The Raleigh City Council is putting the finishing touches on a parks and recreation bond package for the ballot in November. As expected, a hefty portion of the bond’s price tag will be focused on executing the Dix Park masterplan components. In addition, there are projects in each city district and greenway connections that will expand access to the existing 118 miles of city greenway. The bond is the largest ever requested of the voters and is by no means a slam dunk. The $275-$300 million investment will bump the average property tax bill by roughly $100. In a year with runaway inflation, $4.50/gallon gas prices and a looming recession, voters will may simply not be comfortable with this additional burden. To be fair, voters have always supported the quality-of-life amenities the city delivers thru these bonds, so councilors are cautiously optimistic.
WHAT’S IN THE BOND?
o Sertoma Art Center Improvements, $16.9 million
o Leonard Property Master Plan and Implementation, $13.5 million
o Kyle Drive Master Plan and Implementation, $9 million
o John Chavis Historic Park Phase 2 (Aquatic Center and Heritage Plaza,) $56.3 million
o South Park Heritage Walk and Top Greene Center Improvements, $12.4 million
o Biltmore Hills Tennis Improvements, $6.8 million
o Dix Park: Play Plaza, $35 million
o Dix Park: Basic Office and Operations Building Upfit, $1.7 million
o Dix Park Phase 2 Preliminary Design: Creek, Landbridge, Landfill and Historic Entry, $3.4 million Dix Park: Full Office and Operations Building Upfit, Partnerships Opportunities, $5.1 million
o Lake Wheeler Road and Multi-use Path Improvements, $21 million
o Method Community Center Improvements, $15.8 million
o Erinsbrook Park Implementation, $9 million
o Neighborhood & Community Connections and P3 (public-private partnerships) all, $ 6.8 million Mine Creek Greenway Improvements, $5.6 million
o Marsh Creek Greenway Feasibility and Preliminary Design, $3.4 million
o Walnut Creek Greenway Improvements, $12.4 million
o Strickland and Leesville Rd Park Improvements, $4.5 million
o Big Branch Greenway Connector, $4.5 million
o Green Road Park Improvements, $4.5 million
o Tarboro Community Center, $31.5 million
o Devereux Meadows Implementation, $18 million
o Lake Lynn Trail Loop, $3.9 million
City Council Elections
The last few weeks have been very telling as the story of the November elections unfolds. David Cox will not run for re-election in District B where he is popular among the neighborhood activists, those behind the Liveable Raleigh group and previous CAC system supporters. Patrick Buffkin who was urged to run for a newly created NC Senate district was defeated in the primary and has yet to disclose his intentions for the fall. Buffkin serves on the MRA Board of Directors and we are grateful for all his work on the district’s behalf. Stormie Forte, the councilor appointed to fill the term of disgraced District D councilor Saige Martin is leaning toward a run at one of the at-large seats. District E councilor David Knight will face former CAC chair and Liveable Raleigh supporter Christina Jones. Nicole Stewart informed supporters months ago that she will not seek re-election. Here’s the rest of the shake down:
Mayoral candidates: Mary Ann Baldwin and Terrence Ruth.
At Large candidates: Incumbent Jonathan Melton, James Bledsoe, Portia Rochell, and Joshua Bradley.
District A: Cat Lawson, Mary Black (incumbent Patrick Buffkin is undecided)
District B: Minu Lee (Incumbent Cox is not running).
District C: Frank Fields and Wanda Hunter will take on incumbent Corey Branch
District D: Jane Harrison and Jennifer Truman (Stormie Fort will not run in district)
District E: Incumbent David Knight and Christina Jones