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Roanoke Rapids City Council Tuesday gave its support to a Rural Transformation Grant application that would be used for the improvement of four Roanoke Avenue public parking lots.

Council approved a resolution on the matter during its meeting.

“The city council fully supports the proposed project … which will result in the rehabilitation of up to four city-owned parking lots to provide adequate, accessible and acceptable infrastructure that serves the downtown Main Street District and is necessary to meet the needs for residential and commercial uses,” the resolution said.

The resolution authorizes the city to submit a formal application to the North Carolina Department of Commerce for approval of a Rural Transformation Grant.

A memo from Main Street Director Tony Hall said he, along with city staff, compiled a comprehensive downtown parking project document for the project.

The proposed improvements are designed to provide adequate parking, improve traffic circulation, assist with alleviating on-street parking issues and increase walkability for city residents and visitors to the commercial downtown area. “Future downtown growth depends upon being able to provide adequate proximity to the businesses and civic facilities and events conducted in the city’s commercial hub,” the purpose of the grant application says.

The four lots are the city hall lot, the Hamilton Street lot, the Jackson Street lot and the Madison Street lot, which are all owned by the city.

Improvements will include asphalt resurfacing, striping parking spaces, lighting, signage, a parking security arm system for intended lease spaces at the Hamilton lot, debris removal where necessary, installation of police call boxes, landscaping, and adding crosswalks to improve pedestrian accessibility.

Main Street is requesting $520,282 of which there is no required city match, City Manager Kelly Traynham said.