05/24/04 — Targeted annexation residents raise money for legal fight

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Targeted annexation residents raise money for legal fight

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on May 24, 2004 1:58 PM

Furniture, computers, clothes and food disappeared quickly from the side lot of the Belfast Fire Department on Saturday where a group fighting annexation by Goldsboro held its first fund-raiser.

The steamy temperatures didn't stop people from perusing the myriad of goods and goodies offered at the yard sale. The group members didn't reveal how much they had raised, other than to say that they had reached their goal within four hours.

"We had more than 200 families donate stuff for the yard sale," said Sharon Mozingo, a member of Good Neighbors United. "And even though we didn't start until 7 this morning, people showed up as early as 6."

Good Neighbors United is a group of several hundred people fighting Goldsboro's decision to annex their property.

The area being annexed is on the east and west sides of Salem Church Road and on the north and south sides of Buck Swamp Road. Some subdivisions, or parts of subdivisions, in the area include Ashby Hills, Fallingbrook Estates, Morgan Trace, Buck Run, Pineview Acres, Tarklin Acres and Canterbury Village.

Mrs. Mozingo said that some people living in other areas thought that the annexation issue was over after the council voted in April.

"They're like, 'we thought you were already annexed,'" she said. "But we tell them that it's not over yet."

The group has hired Jim Eldridge, a lawyer from Wilmington who specializes in annexation cases.

Eldridge requested documents from Goldsboro in mid-April relating to this annexation and to a voluntary annexation of Lane Farms Inc. in 2002.

The Lane Farms annexation contained 360 acres on the east side of Salem Church Road between Stoney Hill Road and Fedelon Trail. That annexation opened the door for the city to begin involuntary annexation proceedings against the Northbrook area by making the property contiguous to the city limits.

Last week the city sent the documents to Eldridge, who will now go through them to see if there were any legal missteps during either annexation. A total of 587 pages of documents and 26 maps were sent.

Eldridge will also be looking at the city's ability to pay for the services it is required to provide to the annexed areas, the largest expense being sewer lines.

The city was scheduled to sell $7 million in general obligation bonds on May 11 to pay for the sewer lines, but the state's Local Government Commission has told the city that the bonds may not be issued now.

The Local Government Commission oversees debt issues for municipalities and won't allow a city to sell bonds and simply hold the money without a project under way.

Eldridge has until the end of June to file a protest against the annexation.