Voters to decide on $20M bond referendum, mayor promises ‘no debt’
BOILING SPRING LAKES, N.C. (WECT) - After Hurricane Florence destroyed a dam back in 2018, the lakes have gone dry. However, city leaders say that could change soon.
“We have the $14 million that the state gave us. FEMA has offered us $19.8 million but we still don’t have that until the project starts,” said Winecoff. “[We have] the $3 million from the county.”
In total, the dam restoration will cost about $51.8 million. Mayor Winecoff says the hope is to cover that without going into debt or taxing residents.
“It takes a lot of teamwork. You’ve got to have a positive attitude,” said Winecoff. “If we can get this bond moved forward, it’s brighter days for Boiling Spring Lakes.”
According to Winecoff, just two things stand in residents’ way of seeing the lakes return: a $14.9 million grant and the $20 million dollar bonds voters will decide on in November.
At its meeting on August 2, the city’s Board of Commissioners voted to add the 20 million dollar bonds to November’s ballot. That raised concerns from some people who say the town can’t afford that kind of debt. Mayor Jeff Winecoff says that’s not a problem since FEMA is set to pay back the city for that amount once construction begins.
Boiling Spring Lakes is also hoping for a $14. 9 million infrastructure grant from the Department of Defense.
“If we get the $14.9 million, we will not be in debt. We will be exactly where we need to be according to the calculations the engineers gave us.”
The city will find out if they get the $14 million from the Department of Defense late next month. If that doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean it’ll be the end of the road for the project. Winecoff says that’s another reason people need to support the bond referendum in November.
“They think they don’t have to pass the bond if we get the money,” said Winecoff. “Technically, that’s true, but we still have to come up with the $20 million that FEMA is going to give us,” says Winecoff. “That’s where the bond helps us get the construction loan. We can borrow from that and we don’t have to worry about anything else.”
If the city were to secure the grant from the Department of Defense, it will have collected about $51.7 million in funding, nearly matching the project’s $51.8 million price tag.
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