Governor pushes multi-billion $ bond package while visiting Rowan County

Governor pushes multi-billion $ bond package while visiting Rowan County
Governor McCrory speaking at Livingstone College
Governor McCrory speaking at Livingstone College

Spencer, NC (WBTV) - Governor Pat McCrory, along with former Salisbury mayor and current Secretary of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz, made two stops in Rowan County on Thursday, including the North Carolina Transportation Museum and Livingstone College.

Governor McCrory was on the road in Rowan County today to talk about the nearly $3 billion bond package he wants to get on the ballot for this November. The plan is called Connect NC, and it includes money for just about everything from state parks to ports.

If the bonds are passed, this museum would get $15 million for major upgrades, which would allow for the renovation of the Powerhouse, as well as repairs across the campus and new exhibits.

“One thing we've realized is that there's a deficiency right now in upkeep in many of our parks and cultural resources amenities, including this great attraction right here," Governor McCrory said during his remarks.  “We're on a fast track to make this happen.”

"We're not going to raise taxes or use gimmicks to pay for the bonds," added state Budget Director Lee Roberts.  "These bonds are well within our existing debt capacity."

There are two packages, one for roads, the other for infrastructure, including state schools, parks and attractions like this museum.  Governor McCrory said that time is of the essence.  State lawmakers would have to approve a new bond measure for the November ballot in June.

"Our goal is to have it on the ballot this November because the longer we wait the more expensive it could get for taxpayers because of the potential interest rates and also it would delay projects from being implemented," Governor McCrory added. "It'll be more expensive to the taxpayers the more we wait."

Secretary Kluttz received a warm welcome, including a standing ovation, when she rose to speak, noting how happy she was to be home, but also stressing what she says is the importance of having the bond measure on the ballot.

Secretary Kluttz said that when she first took the job money to repair and upgrade cultural amenities across the state was nearly non existent, and says that's why now, with the state's finances in much better order, is the time to act.

"We were on the verge of having to close some historic sites," Secretary Kluttz said. "This is too important to the state of North Carolina, we're not going to be closing historic sites."

After the bond pitch, it was a little something different for the Governor…a visit to the campus of Livingstone College to pay tribute to CIAA champion golf and basketball teams.