Local News

Some Roanoke Rapids Residents Not Pleased With Theater Plans

Posted Updated
Switch to classic wral.com

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. — Crews are clearing the way for North Carolina's own entertainment district. The Randy Parton Theater is expected to open in Roanoke Rapids by April 2007. Organizers say the project will pump millions of dollars into the local economy. But the buzz of chainsaws isn't music to everyone's ears.

Brandy Creek Subdivision will be in the shadows of the Randy Parton Theater. Lottie Robinson bought her property in the countryside three years ago to have some peace and quiet, unaware that her subdivision would become a destination stop on I-95 for thousands of country music fans.

"I love Dolly Parton on TV, but not as my next-door neighbor," said Robinson.

You would think that being the Parton's next-door neighbor would have it's benefits, but Roanoke Rapids recently annexed this community from the county into the city because of the expected growth from the Parton complex. The annexation has brought about changes for those that live here.

"We've got to pay Halifax County tax, we pay Weldon School tax and we pay Roanoke Rapids City tax," said Robinson. "That I have a problem with."

Brandy Creek Drive is now a city street. But the road is full of ruts, and the school bus won't drive on it, forcing kids to walk nearly a mile to catch a ride.

"We will do what we told them we would do," said Roanoke Rapids Mayor Drewery Beale.

Mayor Beale says that means improving the road.

"What we are doing now, we are evaluating the roads and we will go back in there as soon as weather permits and do some additional work like that, as far as the road is concerned," said Beale.

Robinson says the new relationship between the city and the subdivision won't work until the people are pleased. The backers of Carolina Crossroads say the people will be pleased when the Randy Parton Theatre opens in 2007.