Parks and Greenway Bond Status

2003 & 2007 Bond Projects

Last Modified: May 23, 2013

Raleigh voters approved bonds in 2003 and 2007 for parks and greenway projects.

2007 Parks and Greenway Bond Projects

Project Name
Status Recommended Funding
Greenway Development

Honeycutt Creek Greenway Design $ 2,300,000
Crabtree Creek Greenway Planning $ 6,588,721
Neuse River Greenway Construction $ 13,000,000
Walnut Creek Greenway Design $ 3,000,000
Land Acquisition Planning $ 15,000,000
Unsatisfied Neighborhood Park Search Areas Planning $ 3,000,000
Facility Upgrades

Playground Improvements Construction $ 878,222
Building Improvements Construction $ 1,750,000
Outdoor Security Lighting Construction $ 239,825
Signage Package Construction $ 300,000
New Facility/Redevelopment

Halifax Center Improvements Construction
$ 3,150,000
Jaycee Center Expansion Complete $ 1,190,732
Barwell Road Park Development Design
$ 1,700,000
Carolina Pines Center Expansion Complete $ 700,000
Pullen Park Carriageway Bridge
$ 2,000,000
Chavis Park Carousel Building Adaptive Re-Use Planning $ 500,000
Raleigh Senior Center
Complete $ 7,740,000
Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Complete $ 2,000,000
Mordecai Interpretive Center Construction $ 1,562,500
Randleigh Farm
$ 400,000
Aquatics Facility - Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center Complete $ 8,000,000
Abbotts Creek Community Center
(formerly Northeast Raleigh Community Center)
Design $ 9,000,000
Abbotts Creek Park
(formerly Northeast Raleigh Active Recreation Partnership)
Design $ 2,000,000
Lake Johnson Facility
Design $ 2,600,000
TOTAL $ 88,600,00

2003 Parks and Greenway Bond Projects

Project Name
Status Recommended Funding
Greenway Development

House Creek Greenway Complete $ 1,495,000
Crabtree Creek Greenway Design
$ 3,177,502
Honeycutt Creek Greenway Construction $ 1,760,723
Chavis Way Extension Planning $ 23,000
Little Rock Trail Extension Complete $ 333,000
Walnut Creek Greenway Design
$ 654,000
Neighborhood Connections Planning $206,000
Upper Neuse River Greenway Complete
$ 1,474,000
Land Acquisition Complete $ 2,000,000
Facility Upgrades

Playground Improvements Construction $ 500,000
Building Improvements Complete $ 750,000
Outdoor Security Lighting Complete $ 225,000
Mordecai Park Renovation Complete $ 325,000
Capacity Needs

Green Road Gym Addition Complete $1,202,000
Lake Lynn Gym Addition Complete $ 1,202,000
Optimist Pool Improvements Complete $ 4,195,313
Seasonal Pool Conversion Complete $ 455,000
New Facility/Redevelopment

Walnut Creek Environmental Ed. Ctr. Complete $ 2,060,000
Forest Ridge Park Design $ 6,260,936
Marsh Creek Community Center Complete $ 6,189,520
Neighborhood School Parks Planning $ 600,000
Chavis Park Improvements Complete $ 975,000
Pullen Park Improvements Complete $ 7,504,538
Brier Creek Facility Complete $ 1,000,000
Hill Street Neighborhood Park
(formerly Timberlake)
Complete $ 2,192,756
Sanderford Road Neighborhood Ctr. Complete $ 1,300,000
Skate Park Complete $ 520,000
Isabella Cannon Park Improvements
(formerly Gardner Street Park)
Complete $ 418,940
Neuse River Whitewater Park Design $ 195,000
TOTAL $49,194,288

What proposal appeared on the Oct. 9 ballot?

Raleigh voters were asked to consider an $88.6 million bond issue for parks and greenway projects.

How will the parks bonds be used?

The parks bonds, along with other available funds, will provide:

  • $16.1 million for the completion of projects that Raleigh voters approved in the
    2003 parks and greenway referendum;
  • $16 million for greenway development;
  • $15 million for park land acquisition;
  • $4.9 million to expand the capacity of current park and recreational facilities; and,
  • $36.6 million to build new park and recreation facilities.

