Mount Holly shifts after voters reject recreation bonds – Gaston Gazette

Mount Holly voters shot down a bond referendum that could have funded improvements to the city’s parks and recreation amenities. 

If the referendum had been passed Nov. 2, Mount Holly would have been able to borrow $13,555,000 through the sale of bonds. 

City Manager Miles Braswell said in an email that he found it unfortunate that voters did not approve the referendum, but Mount Holly city officials will consider other funding options for their plans.

“A tremendous amount of work and energy went into carefully crafting these plans, with public input during the feasibility studies and subsequent planning processes that brought these projects to the forefront. Since these projects are grounded in what the public was looking for in our Parks and Recreation facilities, the vision is still clear to our mayor and City Council that these projects can be a vital component to bettering Mount Holly,” he said.

“The dialogue will continue at further meetings/retreats with funding opportunities explored along the way.” 

The projects under consideration for funding included two bridges — one crossing Fites Creek and another that would cross Dutchman’s Creek, Braswell said. Extending Mount Holly’s greenway over the creeks would give the city 10 total miles of greenway.

The money also could have funded an expansion to Veterans park — plans that included an amphitheater, a stage, a band shell, a trellis, a splash pad, additional parking and restrooms. 

Property owners would have seen a tax rate increase had the bond referendum been approved. The city wanted to increase taxes to pay the interest on the bonds. The current tax rate is 48.5 cents per $100 valuation of taxable property, and the city wanted to increase it to 56 cents per $100 valuation of taxable property. 

The referendum was rejected by more than 200 votes — 1,118 people, or just over 55%, voted against the referendum, while 887 people, or just over 44%, voted for it.