Town leaders could advance a $40.3 million bond plan later this month for improving parks and building sidewalks, trails, streets and stormwater measures.
The town should not have to raise taxes to repay the debt, Town Manager Roger Stancil said. Besides paying down the town’s existing debt, the council added a penny to the tax rate last year to help repay anticipated future borrowing. The town also will use enterprise revenues, such as its stormwater funds.
The draft bond plan could return to the council April 27 and face a public hearing May 27. The bond referendum could be approved in late June, officials said, and put to a public vote in November.
There could be up to five different questions on the Nov. 2 ballot, officials said, including $16.2 million for streets and sidewalks; $5 million for trails and greenways; $8 million for recreation facilities; $5.9 million for stormwater improvements; and $5.2 million for a solid waste transfer station, where garbage would be brought and loaded onto larger trucks for disposal outside the town and county.
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The council debated last week about whether to leave the transfer station on the ballot, because they haven’t decided whether a future station should serve only the town or also include Carrboro, Hillsborough and Orange County.
The county and towns have trucked their trash to Durham since the Orange County Landfill on Eubanks Road closed in 2013. A local transfer station could reduce fuel costs and eliminate tipping fees, officials said, plus the costs could be shared.
If the council decides against including the transfer station, the $5.2 million could be rerouted to some other need, Stancil said.
The town’s last voter-approved bond in 2003 was used for sidewalks, streets, parks and recreation, and a $16.2 million public library expansion, among other projects.
The town, if voters agree, could seek financing for $40.3 million worth of construction projects over the next several years. Voters could be asked to consider up to five different bond referendums on their Nov. 2 ballot:
Streets and sidewalks: $16.2 million, including $7.8 million for bike and pedestrian upgrades, $2 million for sidewalks, $3.4 million for streets and bridges, and $3 million to continue downtown streetscape improvements
Trails and greenways: $5 million for completing the last leg of the Morgan Creek Trail and building the Bolin Creek Trail/Tanyard Branch Trail from Pritchard Avenue Extension to Jay Street
Recreation facilities: $8 million, including $3.6 million for new Parks and Recreation administrative offices, $3.4 million for a new cultural arts building and $1 million for renovating and expanding parks
Stormwater: $5.9 million to be spent on needs identified in ongoing subwatershed studies. The town has identified the Booker Creek watershed as a priority and would use stormwater fee revenues to repay the bond, which could necesitate a $5 increase in the stormwater fee charged to property owners. The fee is now $24.75 for every 1,000 square feet of impervious surfaces, such as roofs and driveways.
Solid Waste: $5.2 million for a solid waste transfer station; the council is undecided about whether to use this money for another need