Last year, a group of citizens evaluated Winston-Salem’s unfunded capital needs, prioritized the projects within five main funding categories, reviewed the city’s debt-issuing capability, and developed a recommendation for a potential bond referendum. This is a blog about that bond package.
What you need to know:
A Bond referendum is a ballot measure, requesting authorization to raise funds through the sale of bonds. A general obligation (G.O.) bond is long-term borrowing in which a municipality pledges its full faith and credit (taxing power) to repay the debt over a specified term.
Citizens vote on a bond referendum. In this case, we would vote on the 2018 Bond Package during the mid-term election this November.
If approved, citizens will see an increase in their taxes. How much, depends on your property value. The current bond package is $120 million, which represents a $0.04 tax increase. Here are a few examples:
The owner of a $150,000 property would see their city property tax rise from $896 to $956, an increase of $60.
The increase would be $40 for the owner of a $100,000 property and $80 for the owner of property valued at $200,000.
Bonds make major capital projects more affordable and put less stress on the city’s budget. By using bonds to finance these projects, we can pay for them in installments over time rather than needing all the money at the beginning.
Bicycling projects could get a much-needed boost. The Citizens’ Capital Needs Committee recommended a bond package includes lots of worthwhile investments in 5 main categories: economic development, housing development, public safety, parks and recreation, and streets and sidewalks.
Local bicycling projects included in the bond package:
$1 million towards the westward expansion of the Salem Creek Greenway, from Marketplace Mall to Forsyth Tech. This would be accomplished via a sidepath the crosses Peters Creek Parkway, runs along Link Road to Lockland Avenue and down Lockland to Silas Creek Parkway.
$1 million for improvements to the Strollway addressing paving, drainage and safety issues. Construction would include resurfacing 6,000 linear feet, widening the trail to 10 feet wide, and minor bridge repair.
$1.5 million to expand the Little Creek Greenway which starts at the Shoppes at Little Creek on Hanes Mall Boulevard and runs along the east side of Little Creek to Somerset Drive.
$1 million for improving access by connecting Winston Lake Park trails to surrounding greenways, including those leading to New Walkertown Road and Bowen Boulevard Park.
$1 million towards Streetscape Improvements which incorporate things like plants, lighting, benches, and bike racks.
$1.4 million allocated to expand the bike, sidewalk and greenway network including projects to repair current bike/ped facilities, construct roadway safety improvements and expands the network for more connectivity.
$800,000 reserved for future greenway development enabling the city to expedite construction by funding special design work.
And last, but not least, $2.3 million towards the funding of the Multi-Use Path (MUP) project. This would fund the segment of multi-use path from Peters Creek Parkway to Lockland Avenue.
You can learn more about the proposed bond package and share your input at these upcoming meetings:
April 3, 6 p.m., Polo Park Community Center, 1850 Polo Road
April 4, 6 p.m., South Fork Community Center, 4403 Country Club Road
April 5, 6 p.m., Winston Lake Golf Course Clubhouse, 3535 Winston Lake Road
April 12, 6 p.m., Salem Lake Marina, 1001 Salem Lake Road
If you can’t attend a meeting, you can share your thoughts via the Feedback Form.
After collecting feedback and making any necessary changes, City staff will file the paperwork, and on August City Council will hold a final public hearing and adopt the bond orders. Then, on November 6, we vote.
This is an exciting time! All across the city, we are seeing and enjoying the benefits of the 2014 bond projects and if this bond referendum passes we could be enjoying so many more great amenities in our city.
We hope you will review the proposed package, share your input at a meeting or via the Feedback Form and support this great opportunity to make our community more livable and bikeable!