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Wake Commissioners Commit $4 Million To Sports, Cultural Projects

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wake County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved $4 million in funding for six projects to benefit organized sports and arts projects around the county.

The money is expected to come from a portion of the Occupancy and Prepared Food/Beverage Tax proceeds over the next years.

Projects in Wake Forest, Cary, Apex, Garner and Fuquay-Varina, as well as the Carolina Ballet, will receive funding through the allocation.

The Board of Commissioners' Interlocal Committee received presentations from the applicants and asked questions about the proposals on Dec. 12, 2003.

The Interlocal Committee met again last Friday to discuss the proposals and made the funding recommendations.

In June 2000, the Board of Commissioners and the Raleigh City Council entered into an interlocal agreement regarding the use of the Occupancy and Prepared Food/Beverage tax. As part of the agreement, each jurisdiction receives $1 million annually from the tax proceeds to use at its own discretion.

In allocating the county's funding, the commissioners focused on projects that were countywide in scope and considered those with a solid business plan for addressing ongoing operating expenses.

"All areas of Wake County are growing and have plans for recreation and cultural facilities," said Kenn Gardner, commissioners chairman. "We believe these projects will benefit not only the municipalities that manage them but all of Wake County, as well."

Projects to receive funding from the county, and the amount received, include:

  • 1. Factory Kids Foundation, Wake Forest -- $1.5 million for the development and construction of a baseball complex.
  • The foundation will receive funds to construct a seven-field baseball complex that could host 30 little league and girls' softball tournaments annually. The Complex will provide a place for baseball clinics and tournaments throughout the year.
  • 2. USA Baseball, Cary -- $1 million to assist with the development of a national training center in western Wake County that is due to open in the spring of 2005.
  • 3. Apex -- $550,000 to assist in the restoration and conversion of the former Apex Town Hall into a cultural arts facility.
  • 4. Garner -- $400,000 for the development of Centennial Park.
  • The facility will provide parklands and soccer facilities for the greater Garner area, as well as potentially providing tournament fields for national soccer tournaments.
  • 5. Fuquay-Varina -- $350,000 to complete the Honeycutt Road Park development project.
  • The completion of the park will provide facilities for youth athletic programs. The grant will assist in the funding of athletic fields and support facilities. The project will increase the town's ability to host athletic tournaments and other regional competitions.
  • 6. Carolina Ballet -- $250,000 for sets and costumes.
  • The Carolina Ballet will receive funding to be used for capital expenses associated with design and construction of sets and costumes during the 2003-2004 fiscal year. These funds will be used to design and build sets and costumes for the company's productions, which will be used in future seasons.

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