There was a definite upbeat atmosphere coming from the Grand Marquis ballroom Thursday as people listened to comments from a parade of speakers on the front edge of Garner and Wake County’s growth.
Whether it was from Chamber of Commerce director Neal Padgett breaking out in a rap tune or Richard Barta taking the covers off plans for a new retail offering in Garner, many of the comments people heard at the Connect event were of the sort many have been waiting quite some time to hear.
At the heart of the comments is the fact that people are putting their money back into Garner again.
The town has made a significant public investment in Garner and, as often happens, the private dollars are following. That private dollars are now being invested in Garner is clear evidence that the town’s decision to invest in itself was a good one.
If Barta’s predictions come true, still more private investment will follow in the months and years to come.
That benefits everyone in Garner beyond the obvious fact that residents have more places to shop and spend their money.
It’s also inmportant to understand that a larger tax base, created by this private investment will allow public spending to increase without having to foist a tax increase on property owners. Now, yes, we know there will be a tax increase coming to help repay bond indebtedness. But in the out years, the continuing need to raise taxes to support other services such as police or the Parks and Recreation Department will be easier because more tax revenue will hit the town’s checkbook from those companies that locate here.
It’s also true that, as Garnerites have more opportunities to spend their money right here in Garner, an increasing amount of money will add to the town’s coffers as it claims its share of sales tax revenues.
Those were some of the implicit signals people heard at Thursday’s Connect conference.
It sounds good to us and it should give everyone with an interest in Garner reason to smile.