Town’s latest project geared toward economic development
by Toby Clark
According the recent census, Union County holds the title for the fastest growing county in North Carolina. As population expands; the need for more public services inevitably rises and without more businesses, the burden to fund that falls on residents. Recently, the town of Stallings launched the website http://discoverstallings.com, titled “Discover Stallings” to attract more business to the area.
“One of the biggest obstacles with growth of Stallings has been merging the old and the new,” Stallings Mayor Lynda Paxton said.
As rapid growth descends upon Union County, adequate planning becomes essential to maintain the qualities of a small town combined with growth and expansion, Paxton believes.
“Growth is good, it just needs to be well planned,” Paxton said.
Paxton teamed up with Ken Halstead of Symbolic Media Services to build the website, which went live June 24. Halstead previously built a website for the Waxhaw Business Association, as well as one for the Museum of the Waxhaws.
When it launched June 24, the site had information on 40 current businesses in town. As new businesses contact Halstead through the website, their information will be added. Later this year, a companion print directory for all town businesses will be published.
The “Discover Stallings” website accentuates the mayor’s philosophy of “local first”, highlighting the businesses in this town and providing people with information about goods and services available to them in their own backyard. The website lists all the available nonresidential properties in town, as well as any space available for lease. The home page has a watercolor rendition of the future Splash Pad at Municipal Park, complete with the sound of children playing and giggling. The site is filled with information about the town, ranging from colorful historical facts to current worship centers. “Discover Stallings” highlights restaurants, shopping, healthcare, fitness, automotive care, and other professional services.
The cost of running the website is covered through ads.
A self-described “old-timer”, Paxton said she believes development is not good everywhere, and in response; the town plans to review its developing ordinances. The goal is to put some standards in place, carefully planning any further economic development.
Paxton said she supports higher density development in some parts of the community, while hopes to restrict it in others to create a balance between old and new. “One of the biggest issues I wrestle with is that developers want a strip mall on every corner,” Paxton said.
She wonders how many strip malls the community can take.
A renovation of Municipal Park went underway this month, and residents exuberate excitement about this new addition to the town. The plans include a splash pad, where children will be able to romp and frolic in spraying water. Paxton hopes this renovation will be the “catalyst” for growth, both residential and commercial.