Hillsville Town Manager Travis Jackson says the town has big plans for the Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home parking lot, which was officially transferred to town ownership by Carroll County during the board of supervisors’ meeting on June 10.
Although Town Manager Travis Jackson already has some ideas as to how to utilize the property, he said a representative of the Virginia Department of Tourism will be visiting the town on June 25 to provide more expertise.
“We’re in the process of developing a town marketing plan, which is necessary for us to develop tourism zones and a necessary ordinance to provide incentives for business to locate in town,” says Jackson. “One incentive is the state will rebate one percent of the sales tax collected by a business back to the business.”
The state’s help in developing the marketing plan will be very cost effective for Hillsville.
“I’m very sensitive that we do not put more of a tax burden on our citizens than necessary,” says Jackson. “The state is providing its help at no cost to the town.”
Jackson sees the property as a “multipurpose facility.” Among the plans already in the works is the repaving of the parking lot. Jackson adds that once that is completed, it will also allow the town to host its own farmers’ market and expand downtown celebrations.
“A farmers’ market will allow our local citizens a chance to pull in the parking lot on a Saturday and sell their local produce. Farmers may grow some crops they wouldn’t normally,” Jackson says. “It will allow people to take advantage of good, nutritious food, and the extension office will be educating people on nutrition.”
A stage, which will be wired for lights and sound, in addition to having the ability to expand on both sides, will be built behind the Carter Home for the purpose of music and events by the Carroll County Historic Society.
“We could move our downtown celebrations across the street where there’s more room. It would also allow us to have two events going on at the same time,” says Jackson.
None of this would have been possible, however, is not for the cooperation between the town and county.
“The county recognizes every citizen in town is also a citizen of the county. The board of supervisors felt we needed to work together and so does our town council,” Jackson says. “I think this is what you’re going to see in the future. I’m very pleased with our town council and the board of supervisors. Our visions are completely aligned.”