Durham upbeat despite economy

December 8, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
While the nation is struggling through the worst recession in decades, Durham leaders are cautiously optimistic. They say the city is one of the best places in the nation to weather the tough times.They look to the city's location near the universities and state capitol as good insulators against the downtown. But the area still has its problems.

"We're in tough times and Durham is not immune. Even though we have a lot of positive assets, we people who are losing their homes and losing their jobs every day," offered Assistant City Manager Alan DeLisle.

Mayor Bill Bell says the city has to keep investing in its infrastructure - pointing to a water main break in Raleigh Tuesday morning.

"And when I was coming in, they were still saying 'Wade Avenue is blocked.' Those kinds of things could happen in Durham, and what we're trying to do is prevent them by making those types of investments," he said.

Others see a need for more transportation and housing options.

"Every time we measure it, the number of households in our region that don't have cars goes up. We have more households that have older folks in them. I plan to be one of them. We've got increasing shares of households that are one person households or two person households without children. Households that may not want that two bedroom house on the quarter acre lot, far away," explained John Hodges with the Copple/Triangle J Council.

The bottom line, Durham leaders say, is for the city to focus on what it can do to keep itself in a positive position.


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