In March 2013, Garner voters approved four bond referendums authorizing the Town to issue up to $35.716 million in general obligation bonds.
Support for the bond program was overwhelming. Seventy-three percent (1,685 votes) voted for the Street and Sidewalk Improvement Bonds, 70 percent (1,682 votes) voted for Parks and Recreational Bonds, 66 percent (1,671 votes) voted for Redevelopment Bonds, and 75 percent (1,688 votes) voted for Public Safety and Services Facilities Bonds.
Since that vote, the Town has had two bond issues totaling approximately $24.5 million.
There was a municipal property tax rate increase of 2.75 cents (implemented across two years--FY 2014-15 and FY 2015-16) to help service the bond debt. The Town's Revenue Savings Program, which dedicates a portion of annual revenue growth to support capital improvements such as bond projects, helped keep the tax rate increase lower than otherwise projected.
Numerous projects funded by the bonds have been completed, most notably dugout covers and new concessions/restroom buildings at South Garner and Garner Recreational parks, the Lake Benson and North Garner dog parks, the new police station at 912 7th Ave. and various sidewalk projects around town.
Town staff present Town Council with a quarterly report on the status of bond projects.