After multiple presentations and discussions on the City of Winston Salem’s Capital Needs Bond issue, the Winston Salem Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted to support the Capital Needs Bond.
The City Council is proposing that the City move forward with a bond referendum to fund $122 million worth of projects in five categories:
- • Streets and Sidewalks: $43.7 million
- • Parks and Recreation: $31 million
- • Public Safety Facilities: $21.1 million
- • Economic Development: $14.5 million
- • Housing: $11.7 million
The projects would be funded by a 4-cent increase in the City’s property tax rate. City Manager Lee Garrity and Assistant City Manager Ben Rowe presented information to the Chamber’s Board of Directors about the City’s capital needs, the proposed bond package, impact on citizens, and comparisons to other North Carolina metros on data points such as debt per capita, property tax base, and tax rates.
Board Chair Jimmy Flythe, Director of Government and Community Relations for Duke Energy, says “After a robust discussion, the Chamber leadership determined the investments in the projects within this bond referendum will be beneficial to the business community and in keeping with the Chamber’s strategic vision for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to be the best community in the United States to start and grow a business and to live.”
Chamber President and CEO Mark Owens says “we appreciate the City’s efforts to inform the business community of the City’s capital needs and the proposed referendum’s impact on both citizens and businesses. We must invest in community resources to continue building the vibrant metro area that’s so attractive to new businesses and investments. We believe that the City has proposed well-balanced investments in strategic initiative areas while maintaining our competitive advantage in relation to other metros in our State. Thank you to the Government Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors for their diligent work on behalf of the Chamber’s membership.”
Items in the project such as transportation infrastructure, public safety communication systems, economic development site and infrastructure improvement, and items that affect housing for the workforce are all items that the Chamber feels are needed to have the best business environment possible.
If approved by the City Council, the bond referendum will be included in the general election on November 6, 2018.
The Winston-Salem Chamber publishes a Legislative Agenda annually.