City residents spoke loudly Tuesday in overwhelmingly approving a total of $97 million in bond packages for investments in public safety, infrastructure and housing.
A $60 million bond package for public safety received 28,430 votes, or 61.84%, to 17,547 votes, or 38.16%, in opposition, according to unofficial returns from the Cumberland County Board of Elections.
A bond package on infrastructure to upgrade roadways and sidewalks received 30,569 votes, or 66.44%, to 15,441, or 33.56%, according to the elections board website. A bond package for housing garnered 27,236 votes, or 59.13%, to 18,826 votes, or 40.87%, according to unofficial returns.
“It’s a great night for the city of Fayetteville,” City Manager Doug Hewett said, who said he is thankful to the City Council for its bold initiative.
Approval of the bonds, according to the city, comes at the cost of a municipal property tax increase of 4 cents to residents. For a home valued at $100,000, the property tax increase would be about $3.33 per month, or $40 per year, the city website says. A home valued at $200,000 would be taxed an additional $6.67 per month, or $80 a year.
Referendums for the bonds were unanimously approved on Aug. 8 by the City Council.
“Clearly, it was the largest bond ever contemplated in the city,” Hewett said. “With $97 million, I pledge to honor this vote in shaping the future of Fayetteville. I can’t wait to get to work in the morning to get the plan in action.”
Public safety needs for the city, according to its website, include emergency services, new fire stations, renovations to older fire stations and construction of a Police Department 911 call center. Public infrastructure needs, the city website says, are street resurfacing, sidewalk and intersection improvements, and bicycle paths. Housing needs, the website says, include development, rehabilitation of existing homes and homeownership programs.
“It’s an amazing night,” Hewett said. “Truly a celebratory night.”
Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at email@example.com or 910-624-1961.