California’s new ban on small cages for chickens, pigs, and calves could force the entire egg industry to go cage-free

California chickens will soon all be getting more space. One square foot of it, to be exact.

On Tuesday, voters in California overwhelmingly approved Proposition 12, which will enact stricter rules on how much space farmers must give to egg-laying hens, veal calves, and breeding pigs. The idea is that all of those animals should have enough room to stretch out their wings, claws, and paws.

The measure has major ramifications for the rest of the country, because it also means that grocers in California won’t be able to sell any meat or eggs that come from out of state and don’t adhere to the new regulations. That means farms across the US that want to sell their wares in the nation’s most populous state will be forced to comply with California’s new rule.


California already had a law on the books about cruelty-free eggs: it says egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal must be given enough space “to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.” But that still allowed for some variations based on interpretation.

Now, under the new regulation, farmers have until the start of 2020 to provide each egg-laying hen at least one square foot of floor space. By 2022, all the state’s hens need to have completely cage-free housing.

Animal rights activists like the Humane Society of the US, which sponsored Proposition 12, cheered the change.

“California voters have sent a loud and clear message that they reject cruel cage confinement in the meat and egg industries,” Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society said in a statement. “Millions of veal calves, mother pigs and egg-laying hens will never know the misery of being locked in a tiny cage for the duration of their lives.”

Egg producers around the country had already rallied in opposition to California’s current hen-housing requirements. In April, 13 states took the battle to the Supreme Court. Iowa, the country’s largest egg producer, even enacted a new law to protect farmers there who keep hens caged.

But big egg retailers like McDonalds, Costco, and Burger King had already started to respond to consumers’ cage-free demands – McDonald’s and Burger King have both pledged to source only cage-free eggs by 2025.

The battle over how we house farm animals comes as the US’ egg appetite soars – American egg production rose 3% in 2017, with a total of 106 billion eggs produced last year. (The vitamin-rich yolks are no longer thought to raise cholesterol levels the way many people previously thought.)

Read More: ‘Cage-free’ and ‘free range’ eggs aren’t necessarily cruelty-free

Converting to cage-free doesn’t come free, though: it costs farmers about $40 per bird, according to Pew Stateline. Farmers say raising cage-free chickens can also be messier and require more work.

Cage-free eggs also cost more in stores. A study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics in 2017 estimated that California’s current law cut egg production in that state by more than a third. For consumers, egg prices were found to be between 9% and 33% more expensive than they would have been without the rule.

“I think it should be an issue of the person votes when they buy the eggs,” Dennis Bowden, who converted his own chicken farm in Maine to a cage-free facility, told Pew Stateline. “Poor people can’t afford to buy eggs if they’re all cage-free.”

Plus, cage-free doesn’t always mean that the birds get to roam freely; some cage-free egg-layers still don’t spend a single moment of their lives outside.

In addition to passing Proposition 12, Californians also voted in favor of nixing Daylight Saving Time and decided that the state should be able to spend mental-health funding to house homeless people with mental illnesses.


SIDBI clears air on Capita World’s role in loans in 59 minutes; gives it a public sector character

image SIDBI clears air on Capita World’s role in loans in 59 minutes; gives it a public sector character

New Delhi, Nov 10 (KNN) Among the 12 major announcements made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to facilitate Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the most hyped announcement of the year was loans to small industries in 59 minutes.

Post starting a service of loans in 59 minutes on pilot basis, the prime minister officially announced the service on November 2 during the launch of MSME support and outreach program.

With this service, MSMEs will get loans from SIDBI and 5 PSU banks namely State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Vijaya Bank and Indian Bank through a dedicated portal

Amidst all these, recent news reports suggested that an Ahmedabad-based private fintech company, CapitaWorld is the biggest beneficiary of the 59-minutes loan scheme which is charging Rs 1000 for an application.

Even though this company is collecting all the required data from MSMEs along with the loan application, media report quoted.

Clarifying on this, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) tweeted “A consortium of six public sector banks led by SIDBI held 56 per cent in the fin-tech company Capita World, which gave it a public sector character.”

Through a tweet, it has been also made clear that Capitaword is almost owned by public sector institutions and the choice of ‘capita’ word as a service provider for the 59 minutes loan was done through a bidding process.

In a tweet, SIDBI also mentioned that a rigorous process was followed for shortlisting and selection of the platform and capitaworld including third party validations and oversight.

