Mount Holly asks residents to borrow money for recreation

Mount Holly voters will decide in November whether or not to allow the city government to borrow money to improve the city’s parks and recreation facilities.

If Mount Holly voters approve the plan, the city will be able to borrow $ 13,555,000 through the bond sale. Projects under consideration for funding include two bridges – one that would cross Fites Creek and connect Tuckaseege Park to the Riverfront subdivision, and another that would cross Dutchman’s Creek and connect River Street Park to the Woodland Park neighborhood, the City Manager of Woodland Park said. Mount Holly, Miles Braswell. .

The city has completed the interior portions of the greenway and its extension over the streams would give the city over 10 miles of greenway in total.

The money could also fund a major expansion of the veterans park, adding an amphitheater, stage, playground, additional parking and restrooms, Braswell said.

Landowners would see an increase in the tax rate if voters approved the bond referendum. The current tax rate is 48.5 cents per $ 100 of taxable property assessment, and the tax rate would increase to 56 cents per $ 100 of taxable property assessment.

Braswell said the Greenway and Veterans Park expansions, if approved, could boost downtown development.

“It’s the engine of downtown development. We need downtown people to support our businesses there, so you can imagine that kind of project, Veterans Park and the bridges… would allow for the expansion. not just downtown but all of Mount Holly, “he said.

“When businesses are looking to relocate to an area or recruit and retain employees, one of the things they look for are parks and recreation facilities. This is a major consideration. If your employees are happy, then they will stay and work for you. “

“Ditto for real estate developers. If they see that the city has great parks and recreation facilities, they will want to build more homes in the area. Additionally, we owe it to our current citizens to provide the best parks and facilities. leisure, “he added.

He said the widening of the Greenway would also make it easier to navigate Mount Holly. If the projects are completed, pedestrians will be able to use the Mountain Island Park Greenway at I-85.

“Another thing that developers are really looking at now is trail systems,” he said. “With the expansion of the green lane, you can see that people can jump on the green lane, get off the real streets.… It’s just another way to move people to different places in the city, especially the downtown, where they have to go. So yes, it’s an economic engine for us, “he said.

Braswell says if voters don’t accept the obligations, he’s not sure what city council will do.

“We don’t really have $ 13.55 million in the air,” he said.

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