Raleigh won't put $2.8 million for Falls Whitewater Park in bond package

Posted by Colin Campbell on June 18, 2014 

The Raleigh City Council rejected a request Tuesday to add $2.8 million to a parks bond to fund a whitewater park near Falls Lake.

Several dozen supporters of the Falls Whitewater Park had lobbied for the funding at a recent council meeting. The plan – developed several years ago – calls for building a whitewater course for canoes and kayaks on the Neuse River just below the Falls Dam.

“I could be supportive of it, just not right now,” Councilman Wayne Maiorano said. “We just put a tax increase on our taxpayers, and the county just put a tax increase on our taxpayers. Any increase in that would give me heartburn.”

Earlier this month, the council voiced initial support for a $91.78 million parks bond on the ballot this November. If the bond passes, it would require a 1.72-cent property tax hike starting in 2015.

Before voting unanimously for the $91.78 amount, votes to increase the bond as high as $110 million failed. Some council members said aging facilities inside the Beltline should get funding as well as the whitewater park.

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said the whitewater park could benefit the entire city. “This is an opportunity for us to really do something big in North Raleigh that would be a tremendous asset,” she said.

While Tuesday’s vote sets the maximum amount for the bond, council members can still change what projects would be funded.

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