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The Main Street Roanoke Rapids Board treated the city’s public works department to dinner Thursday evening as a way to say thanks for its work on the 1026 green space and its recent honor as a Main Street Champion.

“This never would have happened without their hard work,” said Bill Mueller, Main Street president. “They’re dedicated. They have pride in what they do. They’re great people. The city is lucky to have them.”

Mueller said, “We’ve got to give a lot of credit to (Public Works Director) Larry (Chalker).”

For Chalker, the green space on Roanoke Avenue is just a small part of what the department does daily. “They’re committed, dependable and responsible. They’re great employees and I’m proud to be associated with these group of employees.”

Chalker credited a citywide effort to turning a safety hazard into a public space. It included the planning and development department and the main street program.

One of the ideas was to turn the building into a walk through, Planning and Development Director Kelly Lasky said.

It would be the manpower of public works which led the city to be able to create the space and also save the front facade. “Without their manpower, this wouldn’t have happened,” Lasky said.

Logan Smith, an employee of the street department, was appreciative of the dinner. “It’s nice. It makes you feel thankful for it.”

Said Main Street Development Director Christina Caudle: “It’s to thank them for all their hard work on the green space and celebrate them being Main Street Champions in the community.”