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October 5, 2023

Bull City Today ep. 1333 Credit Ratings

We have some exciting news about our credit rating! The top three global credit rating agencies recently rated our limited obligation bonds AA+ and Aa1, as well as affirmed our AAA rated general obligation bonds. Find out why this is important on #BullCityToday.

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September 19, 2023

Press Release
Durham Receives AAA General Obligation Bond Rating from Three International Credit Rating Agencies

The City of Durham has just been affirmed with a AAA rating on its general obligation (GO) bonds from the top three international credit rating agencies, meaning the City is extremely capable of meeting its financial commitments and can borrow money at the lowest interest rates to fund large capital projects to improve the community.

In addition to receiving the highest possible ratings from Fitch Ratings, Moody's, and S&P Global Ratings for its GO bonds, the City also received excellent limited obligation bond (LOB) ratings of AA+ from Fitch Ratings, Aa1 from Moody's, and AA+ from S&P Global Ratings.

“Durham is still one of only a handful of U.S. cities to have such an excellent rating by all three agencies. It’s not an easy accomplishment, but it allows us to borrow money at the lowest interest rates to enable us to spend millions to upgrade our roads, improve our neighborhoods, and build facilities and other vital infrastructure that supports our quality of life and makes us a great place to live, work, and play,” said City Manager Wanda Page.

The bond rating is an important process because the rating provides information for investors as to the quality and stability of the bond. A high credit rating also allows the City to borrow money at lower interest rates and save taxpayers’ money. The independent rating agencies issue their ratings based on factors like future tax revenue, population growth, and the amount of debt outstanding.

This month’s credit rating issuance by these three agencies comes as the City plans to issue approximately $138 million in LOBs to provide funding for various citywide capital projects, such as the Public Works Operations Center renovations, Fire Station #19, and the Hoover Road Athletic Park.

For more information about the City’s AAA rating, contact Finance Director Tim Flora by email.

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July 11, 2023

DPAC Celebrates Its Biggest Season Ever

Plus, DPAC places #1, #2, #3 and #5 in the U.S. in newest mid-year rankings

DURHAM, N.C. – DPAC officials announced today that the recently completed 2022 / 2023
season was a record-breaking year for attendance and events. From July 1, 2022, to June 30,
2023, DPAC welcomed over 565,000 guests and hosted 252 events, making this year the
theater’s biggest season ever.

In addition to welcoming a record number of guests and events, DPAC wraps up the year by
being nationally recognized as the #1 theater in the U.S. by VenuesNow in their recently
released 2023 mid-year rankings. DPAC also was ranked as the #2 and #3 theater in the nation
by Pollstar and Billboard Magazine.

Throughout the 2022 / 2023 season, DPAC hosted a variety of events including hit Broadway
shows, superstar concerts, worldclass comedians, and special events of all kinds. From unique
solo performances by the biggest names in music, such as Brandi Carlile and John Mellencamp,
to multiple sold out shows from top comedians Trevor Noah and Jim Gaffigan, DPAC brought
the best of live entertainment to the Triangle.

DPAC’s signature series, Truist Broadway at DPAC, also presented the biggest Broadway shows
direct from New York. The season began with Disney’s newest hit musical Frozen and included
the winner of ten Tony Awards, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, the hottest ticket of the season, SIX
the Musical, and six more incredible productions. With almost 17,000 Truist Broadway
members, DPAC remains one of the largest one-week subscription series in the country for

With each event DPAC hosts, the center for live entertainment is committed to creating the
best experience possible for each guest with their legendary red carpet customer service. The
values of quality, safety and service are always delivered with warmth, friendliness and an
attention to detail, which has become a hallmark of the DPAC experience.

Owned by the City of Durham and operated under the direction of Nederlander and
Professional Facilities Management (PFM), DPAC has been nationally recognized as a top-ten
theater in the U.S. for over a decade.

Bob Klaus, General Manager of DPAC, said, “Every year, I continue to be humbled and awed by
the power that live entertainment has to bring people and communities together. This season
saw record-breaking numbers of guests and performers return to DPAC. It’s a privilege to be
part of such a special place and the making of so many wonderful experiences and memories.”

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June 20, 2023

Approved Budget Includes Public Safety, Fare-Free Buses, and Disinvested Neighborhood Improvements

The total adopted budget is $610 million, which is a 6.95% increase from last year’s adopted budget, primarily due to General Fund increases for personnel expenses and increases to the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for street paving and other projects.

