Raleigh Councilors Lean Toward $91.7M Parks Bond

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While the amount hasn’t been finalized, Raleigh City Councilors are leaning toward a $91.7 million parks bond for the November ballot.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting, Councilors were presented three options of varying costs, with the lowest being $58.8 million, the next $74.7 million and a fully funded scenario at $91.7 million. Councilors will finalize the bond amount at their next meeting June 17.

Councilor Bonner Gaylord asked that staff also bring with them more information about Falls Whitew Water Park and how that could fit into the plan.

All of the current scenarios (see three below) focus on funding deferred maintenance and making long-needed improvements.

None of the options include funding for Dix Park.

Improvements for Moore Square were originally considered as part of the potential project list, but were pulled when Councilors decided to use general obligation bonds for funding.

The most expensive scenario would require about $1.4 million in annual operating costs for a total tax increase of 1.72 cents.

Support for White Water Park

A public hearing for the bond will likely be scheduled in mid-July, but supporters of the water park came out during last week’s budget public hearing.

Organizer and WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said she was happy to see that the park was included in the parks department’s system plan, but was disappointed that it was not included in the final cut of proposed bond projects.

“We’re here to say that it’s important to us. We think this is going to be a great thing for Raleigh,” she said.

Kayaking enthusiasts weren’t the only supporters of the project.

Durham resident and professional firefighter Nathan Taylor is a member of one of two of the state’s urban search and rescue teams.
“What we don’t have, what we’ve never had, is a venue for swift water rescue training,” he said.

Taylor said regular training drills could be done at the park, eliminating the need to travel to Charlotte.

Staff will bring back more information about the possible funding of the park at the Councilors’ regular meeting next week.

Parks Bond Scenario 3

Parks Bond Scenario 2

Parks Bond Scenario 1

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