Mecklenburg County voters back bonds worth more than $2 million

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Voters backed three bonds on Election night worth more than $200 million.

City leaders said no tax increases will come from the result but new streets, houses and bridges will be built with the money from the bond package approved by voters.

"I think our future is at stake," Charlotte Chamber senior public policy vice president Natalie English said.

City leaders who watched violent protests rock the city in September said there was a lot on the line with the bonds.

"They're just a little bit of a solution that we need," English said.

Two of the bonds would improve roads and infrastructure in neighborhoods.

City leaders think the third referendum, a housing bond, would improve race tensions by adding affordable housing throughout the city.

They want to see more diverse neighborhoods in areas that don't have many affordable housing options, such as south Charlotte.

"I think we're at a critical juncture," said District 6 Councilman Kenny Smith.

Smith, a fiscal conservative, is came out in support of the bonds. He thinks the housing bond could help the city reach its goal of adding 5,000 affordable housing units over the next three years.

The bond would give $15 million to the Charlotte Housing Trust Fund, which would decide where and how the money is used.

"People who are buying out here and buying the land probably do not like it, but I think for us, as a culture, it's probably better to have that," voter Julia Wells said.

The other bond referendums aim to improve infrastructure and roads.

One of the referendums calls for nearly $150 million for transportation projects that include building new roads and repairing old ones. One of the biggest projects would be west of the airport, where the city wants to facilitate economic development in the area where a massive new housing development is planned.

The infrastructure improvements sets aside $55 million to upgrade things such as sidewalks and storm drains in the city's old neighborhoods and high-growth areas.

To see what parts of the city are targeted for road improvements click here.