Residents on park bond: ‘It’s something we all like to enjoy’

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington voters must soon decide if they want to use taxpayer money to pay for new parks and recreational facilities in the port city.

This week, city council approved a $30.4 million parks bond to be put on the November ballot. For some, a park is a path.

“We walk every day for 30 minutes,” Yeseni Rojas said.

Others use it for their four legged friends.

“We bring our dog to the park,” Karen Crawford said.

No matter which way you use it, Edgar Thomas said everyone can enjoy a park.

“It’s something we all like to enjoy, a moment,” Thomas said.

That is why he supports the parks bond for Wilmington.

“Because it’s favoring people, and what money is spent or our money is spent is for people to enjoy,” Thomas said.

Karen Crawford also wants more parks, but she is more hesitant about where that money will come from to pay for it.

“An increase in property tax where the taxes are already pretty high, that’s going to be a close call on whether or not it’s going to be a benefit,” Crawford said.

If passed, this would be the third bond for Wilmington taxpayers in three years. Voters already passed a transportation bond and a school bond.

The parks bond would fund 15 new projects including a soccer complex, a golf course, improvements for Olsen Park, the MLK center, the Derick Davis Community Center, Greenfield Lake, Halyburton Park, Wade Park, the Bradley Creek Kayak/Canoe Launch, Security Upgrades, a Skate Park Office Replacement, the Cross City Trail, and Resurface Parking Lots. It also includes $20 million for the development of the North Waterfront Park.

“I think that’s a huge draw,” Crawford said.

Thomas said parks are a huge part of a community.

“If it’s doing something positive then it’s good,” Thomas said. “It’s something you know you’re going to enjoy. You’re going to come to the park and you’re going to say I’m going to bring my daughter or my kid or someone and I’m going to sit and have a nice picnic or I’m going to enjoy a moment outside.”

While there are still some money concerns for the bond among Wilmington taxpayers, Thomas and Crawford said parks allow everyone to enjoy a moment outside.

This is the first parks bond passed by city council since 2006.

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover

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