Wake County Commissioners are picking up where they left off with the long-overdue Northeast Regional Library.
The library, which is to be located in Raleigh near the Wake Forest town limits, is the last remaining project from the 2003 library bond. While the schematic designs were approved in February 2008, some Commissioners want staff to consider creating a larger meeting space that could be used for public gatherings such as elections.
Commissioner Paul Coble asked that the vote to resume the project be delayed until staff come back with more information.
The 22,300-square-foot building is similar to other regional libraries, such as the East Regional Library. Mark Forestieri, director of the facilities design and construction department, said that increasing the size of a meeting room could change the cost and the time schedule of the project.
Once built, the library will cost the county about $12 million. Site development and construction will cost about $5.7 million. Forestieri said construction costs have increased since the project has been put on hold.
Commissioners will vote in November to officially resume the project.
Library Bond Extension Needed
To date, the county has only spent $300,000 of the $45 million 2007 library bond. State law requires the bonds must be issued within seven years of approval, so county finance staff will apply for a three-year extension.
Much like the Northeast Regional Library, many of the projects that were supposed to be funded by the bond were put on hold when the recession hit.
County staff will apply for the extension and a public hearing will take place during the Nov. 17 Commissioner meeting. If approved, the county would have until October 2017 to spend the remaining $44.7 million.
Commissioner Phil Matthews said he wants to revisit the list of projects that were tapped for those funds, citing a change in needs since the bonds were approved.
Duke Energy Program Funding Accepted
Commissioners Monday accepted a $1.6 million settlement from Duke Energy Progress as a result of the recent merger with Progress Energy.
The money will go toward Duke Energy Progress customers who are having trouble paying their bills.
Assistant Director of Social Services Bob Sorrels said unlike federal funding, the settlement money has fewer restrictions and offers more flexibility.
“Federal money has strings attached,” he said.
Federal money often has income requirements as well as temperature requirements that keep program administrators from using the funding. This program’s only requirements: participants must be low income and Duke Energy Progress customers.