.gov/mpo/.
The public hearing will take place on Monday, August 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the committee room located on the 3rd floor of the Frederick E. Turnage Municipal Building at 331 S. Franklin St. in Rocky Mount. The meeting will also be made available for online viewing and participation via Microsoft Teams. More information about location and a link for the Microsoft Teams meeting are available at https://rocky-mount-mpo-1-crmnc.hub.arcgis.com/.
Public feedback/input on the draft plan can be provided by clicking on this link: https://tinyurl.com/RMMTPComment
For additional information, contact Jordan Reedy, principal transportation planner, at P.O. Box 1180, Rocky Mount NC, 27802 or (252) 972-1129 or via email at Jordan.Reedy@rockymountnc.gov
Development Services leaders named
City Manager Keith Rogers Jr. has appointed a new director and deputy director of the Development Services Department.
Emilie Pinkston will be director of the Development Services Department. She is an urban planning professional with over 13 years of experience serving communities in local government. She comes to Rocky Mount from Columbus, Indiana, where, beginning in 2007, she worked in the city of Columbus – Bartholomew County Planning Department, most recently serving as a senior planner.
Pinkston brings with her extensive experience leading community-based land use and transportation initiatives, engaging with the public and local organizations to understand community needs and perspectives, and managing the review of development proposals.
“Ms. Pinkston will bring a fresh perspective and high-level of professionalism to our Development Services Department. I believe her skills and experience will be of tremendous value as we work to update our Comprehensive Plan,” stated Manager Rogers.
“I am thrilled to join the city of Rocky Mount and the team in the Development Services Department,” Pinkston said. “I look forward to working alongside city staff to advance the vision and long-term goals for the city.”
Pinkston has master’s degrees in environmental science and public affairs from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning. She is a member of the American Planning Association’s American Institute of Certified Planners.
JoSeth Bocook will serve as deputy director of the Development Services Department.
“Mr. Bocook will continue to serve an important leadership role, specifically, helping us streamline and enhance our permitting and inspections services,” stated Manager Rogers.
Bocook started working for the city in 2008, and most recently served as interim director of the Development Services Department after Will Deaton stepped down as director effective March 31.
City manager appoints fire chief, director of new department
City Manager Keith Rogers Jr. has appointed Darvin Moore to become the city’s new fire chief and Michael Baughn to serve as director of the newly created Central Services Department.
Moore has worked with the Rocky Mount Fire Department for more than 24 years, progressing through the ranks from firefighter to his most recent post as division chief of budgeting and logistics.
“Our Fire Department is internationally recognized for excellence, and I am confident in Chief Moore’s ability to lead us forward,” stated Manager Rogers.
Moore will take over for Tracey Drewery, who served as interim fire chief following the retirement of former Fire Chief Corey Mercer on March 1
“I am extremely grateful, honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead our outstanding organization,” Moore said. “With great enthusiasm, the Rocky Mount Fire Department’s commitment to protecting lives and property through quality and excellence in service is our number one priority.”
Moore has Bachelor of science degrees in business administration and organization administration from North Carolina Wesleyan University. He also has an associate degree in emergency preparedness technology from Nash Community College.
Moore is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Fire & Rescue Management Institute and the Eastern North Carolina Senior Officer Leadership Institute. He has numerous fire service certifications and is currently enrolled in the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program.
Baughn will lead the Central Services Department, which was previously a division of the Finance Department. The new department is responsible for city-owned property management, risk-management program and mailing services.
“The creation of the Central Services Department will help us enhance our financial operations and streamline services. I commend Mr. Baughn for taking on this new role and his continued excellence” stated Manager Rogers.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead a new department,” Baughn said. “I will work closely with my team to improve the condition of our exceptional facilities and services.”
