09/28/13 — Parks and Rec to ask for funds

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Parks and Rec to ask for funds

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on September 28, 2013 10:34 PM

Goldsboro voters might be looking at a bond referendum on the May ballot to pay for city Parks and Recreation projects.

The Goldsboro City Council is considering placing an $18.9 million bond referendum on the ballot.

The money would be used to build a new W. A. Foster Recreation Center, a multi-sports complex, help pay for renovations to Herman Park and Herman Park Center, as well as pave greenways around the city.

Paying back the loan would require an increase of three cents on the city property tax rate, which would bring in about $600,000 a year.

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard brought the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee's recommendation to the council at its continued meeting Monday.

The City's financial consultants, Davenport and Co., will give a presentation at the next City Council meeting, explaining aspects of the possible bond referendum.

The meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 7 during a work session that starts at 5 p.m. in the large conference room of City Hall.

The committee unanimously agreed with the Parks and Recreation Department's recommendation regarding which projects should be included in a proposed bond referendum.

The bonds, if approved, could be sold over a 10-year period and would have to be repaid within 20 years of the closing date on each portion of the bond sold.

Some of the work could be done without a bond, City Manager Scott Stevens said.

A new Foster center and a multi-sports complex could be built with available funds, including the hotel occupancy tax.

But renovations to Herman Park would require more money, he said. And both are in need of a makeover.

Fixing Herman Park Center will only become more costly as the time passes, Stevens noted.

"Otherwise it will just be fixed until piece by piece it falls apart," he said.

The greenway project was added to the proposed bond referendum after Councilman Chuck Allen expressed concerns that the referendum didn't include something for everyone -- that for the bond to get the support it needed to pass it would need to have wider appeal.