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Bermuda Run supports county sales tax increase

BERMUDA RUN – A possible hotel here moved a step closer to becoming a reality.

After going into a closed session for a real estate matter – and although no action was taken following the conclusion – the council voted to ask Development Finance Initiative to make a public presentation and seek any feedback from folks who are interested in the project.

“This will lay out into more detail what we’re hoping to do as it relates to working to put together an official request for proposal out to developers on a hotel,” said Town Manager Lee Rollins.

The town entered into agreement in April to work with DFI after negotiating an option with the Hillsdale Group eon a three-acre tract next to WinMock barn for a hotel.

DFI, a subsidiary of the UNC School of Government, partners with local governments to attract private investment for projects by providing finance and development options. The group gave a presentation before the council in April on the process with a timeline calling for developing a plan and building program by late summer or fall, and identifying a private partner by winter 2018-19.

“The fact that the information that has been provided to the council, I think, continues to lead to the viability of a hotel on that site,” Rollins said.

Having a called meeting between the regular monthly August and September meetings will provide an opportunity to gauge interest.

“The council will then have the opportunity at the Sept. 11 meeting to look at adopting a resolution supporting the hotel project,” Rollins said.

He said based on feedback received from the private sector, the projection was for the hotel to have 90 to 100 rooms.

“DFI goes out with proposals to developers. We’re just the conduit to the Hillsdale Group bridging the gap.”

In a business item in the Aug. 14 meeting, Bermuda Run became the first municipality in Davie County to follow the county commissioners in response to their Aug. 6 resolution in support of a referendum on a quarter-cent sales and use tax for voters to decide on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The extra money would go to support public safety (fire, sheriff’s office, emergency services and communications).

“Public safety is a key issue,” said Mayor Ken Rethmeier, who shared a recent discussion he had with the Smith Grove Fire Department at a Kinderton Village community night out, saying that calls had gone from 300 a year 10 years ago to more than 1,000 today. “That’s no small increase in demand, and I’m sure that’s probably happening elsewhere.”

Rethmeier added that being the first municipality to back the quarter-cent sales and use tax for voters to decide in November is “a very strong statement of our support for public safety in the county.”