City bonds move forward for public comment

City bonds move forward for public comment
March 01
03:00 2018

The City of Winston-Salem will be holding community meetings starting March 21 on a potential $122 million in bonds that may be on the November ballot.

The City Council will hold nine community meetings to get public input before it takes an initial vote on the bond on May 21, which will authorize publishing a letter of intent and submitting an application to the Local Government Commission. This will set the maximum amount the bond will be.

On Aug. 6, the council is scheduled to hold a public hearing before voting on the bonds, authorizing them to appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Most of the $41 million in additions mentioned in the last meeting didn’t make it into the current list of projects announced in a meeting on Monday. Instead there were smaller projects added with some adjustments to others so that the new total comes to $122 million, which would result in the owner of a home valued at $100,000 paying $40 more in property tax.

There are five proposed bonds that voters may get to vote on: $11.7 million for housing, $21.1 million for public safety, $14.5 million for economic development, $43.7 million for streets and sidewalk and $31 million for parks and recreations. Projects include $27.1 million for street resurfacing and a combined $7 million for two-way conversion of Liberty and Main as well as First and Second streets. There’s also playground and Strollway renovations and second phases for Hanes, Winston Lake and Salem Lake parks.

City Council Member John Larson, who represents the South Ward, questioned if it was enough, saying he felt the amount was inadequate for the park renovation needs in his ward. Not counting citywide projects, the South Ward ended up with about $8.8 million, or 12 percent, of the proposed bond money. The wards that got the most were the East, with $11.6 million (16 percent), and Southeast, with $11.4 million (16 percent). Other council members responded that some wards got more than others because of their needs, historic underfunding of certain wards, and the presence of amenities there used by people throughout the city, like Salem Lake. Since the city has $630 million in capital needs, all the wards will still have many outstanding needs, even with the bond.

The new projects that were added into the bond include:

•$3.6 million for the replacement of Fire Station #3 on North Liberty St. The station has been operating since 1964 and the structure is past its useful life.

•$2.5 million for Washington Park renovations including deferred maintenance, reorienting the ball fields, improved parking and lighting and creating more open space.

•$1 million for a Bethania-Rural Hall Pocket Park, located on the road of the same name on land adjacent to Fire Station #20, which may include a playground/fitness equipment, walking paths and benches.

•$1 million for a Georgetown Pocket Park near Reynolda Road, which may have a playground, a walking path and benches.

•$500,000 for the renovations of the William R. Anderson Jr. Center gymnasium.

The bond community meetings will be held:

• 6 p.m., March 21 at Russell Community Center

• 6 p.m., March 22 at Hanes Hosiery Community Center

• 6 p.m., March 27 at Miller Park Community Center

• 6 p.m., March 28 at Georgia Taylor Neighborhood Center

• 6:30 p.m., March 29 at Park View Church Of God

• 6 p.m., April 3 at Polo Park Community Center

• 6 p.m., April 4 at South Fork Community Center

• 6 p.m., April 5 at Winston Lake Golf Course

• 6 p.m., April 12 at Salem Lake Marina

About Author

Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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