HIGH POINT, N.C. — Leaders of a High Point nonprofit trying to revitalize the city are frustrated with how the city council is handling its funding.
The group The City Project is working on Ignite High Point, among other projects, to make the city more fun to live and work in. Their goals include improving safety, walkability and bikability in High Point.
The nonprofit was formed in response to a 2007 Core City project study which identified needs in downtown High Point and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The city gives more than $200,000 in funding to the nonprofit including its executive director, Wendy Fuscoe’s, salary.
Some council members believe The City Project is losing focus and spending too much time and money on the “Uptowne” area.
City Project Chairman Richard Wood says that’s exactly what he understood previous councils wanted them to do.
“We’ve got enough problems in High Point! We’ve got to pull ourselves out of the doldrums. Furniture market is great to have; the University is great to have. But we have to do something on our own, too. This city has got to invest in itself and make things happen,” Wood said.
Wood argued they also spend time and money in other areas identified in the Core City plan, including Washington Street and Southside.
In a meeting Thursday, council expressed a desire to rename Fuscoe’s position and move it into City Hall, shifting her salary, benefits and office expenditures.
The City Project would get $35,000 directly, explained Councilmember Jason Ewing.
“So they’re not really losing any money,” he said, saying they just want a wider focus that includes all areas of the study. “It’s refocusing on the entire core city and not just specific area.”
But Wood is frustrated with the idea of reorganizing funding and leadership. “I feel like they are just pushing this thing the wrong way. They’re trying to fix something that’s not broken,” he said. “I love this town, and I’m not going to give up. We’re not going to quit.”
City council still has to vote on the final budget and any City Project changes.