By William Holloman
Efforts at beautification in the downtown Mount Olive business district continue to unfold. Just recently, eight new banners stating “Land of the Free” were erected in the 100 block of North Center Street. Local merchant Victor Boykin has also had his Center Street building painted.
Mayor Joe Scott said the new banners were paid for by tourism funds from Wayne County. He said his plans call for ongoing beautification from Pollock to College Streets, a three-block area in downtown.
“That is my goal and already I have worked out a partnership with Southern Wayne High School,” Mayor Scott said. He said SW Principal Kevin Smith has agreed to allow students in the school’s brick masonry and horticulture programs to take on service projects in downtown Mount Olive.
Mayor Scott said the brick mason students will work on repairing broken brick and mortar at various locations on Center Street. Southern Wayne High School is the only high school in the county that offers a brick masonry program.
The horticulture students will be assigned to taking care of new shrubbery that has been planted to replace old plants that had been neglected for a long time and finally removed. The work is expected to begin this fall when school reopens, Mayor Scott said.
Mayor Scott said he also plans to send a letter to all downtown merchants asking them to help decorate new Center Street shrubbery this winter with white lights at Christmas. He said he has already had a lot of compliments from residents and merchants about the town’s beautification efforts in the downtown area.