Council approves bond sale for library, other projects

In other Greensboro City Council action tonight, the nine members voted unanimously to authorize the sale of $30 million in bonds, including $14.4 million for street improvement, $4.6 million for the Natural Science Center, $4.6 million for fire stations, $3.5 million for libraries, $2 million for economic development, $600,000 for parks and recreation, and $335,000 for housing.

The council heard from several residents who support the bond sale, with most proponents focused on the construction of the Lake Jeanette branch library.

Dan Acker, a Lake Jeanette resident, noted that the area’s library closed in 2002. In 2006, Greensboro voters approved the bond for the city.

Sandra Kramer, a volunteer with the Reading Railroad, a bookmobile that serves the area, spoke to demand for library services in the area.

“I saw a pre-teen grab and hug a book when she saw a book that she had requested,” she said. “We have a senior citizens who’s either 89 or 90 who has to always tell a joke when he comes each week to pick up his reading for the week.”

Wade noted that the bond sale will pay for the Horse Pen Creek Road design, streetscaping for High Point Road, construction of the Florida Street Extension, sidewalks across the city and the Downtown Greenway. Under prodding by Wade, interim City Manager Denise Turner Roth said $335,000 will be spent on a match for the federal BetterBuildings energy efficiency program.

The agenda item in council member’s packets states that “No additional resources above the current 7.25 cent property tax allocation are required to fund the debt service on this debt.”

Finance Director Rick Lusk said the decision to issue $30 million in debt leaves the city with $150 million in pending bond projects that have been approved by voters, and that the city would issue debt in additional increments of $30 million.

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