Fearing that the development that inundated the southern part of Mecklenburg County would be replicated in the north, Davidson, Huntersville, and Cornelius are working together to control growth and preserve their identities.
Domestic violence is increasing - often with tragic results - and a number of cities have developed specialized programs to deal with it. For example, Winston-Salem police have a domestic violence task force to investigate and follow up on cases.
To increase communication between government and its citizens, Asheville city leaders are taking government back to the people. Once every quarter, city officials and staff hold meetings in different neighborhoods to hear citizens' concerns.
Asheville and Statesville won the prestigious National Civic League's All America City & Community Award for 1997. The award is given to communities that identify problems and solve them. Only ten awards are presented nationwide.
Civic volunteers are a vital part of the life of the state's towns and cities. Don Edwards (Greenville) and Donald Skinner (Ayden) are examples of individuals whose contributions of time and service enhance their communities.
The Winston-Salem Police Department began its community policing program in 1989. Police patrol city sectors on foot. Benefits of the program include police having better knowledge of the community and a reduction in crime.
When citizens want to show off their community or raise funds for a project, they hold a town festival. Over 1,000 festivals are held each year, including Hollerin' (Spivey's Corner), Yam and Ham (Smithfield), and Collard (Ayden).
By January 1, 1998, all unlined landfills were mandated closed. This left local governments, including the cities of Elkin and Raleigh, seeking new places for solid waste disposal. Alternatives included shipping trash to regional landfills.
The N.C. Environmental Management Commission adopted in December, 1997, a plan to clean up and restore the Neuse River. The rules, which include agricultural nitrogen loading reduction, become effective August 1, 1998.
With federal funding for low-rent housing decreasing, local governments have become more active in seeking ways to provide affordable housing to qualifying individuals. Programs in Burlington, Greensboro, and Holly Springs are profiled.