Local News

Wake School Bond Issue Part of June 4 Vote

Posted May 22, 1996 7:00 a.m. EDT

— May 23, 1996 - 3:15 p.m. EDT

No one disputes that Wake County schools are bursting at the seams.

At the same time, old buildings have worn out their usefulness. County commissioners have agreed to fund a $400 million building plan for the public schools.

The June 4 bond referendum could supply part of the money -- $250 million.

The plan provides for 12 new schools, including Dillard Road elementary and middle schools in southeast Cary. Thirty-five existing schools will be renovated, including Brooks Elementary, which will get a new classroom wing and a bigger cafeteria.

An independent group, The Friends of Wake County, formed two months ago to sell the bond referendum to voters. This week, the group made a pitch to the North Raleigh Rotarians, but some voters were wary.

"It's just like money is being asked again and again and again and I have a question about fiscal responsibility," said Robert Zintgraff.

A "no" vote doesn't mean you'll avoid a tax increase. County officials will still spend $400 million in a tax-and-pay-as-you-build plan.

"If you vote no, you will pay more taxes quicker," said Henry Knight of Friends of Wake County.

A tax-and-pay-as-you-go plan costs homeowners about $170 per $100,000 of property value. The bond plan is $100 cheaper.

Bond supporters fear a low voter turnout will let anti-tax residents, faithful voters, defeat the referendum. Meanwhile, the students keep coming and the need for more space grows daily