City leaders approve $44 million transportation bond referendum
The city's massive transportation bond is now going to cost more than originally expected. (Source: WECT)
The city has added a new project to their original list, a multi-use path along the side of Masonboro Loop Road. (Source: WECT)
Wilmington voters will decide in November whether or not they want their taxes to be raised to pay for street and sidewalk repairs.
City leaders unanimously approved a $55 million transportation bond Tuesday night. While only $44 million will be borrowed, the rest would come from existing funds, according to Malissa Talbert the city's communications manager. That means residents of the City of Wilmington could be taxed for the $44 million.
The bond referendum will appear on the ballot of the November 4 general election. If the bond passes, there will be a 2-cent property tax increase.
For the average property owner, on a $200,000 home, which equals $3.34 a month, or $40 a year.
The $55 million bond was originally planned to cost $52 million.
About a dozen members of the Love Grove Community spoke Tuesday night in favor of the plan -- knowing that a portion of the cash will be used to build an additional access road to their neighborhood.
Surveys completed by citizens showed their top concerns were traffic and a want for more pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The bond would cover $35 million for road projects and $20 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects.
"Every neighborhood in the city of Wilmington will see some impact near where they live, so this is not a Love Grove bond let's be clear on that," Ron Sparks said. "Love Grove is important in this bond because Love Grove is a part of this transportation bond that effects the entire city."
Wilmington Transportation and Planning Manager Mike Kozlosky said the city has added a new project to their original list, a multi-use path along the side of Masonboro Loop Road. That path is what caused the price hike.
Kozlosky said it will extend down Masonboro Loop Road from Pine Grove Drive to Navaho Trail.
The transportation bond is designed to make travel improvements and pedestrian accommodations like this one throughout the city. Kozlosky explained that Wilmington actually needs over $200 million in improvements so this latest increase isn't that much of a spike.
"You look at $55 million; That's a minor amount compared to the overall needs of our community for the next two decades," Kozlosky said.