LUMBERTON — Robeson County officials and officials from the city of Lumberton were present Tuesday at a dedication ceremony for the paved downtown parking lot at the corner of Fifth and Water streets.
The lot, which has been open for about a year, was a project that involved both Robeson County and Lumberton. The county put up about $100,000 for the cost of land and materials, while the city put up $100,000 worth of labor associated with the project, according to Ricky Harris, Robeson County’s manager.
“This was a great opportunity for us to work together,” said Commissioner Lance Herndon. “We got our two boards together and made the courthouse facilities readily available to the public.”
Commissioner Tom Taylor said the parking lot improved the appearance of the downtown.
“When you come into town you don’t see old buildings,” he said. “Lumberton is going to set an example for the rest of the counties and cities in North Carolina.”
As part of the dedication, a sign inscribed with the names of all public officials involved in the project was unveiled. One reason given for the dedication coming so far behind the lot’s opening is that the sign was not ready until recently to be put in place.
City Manager Wayne Horne said that there is now a movement in Lumberton toward downtown development.
“We don’t have a master plan for development at this time. We have a conceptual plan, ” Horne said. “But it has been approved in this year’s budget to pursue downtown development.”
The parking lot sits where The Robesonian’s office was for many years before the newspaper’s move to its current location on Roberts Avenue.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.