January 12, 2016

MEMO TO:           Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:                  Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:           Resolution of Support for Connect NC Bond Referendum

The Board of Commissioners is asked to approve the attached resolution formally expressing the Town’s support for the upcoming Connect NC bond referendum to be held on March 15, 2016. The referendum, if approved, would authorize the issuance of $2 billion of State bonds for public infrastructure projects across North Carolina.

I have attached a packet of information about the Connect NC bond referendum for your information.  The “Connect NC” bond proposal includes approximately $1.3 billion for various education infrastructure projects and nearly $700 million for water, sewer, parks, agriculture, and other projects distributed all around North Carolina.  Closer to home, approximately $2.7 million is allocated for Carteret Community College, approximately $135,000 is allocated for Fort Macon State Park, and $1.1 million is allocated for Hammocks Beach State Park.

The State Budget Office has noted the historically low interest rates, the fact that no tax increase is projected to be necessary to service the new debt, and broad bipartisan support in their efforts to promote the Connect NC bonds.

The Board of Commissioners previously approved a resolution in support of Governor McCrory’s original $2.85 billion bond proposal in June.  That proposal also included approximately $1.4 billion for various transportation projects across NC, including significant funding for the State Port in Morehead City.  The transportation projects were removed from the overall bond package by the General Assembly, which seeks to fund transportation projects with other State revenues.

The attached resolution is similar to a resolution recently approved by the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce, who requested that the Town also consider a similar resolution.