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After years in the planning it’s time to put shovels to work on Bladenboro’s new town square.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday morning on a project that has involved several community organizations, government departments and economic development agencies.

About 50 people gathered for the ceremony that was held on the downtown stage across the street from the vacant ground that will house local businesses as part of a revitalization project that was necessitated following flooding from hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018). The cleared ground is along Main Street and Railroad Street.

Among those making brief remarks Friday were Bladen County Economic Development Director Chuck Heustess, chairman of the Bladen County Board of Commissioners Ray Britt, Bladenboro Mayor David Hales, Bladenboro Town Administrator Kelsey Hammond, State Representative William Brisson, Bladen’s Bloomin’ Leon Martin and Boost the Boro President Terry Nance.

Afterward, the group walked across the street for the official groundbreaking as heavy equipment sat idle in the background.

Boost the Boro, a local non-profit organization that works for growth in the town, joined forces several years ago with the Town of Bladenboro, Bladen County Economic Development, Bladen’s Bloomin’ Agri-Industrial Inc., local and North Carolina State elected officials to revitalize the once-bustling downtown.

DeVane Builders of Elizabethtown won the bid for the building project.

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