Monday, January 23, 2017

Catawba Businessmen Ask General Assembly for Money for Roads, Bridges, 1916

“Proposed Bonds for Roads,” from the Hickory Daily Record, January 3, 1916

Progressive citizens in view of the legislative session have begun discussion of a large bond issue for good roads and modern bridges throughout the country. As much as $400,000 and $500,000 is urged, says the Newton correspondent of the Greensboro News.

It is argued that the county, as a result of flood damage to roads and bridges, will have to borrow this year $100,000. The 20-cent road tax now paid by each township, it is said, is virtually wasted, because it is put into dirt work, which must be renewed and rebuilt every so often, resulting in no permanent benefit.

Under the law providing for the tax each township could issue its own bonds, the county unit having been displaced for the township unit; but outside of Hickory and Newton, no township could issue sufficient bonds for its road needs and under the proposed measure, all these townships could secure the expenditure of more money than the bonds for each would come to. Should an act be passed, it is thought that it would provide for the retirement of the $50,000 of bonds issued by Newton and by Hickory townships for roads some years ago.

That a measure of this kind, provided the people voted for the bonds, would set Catawba County 20 years ahead, is the opinion of a leading business man. While great progress has been made in dairying and general farming and education, Catawba has made little progress in good roads construction, and some of the business men of the town feel that this session of the general assembly ought not to be allowed to expire without the enactment of an act calling for several hundred thousand dollars for bonds for modern road work and the construction of the most improved and lasting bridges.

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