The Caswell County Board of Commissioners, town of Yanceyville and town of Milton met for a joint meeting on Aug. 15 at the Yanceyville Municipal Building. 

After a delicious meal and moment of silent prayer, Caswell Board of Commissioners Chairman Rick McVey, along with Mayor Pro Tem Odessa Gwynn and Mayor Alvin Foster called the meeting to order. 

From there, Yanceyville Town Manager Brian Collie took the floor and started a discussion of a possible grant opportunity the town is trying to obtain. 

In March, Yanceyville was one of 24 smaller, rural communities to be selected by the North Carolina Department of Commerce to participate in Downtown Strong — an initiative undertaken to provide the selected communities with downtown revitalization expertise. 

One project Collie, along with County Manager Bryan Miller, are working on is bringing high-speed Wi-fi to the town’s old drug store by the historic courthouse. These efforts are being taken in attempts to attract outside business owners to the area. 

Collie informed board members the town had received a $9,500 grant from N.C. Department of Commerce to provide infrastructure to town staff and community members in efforts to optimize Yanceyville and more broadly, Caswell’s online presence. 

In response, Collie and Miller reached out to Small Town Soul, a group dedicated to providing marketing and technology support to small-town communities, who agreed to revamp or build from scratch four main websites that would fulfill Caswell’s internet needs.

According to Collie, the group will focus on the town of Yanceyville, Caswell, Caswell Chamber of Commerce and Caswell’s EDC websites. Small Town Soul will do by focusing on building a site unique to the needs of each department and the county, along with local government needs, small business needs and economic development and tourism. 

In the end, a motion was carried to apply for a grant from the Dan River Foundation out of Danville. 

Upgrades to the town’s solid waste and recycling programs were also discussed as well as the possible receiving of state funds to help with the county’s planned agriculture center. 

Caswell County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amanda Hodges closed the meeting with a discussion on the town’s 38th Annual Bright Leaf Hoedown. 

Hodges informed commissioners that the festival will feature agriculture exhibits, crafters and artisans. There will also be the ever-popular classic car show, which will start in the downtown square and continue down Main Street towards the post office. 

The festival will also feature such agriculture exhibits as a free-range chicken demo, forestry as a cop exhibit and beekeeping demonstrations with live bees. A ‘combine simulator’ will also be available for all ages and information on the growing of hemp and tobacco will be available as well. 

The ”Kids Kountry” will host the Farm Olympics and the Bartlett Yancey FFA has agreed to lend their support to a petting zoo. In addition, the forestry department will provide interactive activities designed to help children learn fire prevention. 

An obstacle course provided by the National Guard will also be hosted and a Corn Hole Tournament with a first-place prize of $500 will take place as well. 

Lastly, local food will be present at the event with culinary experts from area churches, Ruritans and fire departments preparing the food. In addition, a select number of Caswell entrepreneurs that operate food trucks have been invited as well.