Southwest Wake: Opinion

April 18, 2014

Cindy and Peter Emens: Rising park costs

Before Cary taxpayers and Town Council members put their stamp of approval on the proposed town square plan, we think it’s prudent that they look at all elements of this project.

Rising park costs

Before Cary taxpayers and Town Council members put their stamp of approval on the proposed town square plan, we think it’s prudent that they look at all elements of this project. It began with the assemblage of a 13-acre parcel at an average cost of $952,000 an acre using $13 million from Cary’s general fund without taxpayer approval.

It is important to note that Cary records state: Funding for this project was approved by Cary voters in 2012 as part of the Community Investment Bonds referendum. Total project budget is $2,000,000, which includes design and construction costs.”

In March 2013, a $209,890 contract was awarded for a professional design of a 6- to 8-acre park. This left $1.8 million for park construction.

All that aside, the town now plans to spend $5 million for 1 acre to build a town square. Not counting $1 million for land acquisition, $5 million is a huge expenditure for a fountain, concrete, some landscaping and a few benches. Consider the enormously grand estate you can buy for $6 million!

Taxpayers should be concerned that $5 million grossly exceeds the $2 million voters agreed to in 2012 for a downtown park and that town officials will spend many more millions to groom the remaining five to seven park acres.

In the interest of responsible governance, the full scope of this project should be determined and brought before the voters for further funding approval.

Cindy and Peter Emens

Cary

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