RAEFORD, N.C. — Cities are investing millions to turn run-down parts of town into thriving main streets, but revitalization is not just a big city thing anymore.
Raeford leaders recently approved the first phase of a $2 million revitalization plan. The plan includes fixing sidewalks, demolishing vacant buildings, burying power lines and landscaping.
"The potential for improved business and commerce in Raeford and Hoke County is great, so I'm glad to see it and I know everyone is also," resident Ordell Ashburn said.
The city is planning on footing the bill. Officials said they may receive up to $255,000 in grant money, but they are looking at other ways to find the money.
Raeford hopes the revitalization effort will bring people back into a town that is losing population. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Hoke County grew by 47 percent in the last decade, but Raeford shrank by two percent in the same period. Overall, North Carolina grew by 21 percent.