BRADENTON, Fla. – Early ballots are being cast until Oct. 5 in Raleigh and Wake County, N.C., where voters are deciding if bonds should be issued for schools and roads.

The fast-growing school district has a $939.9 million capital improvement plan for fiscal 2014 to 2017, which would be supported with $129.95 million in cash and $810 million of general obligation bonds if voters approve. The election is Oct. 8.

The new capital plan includes 16 new schools, renovations at up to nine schools, and funds for support items such as equipment.

The Wake County Public School System is the 16th-largest in the nation, and is projected to have 152,684 students this fall - nearly 3,200 more than last year, according to the News & Observer newspaper.

The district has grown by an additional 21,000 students since voters approved a $970 million GO bond issue in 2006, its largest ever. All of the debt approved in 2006 has been sold. In North Carolina, counties sell bonds for schools.

The school district used bond proceeds from the 2006 authorization to build 17 new schools, renovate 13 facilities as well as to purchase land, equipment, and furniture.

Wake County encompasses 864 square miles in north-central North Carolina, and is the state’s second-most populous county with 952,151 residents.

The county seat is Raleigh, the state capital, where city voters are deciding if they will support an additional $75 million of GOs for more than a dozen major road and smaller transportation projects.

Both the city and county are triple-A rated.

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