Washington certified as Retire NC community

Published 6:01 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Washington’s efforts to attract more retirees to the city and surrounding areas got a major boost Wednesday when community leaders announced the city’s certification as a Retire NC community.

The announcement came Wednesday morning at the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, the culmination of months of work to earn the certification.

“We all believe in order for this community to continue to grow, we all have to work together and not only recruit and retain local businesses, but also recruit people. As we all sit out here on our beautiful waterfront, its obvious why we all choose o live here: quality of life, health care, nature, the river, unique shops and, of course, the people who choose to live here,” said Catherine Glover, the chamber’s executive director. “This has been a community effort. Ten months ago we began a journey to become a certified Retire NC community. … This process has been tedious, and this committee has worked really hard for the past 10 months.”

Glover said when the committee submitted the application to have Washington certified as a Retire NC community, at least 15 letters of support from community organizations, indicating “the community really wanted this to happen.”

City Manager Bobby Roberson said the certification is an important designation for the city. “It means that other individuals who are looing for a retirement setting would definitely consider Washington. I think when the state recognizes you that it points out those communities that would get the first nod to look at,” he said. “I think it is important for us as a community to recognize that and hope this is just the first step in many steps to move toward becoming a retirement community.”

Retire NC is a certification program designed to attract retirees to the state. Under the program, retirees looking at moving to that state may identify communities that offer certain amenities retirees look for — easy access to health care and quality-of-life issues such recreational and cultural opportunities. Washington will now be one of the cities featured on the Retire NC website.

The city contributed $2,000 to help pay for the certification project, estimated to cost $25,000. Certification lasts for five years.

The Washington Tourism Development Authority, Washington Harbor District Alliance, Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and Beaufort County each contributed $2,000 to the project, according to Catherine Glover, executive director of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the local Retire NC committee. Vidant Health and Tideland Electric Membership Corp. also made commitments to the project.

Edenton, Tarboro and New Bern are area towns and cities certified as Retire NC communities.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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