Commissioner: Soccer stadium money can be used to fund unfulfill - | WBTV Charlotte

Commissioner: Soccer stadium money can be used to fund unfulfilled 2008 bonds

(Source: WBTV/File) (Source: WBTV/File)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Mecklenburg County commissioners are concerned a still unfulfilled 2008 bond package could hurt Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS) more than $922 million bond package. 

It is scheduled to go on the ballot in November. If approved, it would build new schools and make improvements to others.

County leaders say a recession and running out of time are the reasons for not funding about 13 Park and Recreation bond projects totaling more than $49 million. County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour hopes voters still waiting for 2008 bond projects won't vote down CMS 2017 bond referendum.

"It kind of cast a negative shadow over the bond process in general," Ridenhour said.

Ridenhour says voters may be skeptical of bonds. The next time those 2008 Park projects could get funding is in the year 2024.

"I think folks are going to look at that," he said. "And say you know what - we voted in favor of these bonds projects in the past with parks and recreation and you didn't fulfill them - why should we have any confidence you are going to fulfill these bond obligations?"

Commissioner Jim Puckett believes money could be spent now to help fund some of the 2008 park projects. The bond money was to be used to create new buildings at some parks and update shelter areas and greenways.

The commissioner believes the money the county is setting aside to help fund a Major League Soccer stadium could be used to fund the 2008 bond projects.

"We have decided that Major League Soccer is more important than the projects the voters literally went to the ballot box and said they wanted us to fund," Puckett said.

Commissioners say this issue will come back up again in August. They will decide then if they will continue to use the money for the soccer stadium or use the set-aside funds for other needs.

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