06/26/05 — Services put crimp on benefit for budget

View Archive

Services put crimp on benefit for budget

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on June 26, 2005 2:00 AM

The high cost of extending services would make annexation less profitable for the city than many would suspect.

In fact, Goldsboro officials' own estimates show the city would recoup less than $150,000 a year in new revenues.

The planning department projects that it would cost more than $7.3 million in one-time expenses and more than $520,000 per year to provide services like fire, police, garbage pickup and, most costly, sewer, to the new residents.

In return, the city could expect about $520,000 in new revenues the first year of the annexation and at least $664,000 in subsequent years.

The bulk of the new money would be property taxes, about $384,000 a year, and garbage/recyclable collection fees, about $67,000 a year.

Goldsboro would also pick up more money from state funds, such as sales tax, that are distributed based on cities' and towns' population. Adding those 1,100 residents would increase state revenues by more than $212,000 a year, officials estimate.

But expenses will be high as well.

The city would need to hire four new police officers to have one available around the clock in the annexation area. Salaries, benefits, uniforms and equipment will cost nearly $210,000 a year, plus almost $26,000 for a cruiser.

The city would have to hire three people in its sanitation department, costing about $96,000 a year in salary, benefits and equipment. One-time costs would include nearly 380 garbage cans ($19,000), 380 recycling containers ($45,000), a garbage truck ($122,500) and a leaf trailer ($20,000).

A part-time employee would be needed to spray for mosquitos. Salary, equipment and chemicals would cost $14,000 a year.

The city would also spend nearly $100,000 to have others provide fire and water service.

The Belfast Fire Department would receive almost $42,000 a year to be the first responders to fires in the annexation area. That is the same amount as the department would lose in fire district taxes after the annexation.

Goldsboro would also pay nearly $58,000 a year to the Belfast/Patetown and Fork sanitary districts to ensure that people in the annexation area pay no more for their water than city residents now do.

The city expects to spend $175,000 to install fire hydrants and about $2,600 on street signs.

Progress Energy will put up street lights at no cost to the city, but the electrical bill is expected to be more than $22,000 a year.

The extension of sewerlines is the most costly project, about $6.9 million. Goldsboro would be required to offer sewer service throughtout the annexed area within two years. Plans calls for a 12-inch main line to be installed along Salem Church Road and Buck Swamp Road.

The city would recapture some of that cost through assessments and tap-on fees. But homeowners would not be required to hook on immediately, so the city cannot forecast how soon those moneys would be paid.