Why we need to DEFEAT the BOND

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 09 March 2016 00:00

Dear Editor,
After reading my previous letters on the Bond Issue, a close friend, contacted me with suggestions and questions. I did  additional research on the Bond Issue and found it is necessary to do another letter with many additional reasons to defeat the Bond Proposal. As you are aware there is a vote on March 15th. It is both a primary vote and also one to approve a $2 Billion Bond.
However, my latest research reveals additional reasons to defeat the Bond.  The 2013 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) outlined many issues facing North Carolina in upcoming years. There are major needs in basic infrastructure that are not being addressed in this bond, while funds are going to Colleges and Universities for questionable needs.  Again this is fully explained in my previous columns. Allow me to report some of the long term issues needing to be addressed by the NC Legislature and Administration that are not included in this bond. In the area of Aviation (a $26 Billion dollar NC Industry), it is estimated by NCDOT $763Million is needed to bring all airports in the system to a rating of good or better.
NC has over 530 public water systems which provides about 75% of the water to our citizens. Most are owned by local governments. In order to meet mandated Safe Drinking Water Standards, replace aging equipment and facilities  and to help boost economic development, ASCE estimates it will take $10 Billion over a 20 year period to complete this task.
ASCE estimated 58% of our K-12 school facilities will require renovation within the next 5 years as the facilities are in need of work. They also report 10% of our students are housed in mobile classrooms  The cost is estimated between $8 to 10 Billion.
Our dams need over $1.9 billion in rehabilitation. 1/3 of our dams are at least 50 years old.  11,268 of our 106,063 roads crossing the state are considered major roads. 11% of those major roads are poor condition. There were no cost available to repair cost but the cost of repairs to motorists driving on these poor roads is estimated at $2.3 Billion annually. Tied to our roads are our bridge issues. 2,308 of our 18,168 bridges are classified as structurally deficient. Structurally deficient is defined as having deterioration to one or more major components but not unsafe at this point. An additional 3,296 bridges were reported by NC to the Federal Highway Administration as being functionally obsolete. Functionally obsolete is defined as being built using  outdated standards such as older design features.  Billions of dollars needed to be committed over a period of years to satisfy this issue. Our rail system is in need of major work also. In 2010 we used our rails to move 10 million tons of goods originating in NC. An additional 53 million tons of goods moved over NC rails whose final destination was NC. Yet only 30% of our short lines can handle the new heavier rail cars in use. It is estimated to require $545 million in investment for freight haul over the next several decades. In addition ASCE estimates an additional investment of over $3Billion over the next 25 years to modernize the passenger rail system.
Add ASDE's estimates of $1.3 billion for NC parks, Ports in need of depth increases to handle the new larger container ships, 37 NC sites on the National Priorities List for Hazardous Waste and you have great reasons to rethink the priorities in this bond being brought up for a vote.
It is my hope that this letter, as well as the previous two, have raised enough concerns to defeat the Bond and to tell our State Government to rethink their priorities before attempting any further bond votes.  REMEMBER TO VOTE NO
William Moore   
Kure Beach, NC

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