SIDBI said is a path breaking initiative to provide easy access to SME registered on GST platform and filing income tax.

Covered under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro & Small Enterprises (CGTMSE), so no security is needed, it added.

On security of data, SIDBI has cleared the air that the portal does not ask for passwords, and the applicants can simply download the sighted documents and upload on the portal.

It is a strategic initiative of SIBDI led PSB consortium incubated under the aegis of Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance.


Error in reporting inflates AU Small Finance Bank’s wilful defaults

Every co-borrower, director is shown to have the same outstanding loan as the firm, leading to the inflated number, shows data. Photo: Aniruddha Chowdhury/MintAn error in reporting wilful defaulters to credit information company TransUnion Cibil by AU Small Finance Bank (SFB), because of duplication of outstanding loans, has led to a 10-fold rise in the bank’s wilful defaults.

Data from TransUnion Cibil shows that the Jaipur-based small finance bank’s wilful defaults jumped to ₹179 crore in the September quarter of FY19 from ₹18 crore in the June quarter.

However, a look at the geography-wise disaggregated data shows that every director and co-borrower has wrongly been shown to have the same individual outstanding loan as the company, thus leading to the hugely inflated number.

A wilful defaulter is a borrower who has defaulted in repaying loans to lenders even when it has the capacity to do so or if it has not utilized the loan for the specific purposes for which finance was availed of and has instead diverted the funds for other purposes. Other criteria include siphoning-off of funds and disposing of or removing movable fixed assets or immovable property for securing a term loan without the knowledge of the lender.

For instance, in Madhya Pradesh, Gopi Pipe House owes AU SFB ₹4.6 crore, but data shows each of the two other co-borrowers also owe ₹4.6 crore individually. This gives the impression the wilful defaulter’s outstanding loans are ₹13.8 crore, instead of ₹4.6 crore.

In another instance, wilful defaulter Kotecha Industries Ltd owes ₹3 crore, but its directors are shown to owe ₹3 crore each as well, leading to an inflated number of ₹15 crore. In an emailed response, Sunil Parnami, chief of M&A and investor relations at Au SFB, said the bank was only trying to comply with RBI’s directives when it reported borrowers and co-borrowers, along with the entity.

“(The RBI directives) require that once a person is declared a wilful defaulter, many sanctions are imposed on them like no further lending, no directorship, (and commencing) criminal action against them,” said Parnami.

Reporting just their names without the amount would not suffice, which is why the amount gets repeated, he said.

The bank clarified that it has reported two new borrowers of ₹21.74 crore in the September quarter and that the actual wilful defaults stood at ₹39.34 crore, instead of ₹179 crore as shown on TransUnion Cibil’s database.

An email sent to TransUnion Cibil did not elicit a response till press time.

Other lenders, data showed, have not faced this problem as they have clubbed all directors under one column and the total outstanding loan of the company in a separate one.

RBI has mandated banks to submit a list of suit-filed accounts and non-suit filed accounts of wilful defaulters of ₹25 lakh and above on a monthly or more frequent basis to credit information companies. Only a handful of lenders have submitted their wilful defaulter data for the September quarter. According to June quarter data, wilful defaults stood at ₹1.39 trillion, with State Bank of India having the largest share at ₹34,159 crore.

Identifying a wilful default is not easy. The evidence of wilful default is examined by a panel headed by an executive director and two other senior officers of the rank of general manager or deputy general manager of the bank. If the panel concludes that wilful default has occurred, it issues a show-cause notice to the borrower and calls for their submissions. After considering the submissions, it issues an order on wilful default, giving the reasons.

The order of the panel is then reviewed by another committee headed by the chairman or managing director and chief executive officer of the bank and consisting of two independent directors. The order becomes final only after it is confirmed by this review committee.


PDD holds back finance deptt directive waiving off interest of industrial units

PDD holds back finance deptt directive waiving off interest of industrial units

Power development departments circular to hold back waiver on interest, penalty and surcharge on power arrears as announced in the 2018-19 state budget for industrialists, small scale industry unit holders, sick industries and hotels has drawn flak by the business community.

As per a circular of the Power Development Department (CEJ/TS-I/Amnesty/14897-916) “since the administrative department of PDD has not approved the budget announcement, the orders of the finance department to waive off the interest and penalty is advised not to be implemented”. The closing date fixed by then state cabinet for such amnesty has already expired in September which has created anxiety among industry and hotel players.

