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Hickory Residents Will Vote On $40M Bond To Improve Roads And Economy

Tasnim Shamma

A $40 million bond proposal on Hickory’s November ballot is the subject of a public forum Thursday evening. The Hickory bond referendum came out of a project called the Inspiring Spaces' initiative. It calls for economic development projects like building a new business park, road and streetscape improvements of the city’s major roads and a river walk that develops existing areas along the city’s Lake Hickory waterfront. 

The forum will be held in Hickory’s SALT Block auditorium. The Catawba Science Center's Executive Director Alan Barnhardt recently came out in support of the bond referendum.

"I want our community to be better in the future economically and I think it's good for citizens as we improve our economy that we get more jobs that improves our own home values and it improves the work environment," Barnhardt says.  

The bond would result in higher property taxes.

The rate would immediately go up two cents for every $100 in property the first year, and increase every two years. In the seventh year, the tax hike would max out at eight cents. That means property taxes for a $150,000 home would go up by $30  the first two years and $120 per year when the tax increase is fully implemented until the bond is fully paid off.

Supporters of the bond, such as Mayor Rudy Wright, believe it would help make the city more attractive to young people.

Thursday evening’s forum begins at 5:30 p.m.