Elections

City asks voters to approve $218.4 million in bonds

The city of Charlotte’s nearly $219 million bond referendum includes money for public-private partnerships along Independence Boulevard.
The city of Charlotte’s nearly $219 million bond referendum includes money for public-private partnerships along Independence Boulevard. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte voters are being asked to approve a $218.4 million bond referendum that’s on the November ballot.

The bond is the second installment of four planned referendums. Voters approved a bond referendum two years ago, and the city plans to also ask voters to approve bonds in 2018 and 2020.

The 2016 bond will be for three areas: neighborhood improvements, transportation and housing.

The language before voters says that a vote for the bonds would not result in a property tax increase. City Council already approved a tax increase of 7.25 percent in 2013 that will pay for the bonds.

But if voters reject the bonds, it’s possible that council members could vote to lower property taxes.

Some of the most high-profile projects in the bond referendum:

▪ $16.2 million for new roads in the Dixie-Berryhill area west of the airport.

▪ $12.8 million for a bridge over Interstate 85 connecting Research Drive to J.W. Clay Boulevard.

▪ $25 million for the Cross Charlotte biking/hiking trail; $35.4 million for biking and pedestrian improvements along the Blue Line extension.

▪ $19 million for two new police stations, in Hickory Grove and south Charlotte.

▪ $15 million for affordable housing.

The referendum also calls for millions to spend on smaller projects, such as traffic signal improvements, repairing bridges and streetscape improvements.

The city still has money from the 2014 bond referendum.

That referendum had $25 million for an amateur sports complex at Bojangles’ Coliseum, a plan that’s been halted for now. The 2016 referendum also calls for $10 million for public-private partnerships for the Independence Boulevard and Central Avenue corridors.

The city isn’t allowed to advocate for the bonds. The Charlotte Chamber has taken the lead in promoting the bond campaign.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

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