03/26/04 — Annexation meeting draws angry response

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Annexation meeting draws angry response

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on March 26, 2004 2:06 PM

A crowd at an informational meeting about annexation Thursday cared less about what city services they would get and more about how they could fight the proposed annexation.

Over 100 frustrated and angry people filled the ballroom at Lane Tree Country Club, and none of the residents in the room said they were in favor of the proposed annexation.

The area that the Goldsboro City Council is considering annexing is on the east and west sides of Salem Church Road and the north and south sides of Buck Swamp Road. It includes Ashby Hills, Fallingbrook Estates, Morgan Trace, Buck Run, Pineview Acres, Tarklin Acres and Canterbury Village subdivisions.

Only city staff members and the city attorney were present Thursday to explain what services the area would receive. The council will hold a hearing on April 5 at City Hall to hear comments from the public regarding the proposed annexation.

"Why isn't the City Council here?" yelled one man, before the meeting began. "Because they're 'yellow,' that's why."

Assistant City Planning Director Jimmy Rowe and City Engineer Terry Gallimore outlined the services the annexed area would receive. The services included police protection, fire service, additional street lights, trash collection, street signs and street maintenance.

The city will also install sewer lines near Lane Tree on Salem Church Road and up Buck Swamp Road toward Morgan Trace. Residents along the roads where those "essential lines" are installed will automatically be assessed a sewer fee.

People living on side roads will have an option of having the sewer lines installed. But if one person on a side road wishes to have sewer service, all the people living on that road will be assessed a fee.

The fee is $17 per frontage foot, so that would be $1,700 for 100 feet of property on the front side of the residence. Gallimore said that if it is a corner lot, the shortest side would be assessed.

After the lines are installed, residents could take up to five years to pay the assessment, with an 8 percent interest rate. There will also be a $600 tap on fee for sewer service.

One woman thought it was unfair to have interest payments tacked onto a government service.

Several people said the city wasn't providing them with any services they didn't already have, but was just making them pay more taxes.

Others asked City Attorney Harrell Everett how they could stop the annexation, and he told them that if the city didn't follow the proper procedures to annex, then they could protest that decision.

Though the city staff referred to the annexation as the proposed annexation because the City Council hasn't voted on it yet, several people said they thought it was a "done deal."

"It sounds like the council has already made up their minds," said Hal Keck.

One woman said it was "taxation without representation," while another man called the council members "dictators."

"They might as well all have little mustaches on them," he said.