There’s no better time to be a part of Fuquay-Varina than now, Mayor John Byrne said during his State of the Town address.
More than 50 people attended the mayor’s roundup of the year’s highlights on Friday. The event was hosted by the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce.
“Whether it’s living here, working here, investing here or enjoying the quality of life (and) amenities that we have to offer, our town has got an exciting future ahead,” Byrne said. “The state of our town is very strong.”
For more than a decade, Fuquay-Varina has not had a tax increase. At 38.5 cents per $100 of valuation, Fuquay-Varina has one of the lowest tax rates in Wake County, Byrne said.
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New Town Manager Adam Mitchell will continue to maintain the town’s strong strong financial position, Byrne said.
One of the biggest reasons the town has been able to keep the tax rate low is because of the continued residential growth. Between 2012 and 2013, the town experienced a 32.4 percent increase in single-family housing construction permits.
Fuquay-Varina ranked fourth in Wake County for total new residential permits in 2013, Byrne said.
One of the upcoming projects that has the mayor and residents excited is a 50-acre shopping center that Kenney Properties has in the works for this year off of N.C. 55 and Old Powell Road.
“I didn’t know about the new development coming to Powell Road,” said Sarah Price of Willow Spring. “I think any growth is good. I’d also like to see more things for teens.”
There have been some gains in activities for young people.
The town’s youth recreation sports program, now in its second year, has really taken off, Byrne said. More than 2,700 children played a sport and more than 600 adults volunteered to coach, according to the town.
Fuquay-Varina started a youth sports program and cut ties with the Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association two years ago.
Teen Day, Fuquay-Varina’s annual anti-drunk-driving and distracted-driving festival, drew more than 1,000 teens, and the town formed its first teen advisory board.
Other highlights from the past year:
• Judd Parkway: Fuquay-Varina opened a 2,400-foot section of S.W. Judd Parkway connecting the Southview Pointe subdivision to N.C. 42. Planning for the northwest stretch of Judd Parkway is underway. When it’s complete it will connect NC 55 to NC 42.
• New parks: The town opened its first dog park. The free eight-acre park is at 110 Woodland Drive. Alston Ridge Park, which has a playground and picnic shelter, opened in the spring.
• Recycling: In 2013 ,Fuquay-Varina took in 1,266 tons of recycling, and 98 percent of residents recycled.