A celebratory tour by Gov. Pat McCrory in the wake of a successful $2 billion bond referendum was launched from Jordan Lake State Recreation Area today. The bond package includes $75 million for projects throughout the state parks system.
Gov. McCrory thanked North Carolinians for voting for the Connect NC bonds by a two-thirds majority and said it represented foresight and a positive attitude during a tumultuous election year. “It sent a message that we can all come together and put away partisan differences,” he said. “Through the whole process I’ve just seen positive dialogue.”
At the edge of the lake, McCrory was joined by Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Mike Murphy, state parks director, and delegations from institutions that will benefit from the bonds, including state park rangers, UNC School of Medicine students, National Guardsmen and university and community college students. Later in the day, the governor was to visit NC A&T University in Greensboro and Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.
For the state parks system, the bond passage will result in projects at 45 state park units, including every state park and state recreation area and several state natural areas. The identified projects include: $20.8 million for new or improved visitor centers and community buildings in 11 parks; $18.8 million for new or expanded campgrounds and cabins in 12 parks; $21.3 million for other visitor facilities in 12 parks; and, $14.1 million for land acquisition at 10 park units.
McCrory said the next step is to ensure the bond money is spent wisely for facilities that retain their usefulness over time and are flexible enough to meet changing needs. “It’s not just getting the bonds passed, it’s execution,” he said.