Bonds on the ballot that voters get to decide on in Wake and Durham counties | Election 2022

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Saturday, October 22, 2022
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On Nov. 8, voters in Raleigh and Wake County will find three bond referendums on the ballot worth more than $1 billion.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 2022 midterm election is here and voters have more than just candidates to decide on when they cast their ballot.

Durham Bonds

Voters in Durham County will be asked to vote yes or no on three separate bond referendum questions focusing on improvements for Durham Public Schools, Durham Technical Community College and Durham Museum of Life and Science.

The school bond reads as follows: "SHALL the order authorizing $423,505,000 of bonds to pay the capital costs of erecting, remodeling, enlarging and reconstructing school buildings and other school plant facilities and acquiring necessary land, furnishings and equipment therefor, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds be approved?"

DPS Superintendent Dr. Pascal Mubenga said if the bond referendum passes, the money raised will be used to renovate existing schools and build two new schools in the district.

"Durham Public Schools is growing and Durham community is growing as well so we have a capital improvement plan for 10 years that we need to fix a lot of our buildings," Mubenga said. "We have buildings that's been around for 50, and some even 100 years old, it's about time for us to fix our buildings."

Mubenga also said the improvements could help expand the district's pre-K capacity.

Another bond on the ballot concerns community colleges: "SHALL the order authorizing $112,740,000 of bonds to pay the capital costs of expanding and improving the facilities for Durham Technical Community College, including the construction of two new educational buildings, the acquisition of necessary furnishings and purchases of land for needed expansion therefor, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds be approved?"

The third bond on the ballot is all about making improvements to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science: "SHALL the order authorizing $13,995,000 of bonds to pay the capital costs of expanding and improving the facilities for the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, including making improvements to exhibits, expanding meeting space, supporting upgrades to HVAC systems and undertaking projects to improve sustainability, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds be approved?"

Durham voters can look up their own sample ballots here.

Wake County Bonds

Wake County voters also have some bonds to vote on this election cycle. Both of the bonds up for a vote are related to school funding.

The first is a vote worth $530.7 million to Wake County Public School System.

"Shall the order adopted on July 11, 2022, authorizing SCHOOL BONDS of the County of Wake, North Carolina in an amount not to exceed $530,700,000 plus interest, for the purpose of providing funds to construct, renovate, expand, improve and equip school buildings and other school facilities, and providing that additional taxes shall be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds be approved?"

The Wake Public School Bond would include capital needs for 2024-25 and funding for five new schools including elementary schools in Apex, Fuquay-Varina, and Wendell, a middle school in Morrisville, and a high school serving west Cary and Morrisville.

The school bond would also provide funding for renovations to seven existing schools in the county.

The second bond is called the Wake Tech Workforce Forward Bond and it is valued at $353.2 million.

"Shall the order adopted on July 11, 2022, authorizing COMMUNITY COLLEGE BONDS of the County of Wake, North Carolina in an amount not to exceed $353,200,000 plus interest, for the purpose of providing funds to construct, renovate, expand, improve and equip community college facilities for Wake Technical Community College, and providing that additional taxes shall be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds be approved?"

The Wake Tech Workforce Forward bond would go toward Wake Tech Community College funding new buildings and repairs.

"What that means is being able to replace substandard buildings or buildings that we inherited actually years ago," said Dr. Scott Ralls, Wake Tech President.

The Wake Tech bond would also be used for an expansion of the Perry Health Sciences campus, a new cyber security science space on the RTP campus and money to purchase land in western Wake County for a new permanent building.

Voters in Raleigh will also get to vote on a Parks Bond for $275 million that would fund 20 projects across the city.

"Our leaders really looked at this through the lens of equity and there are some great projects throughout the city. some of my favorite ones include community connectors," said Merritt Atkins, co-chair of the Raleigh Parks bond.