Peter and Cindy Emens: Why no bond vote?

June 8, 2013 

Why no bond vote?

The town of Cary’s Jones House debacle pales by comparison to the Mayton Inn deal. For want of eager developers for its “downtown opportunity site,” Cary solicited a Durham bed and breakfast owner to build and operate a 45-room boutique hotel – a $9.8 million project. The company has applied for a $5 million loan.

Fully invested in this private venture, the town spent more than $2.3 million for land acquisition, which it sold along with the Waldo Rood and Mayton houses for $951,342 through a 15-year mortgage. It approved $325,000 for pre-construction infrastructure upgrades and waived development fees. Moreover, it applied for a $1.4 million federal loan to lend to the hotel; it agreed to subordinate the town’s creditor rights if the hotel fails, and it will provide shortfall funding which appears to be $2.4 million without the inevitable cost over-runs.

Tapping Cary’s general fund to benefit this private venture is predicated on the unsubstantiated claim that the hotel will deliver substantial economic gains and well-paying jobs. As Cary taxpayers, we question why massive public financing of a private luxury hotel was not brought before Cary voters for bond referendum.

Peter and Cindy Emens

Cary

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