In June 2018, finance department had approved an amnesty scheme which was announced in state budget 2018 regarding waiver off 100 percent interest and penalty on all the power arrears as on January 31, 2017 owed to the government by industries, hoteliers and tourist resort owner, registered with the industries and tourism departments.

President, Federation Chambers of Industries Kashmir (FCIK), Muhammad Ashraf Mir said redressing the long pending demands of the business community of waiving-off the interest, penalty and surcharge on power dues was committed by the government but not fulfilled. Mir said the waiver has not been granted despite issuance of orders from finance department.

“The industry in the state especially Kashmir has borne the brunt of being under deep stress and for that then finance minister had extended the power amnesty for all the industry. Sick industry and businesses that were most affected by the unpredicted circumstances would have been given a breather with this amnesty. But government has failed to fulfil its commitment,” Mir said.

As per the terms of the amnesty scheme, industry and hospitality set-ups were asked to make the outstanding payment of power dues as on March 31 by or before September 30 in a maximum of three equal instalments. The order stated 100 percent waiver on “interest and penalty on power arrears as on December 31, 2017 owed to the government by the small scale industries registered with the department of industries subject to the condition that the outstanding payment of 31-03-2018 is paid by or before 30-09-2018 in a maximum of three equal instalments”.

Mir said most of the industry based power consumers took benefit of the government order and paid principal announcement which was made mandatory by the order but have been “left in lurch” by not fulfilling the budget announcement, Mir added.

“Now the industry is being denied benefits announced by the SRO. In these circumstances how can the industry trust any of incentives which government promises it,” Mir said.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation which recently met Chief Secretary BVR Subramanyam has raised the issue of non-fulfillment last budgetary announcements including the power amnesty.  Sheikh Ashiq, president, KCCI said the  circular issued by the PDD was neither desirable “nor is acceptable at any cost come what may” adding that issue of amnesty has been taken up in chamber meetings with Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce and the Chief Secretary of the state.

Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF), president, Wahid Malik said power amnesty for industrial and hospitality sector would provide relief to the hotel industry operating in distress and fragile conditions in the valley.


SIDBI claims consortium of 6 public banks hold 56% stake in Capita World

SIDBI claims consortium of 6 public banks hold 56% stake in Capita World

Amid the row over a private entity handling the ‘loan in 59 minutes’ portal for micro, small and medium enterprises, SIDBI has claimed that a consortium of public sector banks led by it hold 56 per cent stake in the firm, thereby giving it a public character.

“A consortium of six public banks led by SIDBI held 56% in the fintech company @capita_world which gave it a public sector character,” Small Industries Development Bank of India said in a tweet.

The Congress Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of benefitting “friends” by promoting private and crony capitalists at the expense of public institutions and demanded an independent judicial body probe into the new ‘under 59-minute loan scheme’ for MSME sector.

Congress leader Gaurav Vallabh demanded that the affairs of portal ‘’, processing loans to small industries, be fully investigated, and its contract with the government should be cancelled as he alleged a “scam” into the entire matter.

The Congress leader alleged that the web portal is supported by public sector institutions such as SIDBI and PSU banks as partners, even though it is owned by Ahmedabad-based private company CapitaWorld Platform Pvt Ltd.

There was no immediate response available from either the government or the ruling BJP over the charges made by the Congress.

Vallabh alleged that the prime minister launched a new facility for MSMEs alongside a slew of measures for the sector, which incidentally stays battered for a long-term due to demonetisation.

He said a platform to facilitate quick loans was launched on November 2, 2018, with ‘pomp and promotion show typical in nature of various types of propaganda of this government’.


Outsourcing helps Indian firms survive and thrive, shows study

From banking queries to ordering pizza—customer call centres in a wide range of industries work similarly. Wonder why? Because most firms delegate or “outsource” specific functions, like customer service, to other companies that specialise in it. This decision helps these firms save considerable costs and focus on their core competence. In a recent study, researchers from the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta, Kolkata, and the Indian Institute of Technology Patna, have examined this practice in the Indian context and have found that the outsourcing model helps companies remain viable, particularly during economic crises.

India has many such service-based companies that handle outsourced services. In 2017 the outsourcing industry in India employed over a million workers and generated a revenue of USD 28 billion. Apart from services, some manufacturing firms also outsource the production of specific components, such as automobile parts. In this study, published in Arthaniti-Journal of Economic Theory and Practice, the researchers have examined the link between outsourcing and productivity in the Indian context.

