Greensboro voters to decide whether city should move forward with capital projects worth $126 million

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The decision as to whether Greensboro should move forward in capital projects worth $126 million is up to voters this election.

The 2016 Greensboro Bond referendum is divided into four different measures that can be voted upon separately with a simple yes or no; Transportation, Community economic & Development, Housing and Parks and Recreation.

The proposed transportation bond is worth $28 million dollars in road safety improvements of more than 250 lane miles, repaving problem roadways and creating more 175 miles of bike lane and side walk installations.

The highest amount proposed among the four measures in community and economic development worth $38.5 million.

This sections deals with neighborhood revitalization completing existing projects like the South Elm Street Redevelopment Plan.

City streetscape projects adding lighting, sidewalks and landscape would improve downtown areas along Elm, Davie, Church, Bellemeade, Summit and Gate City Boulevard. The money would also support mix- income housing near historic Ole Asheboro as well an improve storm and sewer systems.

Affordable housing options and programs would be allotted $25 million. Owning a home would be possible thanks to programs for workforce families as well as options for low income families.

More than 100 homes would qualify for repairs fixed by the Minimum Housing Standards Commission.

Park and Recreation trails and facilities would get upgrades with the proposed $34.5 million. The money will finish phase 4 of the Greenway Downtown and extend the Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway.

Several park facilities will see enhancements in infrastructure and activities such as tennis, soccer and disc golf. Construction projects will also be completed at Gateway Gardens and Battleground Parks District.

Downtown Greensboro Inc. CEO Zack Matheny said the bonds are what’s needed to take Greensboro where it needs to be and offers improvements everyone will benefit from.

“It’s important to connect those private investments, the couple hundred million dollars that we've seen in downtown and we need these public dollars to help,” Matheny said.

One resident of District two feels as though the bond measure leaves little room for improvement for her community and is voting against the bonds.

“It's a definite no for do all four. I have a serious problem with them because district 2 is basically getting nothing in their district,” said Sandra Isley. “Everybody else is getting skating parks and libraries and we're getting a housing bound and it's the last of all bonds and our property taxes are basically going to go up.”

The city estimates the tax rate would need to increase by 2.10 cents to repay the debt is all four bonds are voted a majority yes.

“It would affect the standard house say a $150,000 tax value house by $30 a year, which I would say is a nominal amount when you're making such a progressive going forward initiative,” Matheny said.

A property tax increase is not a definite but a possible option of council to repay the debt if the bonds are voted a majority yes.

For a detailed list of the bond referendum in its entirety and all polling locations, check out the following link before you vote.

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