From the Burke County Chamber of Commerce

Connect NC Bond: Invest in Our Future

Editor’s Note: This is the first in an ongoing series of Chamber newsletter articles leading up to a vote on the NC Bond Referendum next March. If approved by voters, the $1.2 billion statewide bond package would designate more than $91 million for projects in Burke County.

The last time NC voters voted on and approved a statewide general obligation bond to upgrade our state’s infrastructure was 15 years ago. Since then, the Tarheel State has grown by about two million people. On March 15, 2016, voters will have an opportunity to approve a $1.2 billion bond package. Proceeds from the sale of the bonds will connect North Carolina to the 21st century through statewide investments in education, parks, safety, recreation, and water and sewer infrastructure.

Burke County stands to receive more than $91 million if voters statewide approve the bond sales:

— $58 million for the Western NC School of Science and Math in Morganton

— $23.3 million for a National Guard Training Facility in Burke County

— $5.1 million for Western Piedmont Community College for new construction, renovation and repairs

— $3 million for renovations at Lake James State Park

— $2.25 million for improvements at South Mountain State Park

The Connect NC bond will let us pay for 50-year assets with 20-year financing. No tax increases will be needed to finance the bonds, given the state’s strong revenue growth and ample debt service capacity. NC will continue to balance the budget and uphold its position as one of only 10 states to have earned the coveted AAA bond rating from all three major ratings agencies.

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