Recently, the Fayetteville City Council voted to place the Parks and Recreation Capital Projects Bond Package on the ballot for a referendum Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Fayetteville voters will have the opportunity to decide whether or not more parks and recreation facilities are built and current facilities are improved.
The overall $54.6 million bond, of which $45 million would be borrowed, would pay for a multipurpose aquatic and senior center with fieldhouse, skateboard parks, four community pools, neighborhood and community parks, tennis center, sports complex, Cape Fear River Park, expansions of community greenways and improvements to existing parks and facilities. Fayetteville currently only has one public pool and an antiquated Senior Center that is overbooked and undersized.
"I don't wish to see my taxes go up, even minmally over the year," said 56-year-old Clarence Worthan. "I used to pay to belong to a health club, now I walk in my neighborhood; the location is clear across town and not centrally located."
In addition to providing more recreational opportunities to residents, improving quality of life, and providing healthier leisure options, the parks and recreation bond could help support a decrease in crime in Fayetteville, according to statistics. A 2001 study conducted in a Chicago public housing development showed that crime dramatically decreased by 56 percent in buildings near trees and parks. In the same housing development, residents who lived near green spaces reportedly socialized with their neighbors more, exercised more, and had a stronger community feel.
“We’re not trying to add parks and facilities just for the sake of having more, we’re trying to add to our facilities to provide our growing population simply what they need, similar to supply and demand,” said Michael Gibson, director of Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation. “The demand is there and now we are attempting to supply our residents with what they need to live healthy, active lives.”
For more information about the bond package, log onto www.cityoffayetteville.org and click on “Bond” button at the top of the page.