KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – There have been a lot of changes in downtown Kinston over the past couple years. The Pride of Kinston, a non-profit organization, can take some of the credit for the improvements. The organization receives the bulk of their funding from the city government. Last year Pride got $86,000 from the city of Kinston and this year they are requesting $186,000. Pride Executive Director, Adrian King, recently proposed an increase in their budget to start a project on Queen Street.
King said, “we want to put some new signage stuff down, we want the Queen Street downtown to be much more pedestrian friendly, two lane traffic as opposed to four lane traffic and angle parking.”
While the city of Kinston and the Pride of Kinston have a good relationship, the mayor doesn’t think the city can approve the request.
“I highly doubt we are going to take an extra $100,000 to give to this organization at a time when we’ve already had to renegotiate their payback of a loan to sustain the Kinston Enterprise Center,” Kinston mayor, BJ Murphy, told WNCT.
The Kinston Enterprise Center is a small business incubator designed to help local organizations. The Pride of Kinston owns this building, but received help with funding from the city. Pride currently owes the city thousands of dollars for the center.
Local downtown business owner Tonya Adams is pleased with the work that Pride has done for the city and thinks they should receive the money they requested.
“I think requesting more money is a good thing, downtown Kinston has come back to life. Its keeping money local and the community is coming out and it’s an exciting time,” Adams said.
King told WNCT that he knows he isn’t going to receive the full amount of money he requested, but he just wants more than he got last year.
The city government will discuss this issue on Monday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Kinston City Hall and the public is encouraged to attend.