Greenville councilmember proposes Tar River bond referendum

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville city councilmember McLean Godley is proposing a multimillion-dollar bond referendum to fund improvements along the Tar River.

Godley brought up the idea during the council’s annual planning retreat.

Potential upgrades that would be funded include a pedestrian bridge spanning the river, a sportsplex and permanent restrooms at Town Common.

“It could also help our company sell our city, and I think that’s important,” Godley said. “We need to be able to market Greenville in a better light.”

The bond could come at a cost to taxpayers. If the city borrowed money, it must promise to raise taxes if it can’t make payments through existing funds.

“We want to make sure that we are not raising taxes on people as much as possible so timing is important too,” Godley said. “I think the city staff would help guide us in that direction.”

He said the timing could be soon given low interest rates and the city about to shed millions in debt service from its budget.

Kelsey Curtis owns Knee Deep Adventures which offers tours and rents kayaks and paddleboats to people exploring the Tar River. She supports the bond.

“I think making the most out of that area is really going to help Greenville out a lot,” Curtis said.

There is no set timetable on when this bond could be put to voters.

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