When you go to the polls to vote on March 15, you will all notice a bond on the ballot, the Connect NC Bond. The $2 billion bond will connect North Carolina to the 21st century through statewide investments in education, parks, safety, recreation, and water and sewer infrastructure. The first two things most people ask about a bond are: 1) Will taxes increase? 2) What will the bond do for our community? The answers to these two questions will dictate whether or not a bond is successful.
The answers to these two questions are simple: Taxes will not increase if this bond is approved, and the bond could mean important improvements in education for our region of the state. Here are the major highlights of the bond.
- $2 billion of targeted, long-term investments
- Projects in 76 counties
- Infrastructure investments are vital to NC’s competitiveness
- Connect NC will pay for assets that will last for 50 years
- Interest rates are historically low
- Connect NC will not jeopardize our strong credit ratings
- There will be no new taxes or tax increases because of Connect NC
In terms of opportunities for our students, this bond could mean the realization of several new programs or improvements that will benefit them. First, a large chunk of money, $58 million to be exact, will be earmarked for the development of a North Carolina School of Science and Math to be located in the Western part of the state in Morganton. This school would serve as a sister school to the North Carolina School of Science and Math in the East. Students in our area would benefit from this opportunity. Several million would also go to improvements in Catawba Valley Community College and Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. These improvements would provide upgrades to facilities and programs that would provide our students with more opportunities than ever before. Another major component of the bond is to provide $70 million to the ASU College of Nursing and Health Sciences. This growing program provides another option for our students.