This article was originally written by the High Point Enterprise. Click to view >>
HIGH POINT — Business and tourism leaders in High Point are throwing their weight behind the city’s $50 million general obligation bond referendum.
Business High Point- Chamber of Commerce and the High Point Convention & Visitors Bureau have passed resolutions in support of the bond projects, which are on the Nov. 5 ballot.
If approved by voters, the bonds would finance a series of parks and recreation, transportation and housing projects in the coming years.
“It is going to support infrastructure, people and places,” said chamber President and CEO Patrick Chapin. “I’m excited about it, because we as a community and as Business High Point focus on the revitalization of downtown, and that’s going extremely well. But this has a broader scope and touches much broader parts of the city.”
The referendum divides bond projects into three separate votes on the ballot:
• $22 million for transportation projects, including improvements to Triangle Lake Road, Bur ton Avenue and Washington Street.
• $21.5 million for a replacement for the Culler Senior Center and renovations to City Lake Park, including upgrades to the pool and gym, as well as greenway improvements.
• $6.5 million to fund construction and infrastructure to serve the High Point Housing Authority’s planned redevelopment of the Daniel Brooks Homes public housing complex.
“Allocating funds toward road projects and affordable housing will not only address immediate needs within our city, it will also provide long term benefits by improving High Point’s ability to attract new residents and businesses to advance our overall growing economy,” said CVB President Melody Burnett.
If approved, the projects would be built in phases over several years as the bonds are sold. The city can borrow the full $50 million without raising the property tax rate to pay any of it back, according to the city.
Supporters tout this, but the referendum would not bind the current or future City Councils to a “no tax increase” pledge when it comes to the bonds or any other type of city indebtedness, according to City Attorney JoAnne Carlyle.
“However, based upon staff and independent outside financial advisers’ evaluations, nothing would indicate a need for an increase in taxes for these bonds,” Carlyle said.
Chapin said the chamber plans to spend about $30,000 on a promotional campaign for the bonds, including direct mail, print advertising and social media.
“It was sort of of f everybody’s radar and there still hasn’t been a lot of conversation about it,” Chapin said. “We decided it’s important to the community to make sure people know what these projects are. Unless people are educated about them, it’s easy to go in there and vote no.”
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