Update

At its May 23, 2019 meeting, the Town Council voted unanimously to adopt the 2019 Bond Referendum Preliminary Findings Resolution. This action documents Council’s conclusions about using debt and authorizes staff to seek approval of the proposed referendum with the NC Local Government Commission.

Background

Since the 1980’s, Cary has used voter-approved bonds as one of several financial strategies to help create and maintain the community. The most recent referendum was approved by voters in 2012 for fire, transportation, and parks initiatives. All of the funded projects are either complete or well underway.

As part of its annual budget discussion on May 9, 2019, Council and Town staff explored a number of projects that could qualify for funding with debt financing via general obligation bonds. There was agreement for a “not to exceed” total of $225 million for Cary’s next referendum: Up to $113 million going toward transportation needs and the remaining $112 million for parks and recreation needs, including preserving open space. Council directed staff to begin the legal process to hold a general obligation bond referendum on October 8, 2019.

The referendum, which will comprise two separate questions, will ask voters whether they approve of the Town’s use of general obligation bond financing to pay for qualifying transportation projects and qualifying parks projects.

While the referendum sets maximum limits for borrowing in each of the two categories, the Town is not required to borrow the full authorized amounts. If the debt financing is approved by voters, projects would be initiated, designed, constructed and initially financed over as many as 10 years.

Schedule

June 2019: Staff will bring additional legal steps to move the referendum forward by asking Council to introduce the bond orders and set a public hearing. 

July 2019: The public hearing will be held and the bond orders considered for adoption. If approved, the bond orders would be publicized in legal notices during July and August.