Moving Garner Forward
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 three bond issuances totaling approximately $28.5 million. Garner received a bond rating upgrade from Standard & Poor's just prior to the most recent issuance in August 2018.
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 the bond projects, succeeded in keeping the tax rate increase lower than it otherwise would have been.
Bonds Have Funded Numerous Projects
Numerous projects funded by the bonds have been completed, most notably the new Town Hall at 900 7th Ave., the police station at 912 7th Ave., dugout covers and new concessions/restroom buildings at South Garner and Garner Recreational parks, the Lake Benson and North Garner dog parks, and various sidewalk and street-lighting projects around town (see map below for more).
Current major construction projects include the Garner Recreation Center at Main and Montague streets in historic downtown Garner. Other bond-supported projects in the design or planning phases include intersection improvements at White Oak/Ackerman/Hebron Church roads; improvements along New Rand Road; proposed extension of South Garner Greenway; N.C. 50 bridge enhancements (aesthetic); and sidewalks along U.S. 401, Spring Drive, Vandora Springs Road and Timber Drive (to connect existing sidewalks).
First look inside Garner Recreation Center
The map below offers a brief overview of current and completed projects:
GREEN PIN=Public Safety and Services Facilities Bonds project
BLUE PIN=Street and Sidewalk Improvement Bonds project
RED PIN=Parks and Recreational Bonds project
PURPLE PIN=Redevelopment Bonds project