Cary Bonds

Don’s Blog: 2019 Cary Bond Referendum

Cary, NC – This past Thursday the council and members of our town staff held our third quarter meeting at the SAS Global Education Center. These quarterly meetings are invaluable in that they foster a collaborative environment where the council and staff work collectively to better implement our community’s vision and keep Cary great.
While each quarterly meeting is important, I always consider the third quarter the most critical as it is at this meeting where we begin our annual budget deliberations – which we did. This year however was a bit different as we also spent a great deal of time discussing the upcoming 2019 Bond Referendum.

Yes, Cary voters will have the chance to decide on roughly a $225 million bond referendum this fall for numerous transportation and parks projects throughout town.

Notable bond referendum projects include:

Transportation

• Nearly $14 million in additional funding for street improvements beyond the FY2020 budget amount of $5.4 million. This will provide for asphalt patching, overlays and resurfacing of town maintained streets.

• $5 million for new sidewalks. This is in addition to our annual appropriation of $1.75 million for sidewalk construction. These funds will help us to fulfill citizen requests for neighborhood sidewalks, complete gaps along major streets and provide for ADA upgrades and handicap ramps – not to mention it will further help us move closer to our goal of creating a more walkable and pedestrian friendly community and promote healthier living.

• $4.8 million for the Cary Parkway sidewalk and bridge at the Black Creek Greenway. This project will complete the sidewalk gap from Evans Road to N. Harrison Ave. AND construct a pedestrian bridge over Black Creek Greenway next to the existing Cary Parkway bridge.

Cary Bonds

Pedestrian bridge will be constructed next to the existing bridge AND provide access to the greenway below

• $28.7 million to widen Green Level Church Rd. from McCrimmon Parkway to Kit Creek Rd; Widen O’Kelly Chapel Rd. from Green Level Church Rd. to NC55; and widen Carpenter Fire Station Rd. from NC55 to the Cameron Pond neighborhood.

• $5 million for intersection improvements at congested intersections – similar to the recent improvements made to the Cary Parkway and High House intersection.

• $23 million for NCDOT Betterments. These include enhancements to and in concert with numerous NCDOT projects above and beyond what NCDOT would typically construct. Examples include two greenway tunnels under NC540; Pedestrian and bicycle facilities on bridges; median and sidewalk upgrades to Cary standards and improved landscaping/aesthetics.

• $21 million for transportation improvements associated with the Fenton project at Cary Town Blvd, Trinity Rd. South, Quinard Drive and the I40 interchanges.

Parks and Recreation

• $50 million for the complete design and construction of phase II of the Downtown Cary Park.

• $4 million for playground upgrades at 10 parks to include Rose Street Park, Dunham Park and Godbold Park.

• $2.2 million for historic preservation/renovation of town owned historic properties with an additional $1 million should philanthropic goals be met (what exactly that looks like yet we don’t know but is something we are working on)

• $8.9 Million for the construction of Carpenter Fire Station Park

• $6.1 million for McCrimmon Neighborhood Park

• $2.2 million for complete tennis court replacements at Dunham Park and Annie Jones Park

• $2 million in improvements to Sk8 Cary Park – this includes a roof structure so that the facility can be used year-round and ungraded lighting and ramps.

• $10 million for construction and design of Tryon Road Park

• $2 million for improvements to Veterans Freedom Park to include restroom facilities, additional parking and a memorial loop trail.

Cary Bonds

Veterans Freedom Park

• $20 million for open space acquisition and land banking for future park sites.

So yeah, I know what y’all are thinking right about now – how much is this going to cost me? Well the good news is that as a AAA rated municipality, Cary has a long history of conservatively and successfully managing its finances and debt. As a result, the proposed 2019 bond program does NOT have any tax increase associated with it at this time. The town is currently able to absorb these additional costs due to the retirement of previously issued debt, a healthy fund balance and our ongoing efforts to manage operating costs.

With the lowest tax rate of any municipality in Wake County and beyond at 35 cents per $100 valuation, Cary continues to do more with less.

I wholeheartedly support the proposed bond referendum and I hope you do too.

I will follow up with a separate post about the FY2020 Budget soon as there is still work to be done there. Stay tuned!

Thanks so much to our amazing town staff and my council colleagues for all of their work on this. It is truly a privilege to work with such an amazing group of dedicated public servants. Thank you also to Cary citizens for your faith and trust in me to serve as your voice in town government. It is my honor to serve you. And special thanks also to SAS for hosting our meeting this past Thursday – we are so blessed to have you in our community!

That’s all for now. As always, thanks for reading!


From the blog of Cary Councilmember Don Frantz. Photos courtesy of Don Frantz.

3 replies
  1. Laura Hamlyn
    Laura Hamlyn says:

    Will the 5 million dollars in sidewalk funding be applied to the gap on Weston Parkway? There’s a dangerous area where no sidewalks are available and people walk or ride bikes over a narrow bridge section. There’s no protection from ongoing traffic and it’s dangerous. But it can be a perfect through way to get people from neighborhoods over to Umstead State Park, over to Crabtree Lake, and into the greenway system that leads to Meredith college and the art museum and beyond on the Raleigh Greenway . Also I’m wondering why there’s no funding for replacement of the damaged Black Creek Greenway bridge into Weston Manor. That bridge has been down for 2 years and there is no way for small children or people in wheelchairs or older people to get over the creek and into Umstead. Instead people have to walk uphill one mile to go through North Cary Park into the greenway.

    Reply
  2. Liz Ryan
    Liz Ryan says:

    Thanks Don, these all sound good and well-thought-out.
    On the same topic, that is, planning greenway facilities, I was informed that the little driveway/track running behind Cary Elementary is the projected extension/end of Harrison Avenue. Is this necessary? Cannot that right-of-way be repurposed to connect with nearby walking trails to end a greenway near to the downtown residential areas?
    Appreciate the information you’ve provided, thanks again.

    Reply
  3. Mark Neill
    Mark Neill says:

    Are there links to any form of planning some of these projects that have no defined implementation yet? Such as, the transportation improvements re: Fenton, and the Tryon Road Park?

    Reply

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