What projects are being proposed in the bond referendum?

  • Completion of 2003 Bond Projects
  • Greenway Development
  • Park Land Acquisition
  • Capacity Needs
  • New Facility Development

Read Project Descriptions

See Project Locations

View Project Status

How were the projects listed for the proposed bond chosen?

Categorical areas, such as Completion of 2003 Bond Projects, Greenway Development, Park Land Acquisition, Capacity Needs, New Facility Development, were defined and project-by-project assessments were done on a system-wide basis.

Why is a mile of greenway construction so expensive?

The typical greenway trail is a 10-feet wide asphalt trail. Currently the average cost for the construction of a mile of greenway trail is in excess of $700,000. Included in this average cost are land acquisition costs, engineering costs, permitting costs, and construction. Engineering, permitting and construction costs are all high relative to other general construction because of the sites on which a greenway trail is constructed. These sites are dominated by alluvial soils which require evaluation and possible stabilizing solutions in order to support the trail and its traffic; wetlands which required avoidance by construct boardwalks; and storm drainage issues which require that flood elevations and impacts be considered. An asphalt trail is planned in order to provide handicap and multi-user access. The width is planned as 10-feet to minimize conflicts between users that are traveling at different speeds and in opposite directions.

Are there less expensive ways to build trails?

There are less expensive ways to build trails, but with each alternative there are associated losses of benefit or increased operating costs. For example, trails can be constructed with 'select fines' which provides handicap accessibility, but the material washes easily. Because most of the Capital Area Greenway System is located within floodplains, the trail surface will be inundated several times annual. The runoff will cause the trail surface material to wash and/or float requiring that the trail surface be rehabilitated after every flooding event. The trail width might be reduced, but this will increase user conflicts between different types of trail users. Reducing the width also means that maintenance, emergency and security access is limited.

When was the most recent parks bond referendum held?

The citizens of Raleigh last voted on a parks and recreation bond referendum in 2003, when $47.25 million in parks system improvements were approved.

What is the history for Parks and Recreation Bond packages?

The three most recent Parks and Recreation Bond packages were:

1995: $28 Million, approximately
2000: $16 Million
2003: $47.25 Million

What was the $47.25 million bond fund, approved in 2003 for parks system improvements, used for?

Projects in the 2003 bond program included greenway development, park land acquisition, facility upgrades, expansion of existing facilities, new park development and redevelopment of older park facilities.

See Current Project Status

Why did work on the 2003 bond projects not begin immediately following passage of the bond?

The Raleigh City Council approved a resolution pledging that if voters approved the bond package, the City would not issue bonds until the economy improved. This kept City property taxes from being increased to pay for the bond projects. Once the bonds were issued after 18 months of capacity growth, funding was allocated to projects over a five year fiscal period.

How will this bond be scheduled?

The funding schedule for the bond projects included in this year's bond will be determined by the Raleigh City Council.

Where is the City with its debt load?

The City of Raleigh historically has maintained a reasonable level of debt by maintaining a balance between pay-as-you-go funding and long-term debt, represented mostly by bonds. State statute allows cities to legally incur general obligation debt of up to 8 percent of the assessed value in the city. As of June 30, 2007 the City had general obligation debt of approximately .90 percent of its assessed value. Should bonds be issued for the proposed parks and recreation bonds, the City's outstanding debt would be approximately 1.17 percent of its assessed value.

Why does the City use bonds to finance parks and other projects such as roads and public utilities?

The use of bonds for financing major capital improvements allows pay back of the funds over the life of the capital item. In the case of general capital projects such as parks and streets - which benefit the community as a whole - general obligation debt is normally used and is secured by the taxing power of the City. For enterprises like the water and sanitary sewer system, where there is a self-supporting rate system in place, the City usually issues revenue bonds. These revenue bonds are repaid from the utility fees paid by customers.

How can I learn more about the 2007 parks bond referendum?

For answers to questions regarding the parks bond referendum, contact Parks and Recreation Director Diane Sauer at 919-996-4815.

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