The study used financial and production data of a panel of manufacturing firms from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) database for the years 2010 to 2014. This period was chosen because the global economy was in crisis at the time and India’s GDP took a turn southwards. The researchers further classified the firms into subcategories like food and beverages, textiles, chemicals, metals and metal products, machinery, among others. They found that approximately 70% of these firms were outsourcing. The researchers then constructed an analytical model to understand how outsourcing impacted their productivity and revenues.

The model found that outsourcing unambiguously increased the productivity of the companies. Although wages of workers in smaller firms are generally lower than their counterparts in larger firms, outsourcing might lower this inequality since wages tend to rise more for smaller firms. The researchers also observed that Indian firms that outsourced locally raised the average productivity of all workers. Although a firm’s profit after tax (PAT) is a function of the business environment, Prof. Kar explains that “the model suggests that outsourcing raises productivity after controlling for PAT that varies across firms”.

One approach to improving productivity in firms is to reduce manual labour using technology; like robots which can replace humans. The other is to outsource the production of intermediate, labour-intensive inputs. This approach provides flexibility to companies, mainly to hire workers. The researchers noted that in general, firms in the Indian organised sector hesitated to expand employment because it is difficult to lay off workers due to stringent labour regulations. Hence, they focus on the redeployment of labour from the organised sector to the unorganised sector consisting of individual businesses with fewer than ten employees. This ability to outsource and the resultant productivity gains, the researchers say, might help larger firms remain viable during economic downturns.

On the other hand, the outsourcing–productivity link has important implications for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector. The researchers note that the lack or loss of jobs in the larger firms, whether due to reluctance to hire or by retrenchment, may be partly offset by the employment generation in smaller firms due to outsourcing. The study concludes that MSMEs can gain enormously from the transfer of resources and technology from larger firms to the extent they are recipients of outsourcing, as they enhance their capital base and invest in manufacturing assets. A productive SME sector can, therefore, compete in the global outsourcing marketplace as well as cater to the demands of large local firms.

Productivity is vital for India’s growth and competitiveness since a robust industrial ecosystem with large and small corporations result in employment generation and economic activity. In the future, the authors of the paper expect to examine the impact of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) on outsourcing to the erstwhile unorganised sector. Further research in the outsourcing-productivity link can aid policy planners in creating a conducive environment for SMEs with access to capital, infrastructure and transparent labour laws.


Equitas Bank Revises Recurring Deposit Interest Rates; What Other Banks Pay

Equitas Bank Revises Recurring Deposit Interest Rates; What Other Banks Pay

Equitas Bank, a small finance bank, has revised its recurring deposit (FD) rates with effect from November 1, 2018. Small finance banks are banks, which provide financial inclusion to small businesses, micro and small industries. Recurring Deposit or RD is a kind of term deposit under which one needs to deposit a fixed amount at fixed interval, which generates interest income. Small finance banks generally offer higher interest rates as compared to many leading banks. The interest rates on recurring deposits of large banks like State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank are not as high as those offered by small finance banks such as Equitas Small Finance Bank, AU Small Finance Bank and Suryoday Bank.

Here is a comparison of recurring deposit (RD) rates offered by Equitas Small Finance Bank, AU Small Finance Bank and Suryoday Bank:

Equitas Small Finance Bank

Recurring Deposit for Domestic/NRE/NRO effective from November 1, 2018 as stated on

Tenure Interest rates for amount less than Rs. 1 crore w.e.f 1 st Nov 2018
12 Months 8.50%
15 Months 8.50%
18 Months 8.50%
21 Months 8.75%
24 Months 8.75%
30 Months 8.80%
36 Months 8.80%
48 Months 7.00%
60 Months 7.00%
90 Months 7.00%
120 Months 7.00%

AU Small Finance Bank

Rates for recurring deposits effective from October 10, 2018 as stated on

TENURE BUCKETS For Domestic/NRO deposits (%) For Senior Citizens*(%)
3 Months 6.75% 7.25%
6 Months 6.90% 7.40%
9 Months 7.00% 7.50%
12 Months 7.00% 7.50%
15 Months 8.25% 8.75%
18 Months 8.25% 8.75%
21 Months 8.50% 9.00%
24 Months 8.50% 9.00%
27 Months 7.75% 8.25%
30 Months 7.75% 8.25%
33 Months 7.75% 8.25%
36 Months 7.75% 8.25%
37 Months to 45 Months 7.75% 8.25%
46 Months to 60 Months 8.00% 8.50%
61 Months to 120 months 7.25% 7.75%

