02/08/08 — Goldsboro Council considers possible annexation plans

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Goldsboro Council considers possible annexation plans

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on February 8, 2008 2:05 PM

NEW BERN -- The Goldsboro City Council discussed future annexation plans during the second day of the council's annual retreat.

On Thursday, city Planning Director Randy Guthrie described to council members and city officials the areas that could be annexed should the city target them as growth opportunities.

Council members did not discuss whether they planned to proceed with any of the annexation ideas and emphasized that all the discussions were preliminary.

The city is still in a legal fight over its most recent annexation.

A group of residents of the Phase 11 annexation area, along Salem Church and Buck Swamp roads, have asked the state Supreme Court to consider a lower court's ruling against them. The group opposes annexation by the city.

A Phase 12 annexation would include some land and homes off of Salem Church Road and Buck Swamp Road as well, council members were told. Subdivisions that would be affected would be Marsh Landing, North Point, Lane Tree Village, Canterbury Village and North Creek.

City planners said the Phase 12 annexation would include 809 homes and an estimated 2,411 people, with an estimated initial cost of $32 million to run sewer and utilities to the residents. Revenues for the first year would be around $1.08 million and $1.41 million for the second year, Guthrie said.

Phase 14 of the city's annexation plan would include areas off of East New Hope Road such as Eastern Wayne schools and Beaver Creek, Woodrow, Kelly Wood, Chestnut Manor and Colonial Acres subdivisions.

The phase would include 719 homes and 2,113 people and would cost the city nearly $23 million for sewer and utilities to be run to the area, Guthrie said. Revenues for the first year were estimated at $736,810 in the first year and $950,326 in the second year.

A Phase 15 annexation would take in areas off of Tommy's Road and Wayne Memorial Drive, including Cassedale and Shadywood drives, Best Avenue, and Amblewood Lane. The phase would include 72 homes and 214 residents. It would cost about $4.7 million for sewer and utilities to be put in. Revenues for the first and second year would be about $242,000.

Part of Country Day Road and Wayne Memorial Drive as well as the entirety of Veranda Place would be affected in a proposed Phase 16 annexation. Sewer and utilities to serve the population of around 40 people would cost about $2.2 million. Revenues for the first two years would be nearly $138,000.

The last phase Guthrie described was Phase 17 which would include areas on Perkins Mill Road and parts of Rosewood Road, Old Smithfield Road, U.S. 70 and West Grantham Street as well as Pill Acres, Westover, Westwood and Lakewood subdivisions. It would affect an estimated 795 people. Sewer and utility costs would run the city about $17 million but would produce revenues of more than $460,000 for the first two years.

Guthrie also discussed annexation of some of the "doughnut holes," or pockets of land surrounded by the city but not included in the city limits.

Also on Thursday, council members talked about going forward with a cost analysis of building a civic center either near Wayne Community College or in the downtown area.

The analysis would include the cost to build the center at a few different spots, the cost to run the center and the design of the building best suited for the community. Funds for the analysis have been appropriated.

In other business, city Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Shaw introduced a plan for a fine arts academy in Goldsboro to the council.

Discussions were aimed toward gathering children of all ages, wealth and talent to the academy to learn together.

"You need a mix," Mayor Al King said.

"We need to bring these people together," Councilman Chuck Allen said. "I mean that's the whole problem with our school system today."

Some councilmen wanted to make sure the academy was well thought out.

"I think we are going to meet reluctance in Goldsboro with this kind of right-brain thinking," Councilman Mich-ael Headen said.

City Manager Joe Huffman said he wants people that are open-minded on the city's side for the project.

"If you decide to do it, do it," he said. "If you wait for followers, you will wait forever. If you think it will work and it's worth doing, then, by golly, do it."

Council members agreed that the project was a good idea and asked Mrs. Shaw to look into the location of the academy as well as the possibility of receiving Community Development Block Grant money.