Triangle Politics A weekly look at the local political scene

Wake school board wants to sell school site, even if it means losing money

June 7, 2013 

The Wake County school system wants to get rid of land it bought for the aborted Forest Ridge High School in northeast Raleigh, even if it means taking a loss.

One of the first actions of the former Republican board majority that took office in 2009 was to kill the project, citing the traffic concerns raised by residents who lived near the proposed school on Forestville Road. The board opted to build a new high school in Rolesville instead and in 2011 it directed that the 80-acre Forestville Road property be sold.

But with land prices falling during the recession, the land went from being valued at $5.5 million in 2008 to $3.6 million now. Wake received an offer of $3.8 million for the property, much lower than the $4.7 million the district paid five years ago.

Republican school board member John Tedesco, who works for a company that does appraisals, urged his colleagues to hold onto the property because land prices are starting to go up.

But a majority of school board members agreed this week to let staff continue negotiations with the prospective buyer.

Holly Springs amps online rep

Holly Springs officials plan to lay up to 16 miles of high-speed data lines connecting town facilities to a high-speed regional network. Holly Springs’ new fiber optics also could form a backbone for commercial and residential Internet services.

Holly Springs could pay an estimated $1.5 million to build the two underground cable rings within a year. Town staff and consultants indicated this week that it is likely cheaper for the town to build its own data infrastructure than to pay for upgrades from its private provider, Time-Warner Cable.

“With the fiber investment, we’re able to contemplate services that in a million years we’d never be able to buy,” Joanne Hovis, president of CTC Technology & Engineering, said in a presentation to the Holly Springs Town Council. Private providers could later connect homes and businesses to the town’s link, potentially providing greater speeds than are now available.

The council will discuss the project and its costs further at a meeting June 18.

McCreery aids Garner bid

Scotty McCreery couldn’t make the trip to Denver to join the Garner delegation for the All America City finals. But he ended up involved anyway.

Garner released its promotional video for the finals of the National Civic League competition Thursday. The American Idol winner lends his characteristic deep voice to the video, as he takes viewers around town and narrates.

“I’ve had the chance to see a lot of this great country over the past couple years, and it’s made me prouder than ever to call Garner my home,” the country star says as the video begins.

The video goes on to show N.C. Secretary of Transportation and retired Brig. Gen. Tony Tata praising Garner at the dedication of the town’s new veterans memorial and McCreery interviewing Faye Gardner, the project committee’s vice president.

The rest of the video is also heavy on McCreery, with him talking in his SUV about his experiences in Garner. He also visits the Community of Hope Food Pantry and the Garner Performing Arts Center.

The video was produced by town public information officer Rick Mercier and directed by videographer Adam Carroll, who works for the company that helps the town produce Garner TV 11.

Political Trails

• Former state Rep. Deborah Ross will speak to the Wake Democratic Men’s Club on Monday at the Clarion Hotel in downtown Raleigh. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m. RSVP to

Got a tip, item or coming event? Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send email to Send items by noon Thursday.

Compiled by T. Keung Hui, Andrew Kenney and Kyle Jahner.

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