Suryoday Bank

Rates for domestic recurring deposits effective from September 29, 2018 as stated on

Period Interest Rate (Per Annum) Senior Citizen Rate (Per Annum)
6 months 7.50% 8.00%
9 months 7.75% 8.25%
12 months 8.50% 9.00%
15 months 8.50% 9.00%
18 months 8.50% 9.00%
21 months 8.50% 9.00%
24 months 8.50% 9.00%
27 months 8.75% 9.25%
30 months 8.75% 9.25%
33 months 8.75% 9.25%
36 months 8.75% 9.25%
Above 3 years to 5 years 8.00% 8.50%
Above 5 years to 10 years 7.25% 7.75%



Bond yield rises 4 bps to 7.80%, banking system liquidity under pressure

The yield on the benchmark bond rose to 7.80% on Monday, up four basis points over Friday’s close of 7.76%. After rising to 8.23% in September, its highest level in four years, the yield fell 17 basis points in October, its first decline in three months.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) continues to infuse liquidity – the central bank bought `86,000 crore ($11.8 billion) of bonds between May and October. It has planned to buy another `40,000 ($5.6 billion) crore worth of bonds this month. Liquidity has been drained by the central bank’s defence of the currency and the festive season, analysts at

Nomura wrote.
Money market experts said yields at the short end — across treasuries, commercial paper (CP) and certificates of deposits (CD) — have seen a slight decline in November after increasing 20-25 basis points in October.
One reason for the shortage of liquidity is that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have been pulling out money from the bond markets – withdrawals since April so far are $7.76 billion. However, in the first six sessions of November, FPIs have bought Indian debt worth $721.6 million in six trading sessions.
“Money market deficit will average `50,000 crore in the December quarter even after `90,000 crore of OMO and `10,000 crore cut in the net borrowings by government in H2FY19,” Indranil Sengupta, economist at Bank of America, wrote.
Banking system liquidity in recent weeks was pressured by the continued intervention in the forex market to stem the rupee depreciation and a mismatch in assets and liabilities of NBFCs.


Concerns also remain about relatively weak NBFCs being unable to roll over their commercial papers (CPs). Risk aversion has risen and lenders are funding only better-rated NBFCs and HFCs; for many NBFCs and HFCs, it is feared, are staring at an asset-liability mismatches resulting from borrowing short — from mutual funds — and lending long. With lenders becoming choosier now, corporate spreads are widening.
On the other hand, the cost of borrowing for corporates in the bond market has been rising in recent months as reflected in the increase in yields. Analysts at CARE Ratings observed there has been a notable increase in secondary markets yields of corporate bonds since November 2017.
They explained the average corporate bond yields — across maturities — rose to a near two-and-a-half-year high of 9.20% in October.
The rupee on Monday breached the 73 mark in intraday trade against the greenback before recovering at the close of the session to 72.89. Currency experts believe the immediate cause for the rupee decline is the increase in crude oil prices. Glob


Japan to Probe Debt Market’s Big Secret

Japanese regulators are starting to look into underwriting practices in the nation’s corporate bond market, where banks routinely say deals are successful even in cases when they are under-subscribed

The move suggests that the potential damage to some investors in Japan’s 76 trillion yen ($669 billion) company note market is getting too big for the government to ignore. Bloomberg reported last month that underwriters in Japan failed to fully sell at least 29 percent of corporate debt offerings in September, twice the average over six months, based on interviews with investors, underwriters and issuers.

Hidenori Mitsui

Source: Financial Services Agency

As part of its regular discussions with market participants, the Financial Services Agency plans to ask whether domestic brokerages often get stuck holding onto company notes they couldn’t sell as a result of mispricing, according to Hidenori Mitsui, director-general of the policy and markets bureau.

Officials may “encourage” relevant players to improve their practices if they find that underwriters are indeed often failing to sell all of the debt, he said in an interview. The FSA will likely do so if officials find structural defects in the market that could hold back growth, according to Mitsui.

