Hard Work Pays Off

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The just-announced public utilities for Fancy Gap took two things — a honking big hunk of $8 million in stimulus funds from the federal government and the persistence of the people.

The everyday folks, who knew there was a need to promote development, asked for help. When the answer wasn't forthcoming, they asked again.

It's not that the Carroll County officials didn't know there was a need, but they didn't know how to pay for it. The federal government may have that on hand to spend, but Carroll County didn't. The project was so big it took — literally — an act of Congress to make the funding happen.

But people in Fancy Gap stayed calm and stayed positive. Gina Isom knocked on doors and attended meetings. She and others wrote letters to get the state, local and federal officials involved and got them on their side.

And the Fancy Gap residents and business owners rededicated themselves to their community. Volunteers formed a tourism committee to promote the area and founded a visitors' center to try and catch the large volumes of traffic that pass through the area due to its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Interstate 77.

Those with an entrepreneurial spirit invested in their businesses and created a variety of shops to stop in. Volunteers created a community festival.

In the end, their determination improved Fancy Gap, before a dollar of government money was spent.

The Gazette has said it before, but it's worth repeating. The people of Fancy Gap deserve praise for their tenacity to make good things happen in their community.