Baughn has more than 26 years of experience in facility maintenance operations. He started his career with the United States Marine Corps in 1997, working as a maintenance non-commissioned officer with the 2nd Force Service Support Group. In 2002, Baughn took a position as a maintenance technician with the North Carolina Department of Corrections (NCDOC). While with NCDOC, he was promoted to a managerial role and supported facilities throughout the state. During this time, he attended East Carolina University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
Baughn was hired by the city of Rocky Mount in 2013 as manager of the property and risk division. He and his team have overseen various capital improvement projects and dramatically improved the quality of many city facilities. As risk manager, Baughn has also acted as a risk consultant for all the city’s operating departments and managed the city’s property and causality insurance program.
The appointments of Moore and Baughn are effective July 8.
City Council approves budget that includes strategic investments with no tax increase
The City Council voted Monday to approve the fiscal year 2024 budget. The $258,587,000 spending plan represents an 8% increase over the adopted level for the current fiscal year. The city’s property tax rate remains unchanged at 68.5 cents per $100 of assessed value.
The budget includes rate increases of 7.5% for water services and 8.5% for sewer services, consistent with recommendations from a cost-of-service analysis presented to the City Council last fall. These rate increases are expected to cost the average residential water and sewer customer $3.12 per month.
“I commend the Mayor and City Council for their efforts this budget season,” said City Manager Keith Rogers Jr. “The adopted budget provides a sustainable pathway forward and my team is excited to get to work.”
Investment in Our Organization
The budget includes $3.2 million to implement a Classification & Compensation plan for city employees. Highlights of the plan, which the City Council also approved at Monday’s meeting, include:
- Raising the minimum hourly rate for city employees to the North Carolina living wage of $16.83 per hour (based on annual 2,080-hour equivalency).
- Market-driven competitive pay grades.
- Increased career ladder opportunities.
Approximately half of the city’s workforce will receive salary increases as part of the plan’s implementation. The city’s “pay-for-performance” program that gives all employees an opportunity to earn annual salary adjustments will continue.
Planning for the Future – Today
The budget maintains $1.2 million in funding to support affordable housing. It also addresses the need for “Planning for the Future – Today” by allocating $1 million for a citywide comprehensive plan update, downtown masterplan and comprehensive housing plan.
The budget continues investments in facility improvements, technology enhancement, public safety, transportation, parks, and economic development. Among these investments are $10 million to replace Fire Station #2 and $2.25 million for renovations at the former Booker T. Washington High School campus.
The budget also identifies five key strategic focus areas:
- Best in Class Government
- Customer Service
- Public Health and Safety
- Economic Vitality
- Quality of Life
Monday’s budget approval came after council members held two work sessions to review the spending plan. A public hearing on the budget was held June 12.
Fiscal year 2024 begins July 1.
Rocky Mount Assistant City Manager Elton Daniels sworn in as president of NC City and County Management Association
Rocky Mount Assistant City Manager Elton Daniels was sworn in as president of the North Carolina City and County Management Association (NCCCMA) during the association’s business meeting on June 24, 2023, in Wilmington.
Founded in 1938, NCCCMA is the premier professional development association for local government managers in North Carolina, representing more than 400 active local government managers and senior level department heads and over 200 retired local government managers. NCCCMA is a state affiliate organization of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), which has over 11,000 members worldwide and whose mission is to advance professional local government management through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics.
“I am honored and humbled by the trust and confidence that my peers have in me to serve as their president,” Daniels said. “We (NCCCMA) just spent a year developing a new strategic plan and I look forward to working with my fellow managers from across the state in implementing it. I am confident that through teamwork, we will overcome unexpected hurdles and reach new heights and accomplishments.”
Daniels has been involved with NCCMA since the early 2000s. He previously served as the association’s first vice president, second vice president, treasurer and as a member of the board of directors.
Daniels, an International City/County Management Association Credential Manager (ICMA-CM), has over a decade of government experience in North Carolina working at the state and local levels. Previous positions held include town manager of Selma, assistant county manager of Franklin County and magistrate judge for Brunswick County. He has been the assistant city manager of Rocky Mount since November 2019.