“I don’t mean to say a lot about individual deals that went unsold, but I am very interested in the phenomenon from the perspective of how we can make a better market,’’ Mitsui said.

In all the cases that Bloomberg has reported on, underwriters said the deals were sold out, in claims that people familiar with the matter said may be intended to hide a lack of demand and ensure good relationships with bond issuers. The brokerages often sell the leftover securities to favored clients later at a discount, hurting investors who paid more for the bond at the initial offering, the people say.

Still, the agency has no intention to try to forcefully correct market practices that generate unsold bonds, and those practices aren’t against the law, he said. The questions are part of the FSA’s efforts to improve the functioning of Japan’s corporate debt market, Mitsui said.

Bond deals by some of the nation’s biggest companies have failed to sell out recently, including those from Japan Airlines Co., Japan Tobacco Inc., Honda Finance Co. and Idemitsu Kosan Co., according to information obtained by Bloomberg. Spokespeople for those four companies said their banks told them that all of the debt sold.

The percentage of deals with unsold bonds rose further last month, to at least 31 percent, according to Bloomberg interviews with market participants.

Takahiro Oashi, a senior fund manager at Asahi Life Asset Management in Tokyo, said that fixing Japan’s unsold bond practices would increase transparency in the company debt market.

“It’s hard to make investments unless there’s a single price for a deal,” Oashi said. “If this gets corrected, that would be a genuinely positive factor.”

Japanese regulators’ deeper interest in corporate bond offerings comes as the FSA pledges to study ways to help the nation’s credit market gain more depth, according to annual policy guidelines released in September. Those are in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s broader goal of making Japan an international financial center.

The nation’s corporate bond market is dwarfed by its U.S. counterpart, even relative to the size of the economy. Its market of less than $700 billion is equivalent to about 14 percent of gross domestic product. Outstanding U.S. notes come to $10.3 trillion, or about half of American GDP, according to Bloomberg-compiled data.

“We should aim to create a market in which a variety of players participate and prices are set through appropriate risk-return considerations,” the FSA’s Mitsui said of corporate debt. “If there is a good market, I think everyone will participate in it.”

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What New Alamance County Bonds Mean For Schools, Taxes

Story image for What New Alamance County Bonds Mean For Schools, Taxes from

Big changes are coming to several Alamance-Burlington schools after voters approved new education bonds in the election last week.

Alamance County School Bonds, totaling $150 million, passed by about 70 percent of voters.

ABSS has already broken down where that money will be going. Some of the upgrades include:

  • About $67 million for a new high school that will go in the Mebane area. The goal is to help alleviate overcrowding Eastern Alamance and Southern Alamance High Schools.
  • Cummings High School: about $10 million will go toward a new auditorium lobby, new equipment for the Fine Arts program and other building upgrades
  • Eastern High School: about $11.6 million will go toward cafeteria expansion new classrooms and other building upgrades
  • Graham High School: $7.6 million for renovations like new flooring, carded entry locks, ADA compliant cabinets among other items
  • Southern High School: $20.6 million for cafeteria expansion, new classrooms, a new campus canopy walkway system, roof replacements in certain areas
  • Western High School: $12.4 million for cafeteria expansion, classrooms, resource rooms and a new technical lab
  • Williams High School: $4.6 million for upgraded school security system, window replacement, auditorium upgrades, roof replacements where needed
  • Pleasant Grove Elementary School: $6.4 million for school safety improvements, new flooring, upgrades to the HVAC system and fixes to erosion issues
  • South Mebane Elementary: $8.4 million for new classrooms, cafeteria expansion, kitchen renovations and school safety improvements

Many of these projects are expected to take several months to several years to complete. Citizens in Alamance County also voted in favor of about $40 million bonds for Alamance Community College for upgrades and new programming. Mac Williams, President of Alamance Chamber, says he thinks all the upgrades will help boost the economy and make it a more attractive place to work.

“After a company that’s looking figured out their real estate need, they’re next issue is the labor force,” Williams explains. “So, for us it’s about establishing the labor pipeline and facilities have a lot to do with the quality of the education that’s provided. That’s where the teachers teach and the students learn.”

Williams also says it’s a good sign when a community chooses to invest in itself. Money to fund the bonds will come from a property tax increase. The county set a cap on the increase amount at $7.88 per $100 of property value.

There was a third bond to slightly raise the sales tax to help offset and reduce some of the hike in property taxes. That bond did not pass.