12/15/13 — Bond issue is back on council's agenda

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Bond issue is back on council's agenda

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on December 15, 2013 1:50 AM

The Goldsboro City Council is expected to pass a resolution at its Monday meeting authorizing the city finance director to file an application with the state to hold a proposed $18.9 million bond referendum vote in May.

The bond, if passed, would be used to pay for four major Parks and Recreation projects across the city.

About $6 million each would be pointed to a new W.A. Foster Recreation Center, a multi-sports complex and renovations to Herman Park Center and Herman Park.

The remaining funds would go for greenway paving along Stoney Creek.

The State Local Government Commission would have to approve the city's application before the bond referendum could come up for a vote in May.

If approved the city property tax would increase 3 cents to serve as collateral for the bond.

The current tax rate is 65 cents per $100.

The increase would pull in about $600,000 more in tax revenue to the city per year.

A report on the city's current debt management showed that the city could handle the new $18.9 million debt but would likely structure the projects to take on the debt in smaller chunks with a year or two in between bond sales.

"The capacity is there within the policies, we have the capacity for them," City Finance Director Kaye Scott said. "It's structured so it wouldn't be a burden."

The City Council is also expected to hear an update from Assistant City Manager Randy Guthrie and Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. Director Julie Metz about the results of their trip to Atlanta to learn more about the $10 million TIGER grant the city is receiving for downtown projects.

The grant, which comes through the U.S. Department of Transportation, will be used to complete Center Street Streetscape, pay for the construction of a new GATEWAY transfer facility adjacent to Goldsboro Union Station and also site work around the station.

The application included Union Station renovations but the granting agency decided not to approve the renovations based on the amount of funding and costs of the projects, City Manager Scott Stevens said.

The city will match the $10 million in federal funding with $4 million local dollars.

Three public hearings are on the bill for the City Council meeting beginning at 7 p.m. Monday.

Jerald Huffman is seeking a Conditional Use Permit to operate an entertainment center without an ABC permit in the former Party Central location on Corporate Drive.

Huffman previously sought a permit to operate the space with an ABC permit but was denied based on past violence in the space.

His application was denied without prejudice to allow him to come back after a six-month waiting period to apply for the permit without an ABC permit.

A public hearing will be held for a property on Berkeley Boulevard near Central Heights Road to be used as an arcade-type space programmed for youth events.

The applicant is requesting the required parking for the building be reduced because he expects many parents will drive their children to the venue.

A third and final public hearing refers to a Conditional Use Permit for a venue for country and bluegrass music on Ash Street in the former Pizza Inn location.

The building has been vacant for a number of years and would not require major modifications to be reused as a music venue.

The applicant is not requesting an ABC permit.

After the public hearings the City Planning Commission will meet to vote on its recommendations for the council to consider before making its final vote.

The council will also discuss greenways and tree trimming.