Daniels was born and raised in the Wilmington area (Leland). He played college football for Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Furman and he received his master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
He is a graduate of the UNC School of Government Municipal/County Administration Program, the Public Executive Leadership Academy (PELA), the University of Virginia’s Senior Executive Institute (SEI), the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Institute as well as a former UNC Leading for Results Local Government Federal Credit Union Fellow.
Elton and his wife, Michelle (who is also a local government professional), reside in Rocky Mount.
Members to be appointed to Rocky Mount city boards, commissions and committees
The Mayor and Rocky Mount City Council will consider appointments to the city’s boards, commissions and committees at an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting. City residents are encouraged to apply by June 23, 2023. Appointments are expected to be finalized by the City Council on July 10, 2023.
Following is a list of appointments to be considered:
- Animal Care and Control Advisory Board – Six appointments: Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7.
- Board of Adjustment – Four appointments: Wards 1, 6, 7, and one alternate member.
- Business Development Authority – Three appointments (mayoral appointments).
- Central City Revitalization Panel – Seven appointments: One Central City business owner; one commercial builder/developer; two members-at-large and three ex-officio representatives.
- Community Appeals Board – Five appointments: Wards 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7.
- Human Relations Commission – Five appointments: Two mayoral appointments; Wards 3, 4 and 6.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission – Four appointments.
- Mayor’s Commission on Persons with Disabilities – Three appointments.
- Planning Board – Two appointments: Wards 2 and 6.
- Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport Authority – One appointment.
- Tree Advisory Board – Two appointments: Wards 1 and 2.
- Utility Service Review Board – Three appointments: Wards 1, 4, and 7.
- Workforce Housing Advisory Commission – Four appointments: Wards 6 and 7; one faith-based community member and one business community member.
The individuals presently serving on these various boards whose terms are expiring are eligible for reappointment and may be considered by the Mayor and City Council in the appointment process along with any other applicants.
Mayor C. Saunders Roberson, Jr., commenting on the contributions of the various boards and commissions, said, “What helps this city achieve greatness is the involvement of our citizens at all levels. By participating in one of the various boards and commissions, you will be providing expertise and input that is invaluable to achieving the quality the city strives for in delivery of services. We are fortunate to have individuals of very high caliber willing to serve on these boards and we are continually looking for new voices to join in.”
Anyone interested in appointment to any of these boards should submit the application in writing to the City Clerk’s office, P.O. Box 1180, Rocky Mount, NC 27802-1180 or via email to email@example.com on or before June 23, 2023. A resume’ of each applicant may accompany the Personal History Form signed by the applicant indicating their willingness to serve should they be appointed. Personal History Forms are available in the City Clerk’s office or on the City’s website by selecting government; then boards and commissions. For more information, please call 252-972-1319.
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Citizen Resource Center
This Citizen Resource Center contains information from local, state, and federal agencies and organizations providing important information and exceptional services for citizens of Rocky Mount. The Citizen Resource Center is for information purposes only, and we encourage you to contact organizations or businesses directly for additional information.
City Manager's Award
The City of Rocky Mount considers its employees to be one of its most valuable assets. The City Manager’s Awards Program is a recognition program that acknowledges employees who go above and beyond the job description requirements and excels at exemplifying the City’s core values: Customer-Centered Service, Professionalism, Respect, Teamwork & Leadership, and Supportive Work Environment.
Streetscape and Depot Park Survey
The city of Rocky Mount and the Kimley-Horn design are gathering feedback for the conceptual design of the Falls Road Streetscape Project. This project is an effort to transform Falls Road between West Thomas St. and Church St. It includes providing a safer, more vibrant corridor through the addition of sidewalks, streetscape, and a new park.
Take a look at all the upcoming events in Rocky Mount.
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Rocky Mount Job Opportunities
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Rocky Mount Fire Department
Interested in becoming a fire fighter? We would love for you to apply and see if you are a fit for our team.