Although Mayor Keith Weatherly still maintains that Apex is focused on conservative growth, there is no denying that big changes are on the way.
Weatherly delivered his State of the Town address last week during a breakfast program at the Halle Cultural Arts Center.
Despite the many problems of the national economy, Weatherly pointed out that Apex is still in pretty good shape.
An impressive AAA bond rating, the second lowest tax rate in Wake County (behind Cary), the third highest house value in Wake and a $10 million surplus in the town coffers have Apex primed for a strong future.
“By and large, our financial standing is good,” said Weatherly.
But there are other factors playing even bigger roles in shaping the town’s future growth.
The long awaited regional sewage plant is currently being constructed in New Hill, despite the outcry of residents in that community.
Apex, which is responsible for $82 million of the $327 million facility, will receive an additional 5.3 million gallons of wastewater capacity daily.
“More wastewater capacity has been needed,” said Weatherly. “We’ve had to ration with the current plant. It has been a long laborious process (but) construction of the (regional) plant is underway.”
The new sewage plant will allow for much more growth and no development will match Veridea in size and scope.
Town council green lighted the 1,100-acre mixed use development last year. The project could potentially add $4.5 to $6 billion to the tax base in the next 15 to 20 years along with 20,000 of new residents.
“We have taken a long and thoughtful look at the plans,” said Weatherly. “It is an unprecedented opportunity but it’s also an unprecedented challenge. Hopefully, it will be a project that Apex will be proud of for ages.”
The ongoing construction of the I-540 Expressway also will pave the way for more development.
“It is a great opportunity for economic growth,” said Weatherly.
Despite signs of another major growth spurt in the upcoming years, Weatherly stresses the town will adhere to its strategy of maintaining an annual 3-5 percent growth rate.
“We value quality over quantity,” said Weatherly. “We are holding with our vision of conservative growth.”
n For Mayor Weatherly’s complete State of the Town address, see Page 5A.