Cary News: Opinion

Harold Weinbrecht: Balanced approach

Cary has balanced approach

Regarding the June 10 article, “Cary readies downtown block for demolition,” the Town of Cary does not run deficits. State law requires us to have a balanced budget each year, and we do. Staff anticipates a modest $1.7 million surplus for this fiscal year ending June 30. This surplus results from our cautious and conservative approach to our finances, with revenues coming in a little better than expected and expenses being a little lower than estimated.

The $21.4 million in the article is an appropriation from fund balance – a designated “savings account” where we set aside cash to help pay for capital projects like parks and roads. Staff anticipates bringing design options for the 13-acre downtown site to the Council in the next few months. In addition to a park, we are considering a new, larger library, space for hosting events like a farmers market, and private uses like shops, restaurants and offices.

As for the $80 million Community Investment Bond Referendum for parks, transportation and fire projects this November, some of the funds would be used for downtown projects, assuming voters approve the ballot measures and their associated tax increases. Property taxes would rise two cents July 2013 and two more cents July 2015.

While Cary has the lowest tax rate in Wake County and hasn’t raised taxes in over two decades, it will be up to Cary voters to decide if we move forward in the next three to five years on the bond projects. For details, search “2012 Bonds” at www.townofcary.org.

Harold Weinbrecht

Cary Mayor

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