Monday, November 08, 2010

City Must Leverage Street Bonds For Economic Development

The City of Durham may has set a record by initiating a bid process within hours and days of voter approval of the street bonds last week.  Now its time to be equally sure to leverage those bonds for optimum value-added to the local Durham economy.BuyLocal.indd

There are several ways to do this:

  • Give preference to Durham-based businesses, or give local entrepreneurs a chance to leverage the contracts to get a start.


  • Ensure the companies chosen employ Durham residents.


  • Require the contractors chosen to use local vendors for supplies such as fuel, food, water etc.

The bonds were approved by Durham voters to catch up on street maintenance unwisely deferred in the 1990’s but voters also want the City to make every effort to ensure their tax dollars also leverage as much economic development and local investment as possible including using Durham attorneys, Durham-based banks, Durham contractors and sub-vendors, local supplies, Durham residents and more.

I once heard a non-resident employed by the City of Durham publicly and almost boastfully pooh, pooh the importance of leveraging local economic development.  He didn’t have a clue what adds value to an economy and Durham can’t afford that type of thinking.

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