RALEIGH — At its Oct. 3 meeting, the N.C. Local Government Commission (LGC) approved some $1.9 billion in financing requests as well as ending the long-running debate over New Hanover County’s Project Grace to move forward by approving the requested $57 million for the project.
The vote to move Project Grace forward was a close 5-4 decision.
Project Grace involves a request last September for the LGC to approve an $80 million 20-year lease for a 95,000-square-foot space to house a museum and library in downtown Wilmington. At the September 2022 meeting, the motion to approve the project failed to get a second and the project was put on hold.
“This idea was around for nearly a decade before I was treasurer. There’s been nothing graceful about it. The drama around this and other projects was completely avoidable, but they lacked the right level of transparency, competence and an eye on conflicts of interest that can have the potential of punishing taxpayers,” said State Treasurer and LGC Chair Dale Folwell.
The largest approval was $750 million in revenue bonds for the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency for affordable housing and home ownership programs for low and moderate income families for 2023 and 2024. Over the course of 2022, the LGC approved $418.5 million for such purposes.