Featured photo: A mock-up of the proposed Windsor-Chavis-Nocho Joint Use Facility

Those eligible to vote in the Greensboro municipal elections starting on July 7 will have the opportunity to vote for mayor, all district seats and three at-large members. They will also be deciding on whether or not to pass five individual bonds totaling $135 million that will benefit housing, parks and recreation, firefighting services, law enforcement facilities and city transportation. Listed below is a description of how the bonds will be noted on the ballot and a bit of context for each. Voters will choose to either vote “yes” or “no” to pass each bond.

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According to the city, if a majority of voters vote “yes” on the five bond questions, the city would need to raise the tax rate by 1.25 cents per $1,000 of home valuation to repay the debt. That is equivalent to $2.08 per month on a house worth $200,000.

Before the city can borrow money, it has to be approved by the Carolina Local Government Commission, which determines whether the city can reasonably afford to repay the debt. In addition, Greensboro currently has an AAA credit rating — the highest rating possible — which is based on its ability to repay its debts.

If passed, some projects could begin as early as late 2022. All projects are expected to be completed in seven to nine years.

HOUSING BONDS: $30 MILLION

The housing bond, listed first on the ballot, is the second largest bond. Based on the city’s description, the primary purpose of this bond is to increase affordable housing units in the city and also use dollars to invest in neighborhoods for lower- and middle-income families and help families buy homes. The proposed breakdown of the $30 million is as follows: $20 million for affordable housing, $5 million for access to homeownership and $5 million for neighborhood investment. The text as it will look on the ballot is as follows:

Shall the order adopted on August 31, 2021, authorizing $30,000,000 HOUSING BONDS of the City of Greensboro, North Carolina, plus interest, for the purpose of providing funds, together with any other available funds, for acquiring, constructing, improving, rehabilitating and equipping multifamily and single family housing units in said City, principally for the benefit of persons of low and moderate income, including, without limitation, housing or neighborhood revitalization programs and the providing of loans, grants or other financial assistance to such persons and to developers and other public and private providers of housing, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on said bonds, be approved?

PARKS AND RECREATION BONDS: $70 MILLION

The largest chunk of money, if approved, would go to developing and improving parks and recreation facilities in the city. The proposed breakdown for the bonds is as follows: $50 million for the Windsor-Chavis-Nocho Joint Use Facility which would create one large facility that acts as a library, recreation center, pool and meeting center for the Nocho Park area off Gate City Boulevard; $20 million would be used to expand the Greensboro Science Center to include a rainforest biodome and an ocean lab that would help conservation and research efforts. The text as it will look on the ballot is as follows:

Shall the order adopted on August 31, 2021, authorizing $70,000,000 PARKS AND RECREATION BONDS of the City of Greensboro, North Carolina, plus interest, for the purpose of providing funds, together with any other available funds, for acquiring, constructing, improving and equipping various parks and recreational facilities for said City, including, without limitation, a joint library and parks and recreational facility, and the acquisition of related land, rights of way and equipment, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on said bonds, be approved?

FIREFIGHTING FACILITIES BONDS: $14 MILLION

If approved, $17 million would be used to improve and renovate four Greensboro fire stations including: Station #40 on Pisgah Church Rd., Station #8 on Coliseum Blvd., Station #10 on Gate City Blvd. and Station #14 on Summit Ave. The text as it will look on the ballot is as follows:

Shall the order adopted on August 31, 2021, authorizing $14,000,000 FIREFIGHTING FACILITIES BONDS of the City of Greensboro, North Carolina, plus interest, for the purpose of providing funds, together with any other available funds, for acquiring, constructing, renovating and equipping various firefighting facilities for said City, including, without limitation, the acquisition of related land, rights of way and equipment, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on said bonds, be approved?

LAW ENFORCEMENT FACILITIES BONDS: $6 MILLION

If approved, $6 million would be used to improve, secure and maintain law enforcement facilities throughout the city including $3 million to renovate the fourth floor of the police headquarters and $3 million for the Greensboro Police Department Records Management System. The text as it will look on the ballot is as follows:

Shall the order adopted on August 31, 2021, authorizing $6,000,000 LAW ENFORCEMENT FACILITIES BONDS of the City of Greensboro, North Carolina, plus interest, for the purpose of providing funds, together with any other available funds, for acquiring, constructing, renovating and equipping various law enforcement facilities for said City, including, without limitation, the acquisition of related land, rights of way and equipment, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on said bonds, be approved?

TRANSPORTATION BONDS: $15 MILLION

Lastly, the transportation bonds would be used to add and improve sidewalks, streets and other transportation infrastructure including public transportation. A number of sidewalks and greenways including ones on Vandalia Rd., 16th Street, Yanceyville Street and Battleground Avenue south of Westridge Road would be improved. The roads at Pisgah Church intersections at Elm Street, Lawndale Drive and Martinsville Drive would also be improved. Lastly, more bus shelters would be installed, old buses would be replaced and the bus depot would be improved. The text as it will look on the ballot is as follows:

Shall the order adopted on August 31, 2021, authorizing $15,000,000 TRANSPORTATION BONDS of the City of Greensboro, North Carolina, plus interest, for the purpose of providing funds, together with any other available funds, for various transportation related improvements for said City, including, without limitation, street, sidewalk, streetscape and bridge improvements, bicycle lanes, greenways, buses and bus station and shelter improvements, and the acquisition of any related land, rights of way and equipment, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on said bonds, be approved?

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