The property tax rate of 55.77 cents per $100 of assessed value will remain the same as last year’s adopted budget. This tax rate will generate a City of Durham property tax bill of about $1,364 per year, or about $114 per month, on a house valued at $244,538, which is the median house value for the City of Durham according to the Durham County Office of Tax Administration. 

Steady growth in real property and motor vehicle taxes, robust sales and occupancy tax collections, and increases in other State-shared revenues helped to provide funding needed for expanded public safety initiatives, increased transportation support, well-deserved employee compensation as well as $17 million in new projects to improve open spaces and infrastructure in previously disinvested neighborhoods, which typically have been communities of color.

Funding for 61 new full-time positions is provided to increase staffing resources for the work of 11 departments. Of those 61 new FTEs, funding was approved to hire 27 new Community Safety Department employees to expand the department’s Holistic Empathetic Assistance Response Teams, also known as HEART.

HEART's four crisis response teams are Crisis Call Diversion, which embeds mental health clinicians in the Durham Emergency Communications Center; Community Response, which dispatches unarmed three-person teams as first responders to non-violent behavioral health and quality of life calls for service; Care Navigation, which follows up with people after meeting with one of the HEART first responders to help connect them to community-based care; and Co-Response, which pairs clinicians with Durham police officers to respond to certain calls for service that pose a greater potential safety risk.

The additional 27 staff will allow HEART teams to provide citywide service seven days a week for 12 hours a day, enabling the HEART teams to handle three times as many calls as they do now.

Funding was also included for 16 new firefighter positions and one new fire inspector position in the Durham Fire Department as well as more than $3.6 million to purchase two new ladder trucks to support growth needs in the northern and eastern areas. The department will also receive $4.6 million to replace self-contained breathing apparatuses.

General employees will receive a 2% market adjustment increase, a 4% to 6% pay-for-performance merit system increase, and an end-of-year appreciation bonus of $300. Police and Fire sworn employees will receive a 2% pay structure adjustment, a 5% pay-for-performance merit system increase, and an end-of-year appreciation bonus of $300. The budget also includes funding for a Classification and Compensation Study to ensure the City remains competitive to attract new and retain current employees.

Funding is also included to enhance the Fayetteville Street corridor. The final budget includes $10 million to help create a sense of place for this historic area. This funding will support a variety of efforts, including residential and commercial real estate programs, small business support, and street, sidewalk, and landscape improvements.

The approved budget includes funding to further support transit efforts by continuing fare-free service for all GoDurham riders through June 30, 2024. Funding is also included to hire a transportation planner to implement the Transportation Department’s Vision Zero Durham program, which is designed to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries. Additionally, funding is provided for a transportation planner to help with bus route planning, schedule creation, program development, equitable community engagement coordination, and the Way to Go Durham program, which works to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips.

Approximately $600,000 in funding will continue support for the Durham YouthWorks Program, which provides paid summer youth career exploration, pathway discovery, and ready-to-work programs for youth ages 14 to 24. New for this year, $50,000 in funding is provided to support a new Vocational Apprenticeship Pilot Program to up-skill Durham workers and provide non-college track individuals with sustainable employment as well as $50,000 in new funding for a Durham Mentoring Alliance Pilot Program to provide a one-stop shop for community members to get current and accurate information regarding youth mentoring services.

The approved CIP budget includes $306.2 million for new projects and will continue to complete existing projects. Funding is included for $84.7 million in General CIP projects that were deemed a priority and essential to the City’s capital infrastructure needs, and an additional $17 million designated through the Equitable and Green Infrastructure process. These more than 20 projects will provide enhanced and equitable green spaces at parks in disinvested neighborhoods as well as fund water quality projects, new sidewalks in Bragtown, East Durham, and Merrick Moore communities, and pedestrian safety, access, and traffic calming projects.

Since street conditions continue to be a significant concern for residents responding to the 2022 Resident Satisfaction Survey, the final budget provides $15 million for street paving and maintenance.

There is an additional $204.7 million of CIP funding dedicated to Water and Sewer, Stormwater, and Solid Waste projects. A $2.20 monthly increase for Tier 2 water and sewer customers, and a $1.55 monthly increase for Tier 2 stormwater customers are also included.

To review the approved budget, visit the City’s Budget and Management Services Department webpage.

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June 1, 2023

City of Durham News

*Click the link below for City wide news*

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