State News

State approves stimulus package of building projects

Posted January 6, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— The Council of State on Tuesday signed off on new debt for state construction projects in an effort to stimulate North Carolina's economy.

“This stimulus package will help keep North Carolinians on the job, even in the face of the troubled national economy,” Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement. “I continue to urge the new president and Congress to pass a federal economic stimulus package as soon as possible so we can get to work on more projects to keep us moving ahead.”

Easley, Perdue at Council of State meeting State bonds will jump-start building projects, N.C. economy

Easley, who serves on the Council of State with his successor, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, and eight other statewide officials, wanted to accelerate building projects to be funded by borrowing already approved by the General Assembly or voters.

Two of the three Republicans on the council, Auditor Les Merritt and Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, peppered the other members with questions as long as they could before the stimulus was passed.

"I'm thinking it's going to make a big difference in the economy over the next year," Easley told reporters after the meeting.

Interest rates are at historic lows, he said, so the bonds sold by the state could jump-start more than $744 million in construction on prisons and university and other state government buildings without a huge debt-service payment.

The stimulus will start work on the projects a minimum of 30 to 60 days earlier than previously planned.

"That may not sound like much, but if you're without a job, 30 days makes a big difference," Easley said. "We're trying to make sure people get re-employed in North Carolina."

Included in the list of projects are a library on North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus, an addition to the School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a School of Nursing building at North Carolina Central University, a Department of Environment and Natural Resources complex in downtown Raleigh and a renovation to the polar bear exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo.

Web only: Easley's last news conference Web only: Easley's last news conference

"Anything that creates jobs right now is a good idea," Easley said. "If you don't have a job, you don't care whether you're building a prison, a university building or a polar bear exhibit."

Easley said the projects could produce nearly 26,000 new jobs. Also, each $1 spent on the projects would pump $2.28 into the state economy, he said.

The Council of State also approved the state's purchase of Grandfather Mountain for $12 million as a new state park. The state will acquire 2,456 acres on the landmark and a conservation easement on another 749 acres that the family of Grandfather Mountain founder Hugh Morton will continue to own.

The council meeting was the last for Easley and three other council members who are leaving office. Perdue will be sworn in as governor on Saturday.


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  • really02 Jan 7, 2009

    That is nice, NO money for the people

  • didisaythat Jan 7, 2009

    Just to kick the dead horse. I agree borrowing at a time of low interest is good...when you are a family needing a new car or house. When you are a gov't and borrowing in a time when they are telling all state entities to cut the budget and claiming that there will be no raises for the state and local gov't employees is hard to swallow. I started laughing when I read some of these importand jobs that will make the state so much money. They are a joke. They will not make the kind of jobs to sustain the growth we have. These jobs are all for doctors and professors and construction workers. The entities are all state funded in some form. Which means the operating budget gets our tax dollars. No state entitiy makes money. Don't take the money. Save as much as possible and weather the storm... it will get better and then when there is money in the pot build the new library and make the polar bears house bigger.

  • veyor Jan 7, 2009

    Restore credit. Everything else won't help.

  • coolwill Jan 6, 2009

    Easley said the projects could produce nearly 26,000 new jobs.
    To all US citizens with or without a job make sure you go by and see who is building these buildings. I doubt if this stimulus package had legal US citizens in mind.

  • jsanders Jan 6, 2009

    "I'm thinking it's going to make a big difference in the economy over the next year," Easley told reporters after the meeting.

    I'm thinking Easley's right. Making things even worse is technically making a difference. But if this dodgy Keynesian craziness is good enough for Bush and Obama, it's "good enough" for NC governors who know diddly about economics:

  • blackdog Jan 6, 2009

    Actually the projects are paid for with bonds paid for by investors. We NEED manufacturing jobs. We need a product to sell. We need less greed by companies who make their nut moving to third world countries and ignore our own citizens. The rich have gotten richer and the poor poorer. You are either one or the other. Putting money in the hands of those who will work isn't such a bad idea. It's better than just giving them money for nothing except survive. It may help pay for goods and services which most of us provide, but buisness isn't so good right now.

  • blackdog Jan 6, 2009

    ...yes, we could end all taxes, so we can pick up the trash, no prisons, we put the felons in our houses, no cops,we can police our own neighborhood, no highway patrol, we can put speed limiters on our cars which only start when you blow into a breathalizer, no fire departments, we can buy extra garden hoses, all volunteer government, let the special interests rule, no universities, who wants smart doctors and dentists anyway, no zoo, who wants to learn about animals anyway, no bridges, who needs to go across ditches and water anyway, where would we go anyway, no medicaid or medicare, just let the bums die, no welfare, let the bums starve and die, no museums, tell your children what YOU want them to believe, no schools, teach your own children what YOU want them to learn, and who needs smart people running around anyway ? And how many of us have house payments ? We should have had the money to pay for it before we bought one. Who makes car payments ? ...should have already had the $..

  • ThinkExist Jan 6, 2009

    Although I hadn't initially considered the illegal worker potential, the program will still be a net gain for the State. Much better than sending out checks to everyone to "stimulate spending". All that does is fill our homes with more useless junk and trinkets that eventually end up in our landfills and send majority of the profits to China anyway.

    This program provides us with long-lasting buildings, roads, etc. instead of fleeting spending.

    The areas hardest hit right now... construction and manufacturing all stand to benefit as blue collar workers have increased opportunities for employment.

    It ain't perfect, but it's better than the alternative of food stamps, welfare and idle hands.

  • TheAdmiral Jan 6, 2009

    I need $1.2 Million Dollar stimulus package to pay for the stimulus and for my bills.

  • bs101fly Jan 6, 2009

    how's this going to help keep the common man on the job? I don't do paving, I don't do trash pickup, I don't build bridges or roads or buidlings.
    As the matter of fact I don't DO anything.
    Where's my bailout?