02/24/05 — Mount Olive considers possible annexations

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Mount Olive considers possible annexations

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 24, 2005 1:49 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mayor Ruff Huggins says town officials will approach several people who own property just outside the town limits about possibly annexing them into the town.

If they won't seek voluntary annexation, Huggins told town board members at a work session Wednesday, the town would have consider going through the process of involuntary annexation.

"The critical part is just off West Main Street," said Huggins. If a property owner were to request the annexation of land across U.S. 117 from that section, he said, it would leave a gap. Annexations have to be contiguous, the mayor noted, except in special cases were land meets the criteria for "spot annexation."

Another area that should be considered for annexation, Huggins said, lies on both sides of N.C. 55 from Hinson Street to Breazeale Avenue. Farther north, Huggins said, is another section of land that would have to be annexed in order to bring the industrial park into the town limits.

Yet another possible annexation area, Huggins said, continues along the south side of N.C. 55 to a point to where the highway joins with Church Street.

"One of these days we need to annex the airport, too," Huggins added.

The town's cemeteries also need to be brought into the town limits, said the mayor. He included the new 11-acre section of Carver Cemetery in the annexation proposal.

Mount Olive Planner Kenny Talton told the board he believes that "We're sitting on a gold mine," with land that is perfect for residential subdivisions.

But the town doesn't have a plan to convince the landowners to develop their property, Talton said. Water and sewer lines are close to or already installed at the places identified for the proposed annexation, he said.

Talton told the board that he has chosen a consultant to draw up a land-use plan for the town. He said he would give the consultant a map of the places proposed for annexation.

The consultant will be able to identify who will be affected by the proposed annexations, said Town Manager Ray McDonald. he said federal authorities would have to approve any annexations.

"It's very important we do it the right way," McDonald said. The land-use plan is included in the this year's budget, he said, and "It's time to get on with it now."