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Spring Hope candidates seek growth

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SPRING HOPE — On Nov. 6, town Commissioners Brenda Lucas and Nancy Walker will be running for reelection while newcomer Prudence Wilkins is competing for their seats on the board.

Brenda Lucas has been a Spring Hope resident for 46 years and has served as commissioner for six years. She believes her seat has enabled her to be a voice for Spring Hope residents and even though she only has one vote, Lucas makes it her priority to use it for what she believes will contribute to positive growth in the town.

If Lucas keeps her seat, she is looking forward to voting on proposals that will help clean up the town’s appearance.

“I want this to be a clean town,” Lucas said. “A town that other towns can look at and see what a nice place it is to live here.”

Lucas also wants to see more business activity that would, in turn, create more job opportunities; a few of those being another grocery store and a laundromat, as Spring Hope had before. She even mentioned that she would love to see more clothing and shoe stores, a Bojangles’, a Walmart neighborhood market and a movie theater come to town.

Lucas believes Spring Hope has too many empty buildings that could be used in a positive, resourceful way if residents patronized them.

“It takes a village,” Lucas said, when mentioning her ideas to improve the town. “Never think that anything has gone too far out that you can’t bring it back in.”

In addition to serving on the town board, Lucas is the pastor of Faith Temple Church, which contributes time, money and prayers to the community whenever someone is in need. She is also on the boards of the Upper Coastal Plain Rural Planning Organization and Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, which stemmed from her Spring Hope Board of Commissioners service.

Nancy Walker was born and raised in Spring Hope and despite living in New York for a while; she came back to her Spring Hope community and developed a desire to have a voice at the table of its municipal government. Walker has served two terms as a town commissioner and wants to have another four years in her seat.

Recently, Walker has used her vote to keep residents’ water bills down and firmly believes in not raising the prices. Her goal is to maintain the safety, quietness and quaintness of Spring Hope. However, like Lucas, she still wants to support more businesses coming in, such as a laundromat, which she believes Spring Hope really needs.

“I’m always listening to my neighbors and people in the community,” Walker said.

She is known for assisting anyone who calls and wants to voice concerns or has a question, which she’s found has come in handy with senior citizens. Walker will also take the residents’ concerns to the board and present them to the other commissioners. She explained that she’s always doing community work with her church, talking and shaking hands with people in the community. Walker said Spring Hope residents should go out and, “Vote, vote, vote!”

Prudence Wilkins makes up for not being a Spring Hope native by walking around town throughout the week, specifically on Sundays, and asking residents how they would like to see their town improve.

“No matter where we’re at, we’re talking to people,” she said of her and her family and friends.

Wilkins believes the top issues in Spring Hope are community involvement, beautification and revitalizing the town. She believes the town commissions are an integral part of what happens to Spring Hope, especially in bringing in activity.

When asked about her strategy to bring more businesses to Spring Hope, Wilkins stated, “I go out and ask what the people want — what will make them go down to the depot, stay and spend their money in Spring Hope.”

Using her recently organized adult prom and back-to-school event as an example, she said she plans to bring a versatile set of activities for all ages. Wilkins also mentioned that she wants to see the Spring Hope National Pumpkin Festival return to being a big event as it was in the past.

Regarding beautification, Wilkins believes grass growth and deterioration is a problem in Spring Hope and is willing to fight for programs to fix these issues. She believes the town sees fewer businesses come in because the curb appeal isn’t nice. Instead of paying Envirolink to mow the grass, she said Spring Hope should hire its residents to clean the area. In addition, Wilkins emphasized cleaning out the gutters to limit standing water in some of the low-sitting areas.

She believes residents should revitalize the town so that Spring Hope will be a small town with a big-town feeling that promotes its hidden treasures, such as its many antique shops. Wilkins previously served on boards in Guilford and Wake counties.

Wilkins runs her business, Queen Status Fitness Studio and Ray’s Muscle Max, in Spring Hope and offers food and her time to anyone in need.

“If you have concerns or gripes, need to understand your bank statement or to talk, my studio door is always open,” she said. Her studio is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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