[youtube_sc url=”https://youtu.be/o5l4UhazUHY” width=”590″ modestbranding=”1″ autohide=”1″ fs=”1″ border=”1″ hd=”1″]Rep. Dean Arp, who was the chief architect of the bond package, discusses the Connect N.C. bond package recently signed by Gov. Pat McCrory that authorizes the state to vote on the bill. Rep. Arp earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at UNC Charlotte in 1999.
State Rep. Dean Arp (R-Union) is known as a fiscal conservative. And his strong support for a $2 billion bond package that will go to North Carolina voters in March is rooted in sound fiscal policy.
Even if the state issues the bonds to pay for University, community college, park, water and sewer improvements, “Six years from now, we’ll be $1 billion less in debt than we are today,” Arp recently told the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. “We’ll be less in debt with these investments, and I think that’s a smart bond plan.”
The University projects in the package focus heavily on upgrading science, engineering and medical education facilities across the state. Arp, who guided passage of the bonds through the N.C. House, said that makes good sense, given the direction of the state’s economy and workforce needs.
“This is borrowing to invest in projects that move our state forward economically,” he told Board members. “These are the technologies of the future. That’s the great aspect of this.”
As the president of his own engineering firm in Monroe, Arp said he appreciates the importance of well-timed investments in infrastructure. With interest rates at historic lows and continuing slack in the construction sector, he said the time is ripe for the state to build and prepare for the future.
And, he pointed out, the state can complete these much-needed projects and reduce overall debt withoutraising taxes.
“We can invest, and pay off this debt, and do it in a financially strong way,” he said. “We’ve got a very well-vetted project list. It’s gone through a very robust process to meet our needs.”
Officials need to work hard to make their case to the voters, he said. The vote on the bonds is scheduled in conjunction with North Carolina’s primary elections on March 15, 2016.
The preceding article was re-posted from Higher Education Works.