Raleigh, Wake Voters Face Bonds on Ballot
Posted October 1, 2007 6:03 p.m. EDT
Updated October 2, 2007 1:36 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Bond issues facing Raleigh and Wake County voters next week will feature green – open space as well as money.
Raleigh voters will be asked to consider an $88 million bond issue for parks and greenway projects.
"This bond issue will have a big effect on the city," Mayor Charles Meeker said. "It will buy several dozens of acres of land (and build) two community centers, including one aquatics facility. (It will) also build the city's share of the greenways from Falls Lake to the Johnston County line – over 13 miles along the Neuse River."
Wake County has three bond issues on the ballot: $50 million for open space, $92 million for Wake Technical Community College and $45 million for area libraries.
Tony Gurley, the chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, said the open-space bond would protect drinking water supplies.
"Our open-space purchases are along major stream corridors that go to the water supply sources," Gurley said.
The Wake Tech bond money would complete the college's north campus off Louisburg Road and secure land for another campus near Cary.
"Wake Tech is the best economic development tool that we have. All of these new industries that are moving into Wake County cite the availability of an educated work force as the main reason they're coming here," Gurley said.
The library bond would pay for new branches to be built and existing ones to be renovated, he said.
"Public libraries are the most popular service that we provide as a county," he said.
If all three county bonds are approved, the property tax rate would go up by 2.25 cents per $100 of assessed value using current property values. That would amount to about $45 per year on a $200,000 home. The county is in the process of implementing new assessed values.
Meeker said the next City Council would decide how to pay for Raleigh's bonds, if voters approve the issue. He said he would like to raise impact fees instead of property taxes to finance bond payments.