01/07/14 — $18.9 million rec bond proposal moving forward

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$18.9 million rec bond proposal moving forward

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on January 7, 2014 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro City Council passed a resolution supporting an $18.9 million bond referendum for Parks and Recreation projects at its meeting Monday night.

The resolution empowers city officials to proceed with preparations to have the bond ready for a vote in May.

Council passed the resolution as part of the consent agenda despite objections by District 3 Councilman William Goodman.

Goodman made a motion during the work session to move the item to an individual action item but was not given the second necessary to continue to a vote.

Councilman Michael Headen asked him why he wanted to move it off the consent agenda, to which he responded, "for further conversation."

After a pause, Finance Director Kaye Scott continued her briefing on the issue.

After the work session, Goodman said he believed the discussion needed to be held during the regular City Council meeting and not in a "briefing session."

Goodman has brought up discussions about rebuilding the new W.A. Foster Recreation Center in the same location on South Leslie Street instead of in Mina Weil Park a half mile away.

The center is currently in Goodman's district, but a move to Mina Weil Park would place it in District 4.

A vote to keep the center in its current location fell in a 4-3 vote in November.

Goodman later went on to vote against the consent agenda, which passed in a 6-1 vote.

If the bond passes, the money from its sales would go to fund a new W.A. Foster center, a multi-sports complex, renovations to Herman Park and Herman Park Center and the paving of greenways throughout the city.

The city property tax would increase by three cents to 68 cents per $100 worth of property to serve as collateral for the bond. Each cent of the tax brings in about $200,000 in revenue for the city, meaning a three-cent increase would bring in more than $600,000 a year.

The resolution gives Mrs. Scott permission to file a statement of debt with the Local Government Commission, authorizes the bond and sets a public hearing for Feb. 3.

District 6 Councilman Gene Aycock made a motion to remove a resolution approving a Conditional Use permit for a place of entertainment without an ABC permit in the former Party Central location.

The use was denied in October with an ABC permit based on past violence in the location.

The application was denied without prejudice allowing the applicant, Jerald Huffman, who owns Morgan's and Cameron's clubs, to come back before the council with an updated application without an ABC permit before the six-month waiting period.

The city Planning Commission recommended approval of the request despite opposition from the Goldsboro Police Department at a public hearing in December.

The application was denied in October based on the Police Department's argument that the use would pose a risk to public safety, based on past criminal activity at the location.

The proposal passed putting the application up for an individual vote, which was again denied in a 7-0 vote.

In other news, two resolutions were passed approving the city's portion of planning funds for two transportation plans through the Goldsboro Metropolitan Planning Organization are expected to be approved.

The Goldsboro MPO will sign a contract with Alta/Greenways, which worked on the Mountains to Sea Trail, to plan out the city's greenway system for $226,000.

The city's 20 percent match for the planning will be $43,000, with $11,000 being paid through a community transformation grant.

The state Department of Transportation will pay the remaining $172,000.

In addition to the greenway plan, the MPO will hire URS, a Morrisville transportation planning firm, to update the city's transportation plan at a cost of almost $200,000.

Goldsboro will cover about $40,000 of the cost, with DOT picking up the rest of the bill.