Region should be ‘Gateway to Hampton Roads’

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

To the Editor:

Franklin has taken some hits over the years, but has always managed to bounce back.

Some of Franklin’s misfortunes were out of the city’s control and some have been self-inflicted.

A town that for many years prospered even in bad times found itself without the comfort of the mill. Fortunately the mill is back and running even though not at previous employment levels.

The future of the area looks promising with several companies building plants and huge warehouses being constructed nearby. Of course the warehouses are in anticipation of a boom at the port of Hampton Roads.

When the huge cargo ships start taking a shortcut through the newly expanded Panama Canal, Hampton Roads will have a head start. Only three ports on the East Coast can accommodate the huge vessels because of port depth.

It will take years for the other ports to catch up.

Franklin needs to reinvent its image and jump on the bandwagon. Though not considered part of the Hampton Roads Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, Franklin is the gateway to Hampton Roads.

I suggest that the Franklin and Southampton area take this opportunity to bill itself as “The Gateway to Hampton Roads” and be a part of the enormous growth that is on the horizon for Virginia’s outstanding ports.

Tim Parsons