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The original item was published from 3/5/2014 2:13:37 PM to 3/5/2014 2:16:29 PM.

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Posted on: March 5, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Council approves $5.2 million grant from NCDOT

At its March 4 meeting, the Holly Springs Town Council approved entering a municipal agreement with the NCDOT for a $5.2 million construction grant toward the Main Street extension project. The grant covers 80 percent of the project funding as the Town is obligated to contribute a minimum of 20 percent of the construction cost.

Mayor Dick Sears noted this is the third NCDOT grant toward the project; the agency previously contributed grant funding toward the survey, design, permitting and right of way.

“This is just another example,” he said of the NCDOT’s cooperation with Holly Springs. “$5.2 million is a lot of money.”

Construction on the extension, which will connect Main Street with Piney Grove Wilbon Road, is expected to begin early next year.

Finance Department Director Mary Hogan discussed Standard and Poor's recent increase of the Town of Holly Springs bond rating. The Town is now rated at AA+, one step away from the highest S&P rating of AAA.

"It's pretty rare in this day and age that any town is increasing their bond rating,” Hogan said, adding that the rating affects interest rates and the Town’s ability to borrow money.

She said the upgrade in rating provided the Town assurance that the Holly Springs is in a good financial position.

“That sends a pretty strong message in my opinion,” Sears said.

Councilman Tim Sack noted that the Town didn't initiate the upgrade and that this was second increase in the Town’s bond rating in the last couple years.

Also at the meeting, the council approved a 12-lot preliminary subdivision plan amendment for Wescott Way off Bibleway Court. The plan includes a 20-foot perimeter buffer.

Councilman Hank Dickson noted the Town’s participation the NC League of Municipalities Hometown Showdown contest on the League's Facebook page. Towns submitted photographs, which the League placed in brackets, March Madness basketball style. The town photograph with the most votes moves up to the next bracket. In this first round, Holly Springs is bracketed with Garner.

“We have a little bit of time but a lot of competition,” he said.

Click here to view and “like” the Holly Springs Town Hall photograph on the League’s Facebook page.

“It’s a beautiful picture,” said Councilwoman Linda Hunt Williams.

The council also adopted a budget amendment of $20,000 to account for an increase vehicle property tax fees the Town pays to the state for billing. The council approved a $79,350 budget amendment to update the Town’s refinanced Parks and Recreation Bond debt payment and $21,000 to purchase water meters.

The council set two special meetings: March 13 at 6 p.m. at the Apex Police Department Headquarters for a tour of the facility, and March 18 at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall Council Chambers to discuss a community branding study.

Sears asked local drivers to watch their speeds and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Town Manager Charles Simmons passed along a message from Fire Department Chief LeRoy Smith and reminded locals, as they adjust their clocks for daylight savings time, to change batteries in smoke detectors.

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