09/01/08 — Goldsboro ready to provide services to annexed areas

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Goldsboro ready to provide services to annexed areas

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on September 1, 2008 12:21 PM

At the end of this month, residents living along Salem Church and Buck Swamp roads will become city residents after Tuesday's decision from the state Supreme Court halted a four-year legal battle.

But before then, city officials will be busy getting acclimated to the area, and making sure they are ready when Sept. 30 rolls around -- the official day the annexation becomes effective.

"We will probable have people in the area before then, getting familiar with the streets," City Manager Joe Huffman said. "Members of the fire department will start familiarizing themselves with the area to ensure a prompt response during emergencies."

He said residents should have garbage and recycling bins by Sept. 26, and city department managers are currently putting together a brochure detailing city services the residents will receive.

"I expect to have the information compiled next week and delivered to residents shortly thereafter," Huffman said of the brochures.

Legally, there are guidelines that the city must follow with regard to the annexed area.

Attorney Harrell Everett, who represented the city in the annexation challenges, said the city must provide the following to the annexed area by Sept. 30:

*Police protection, since the Wayne County Sheriff's Office will stop providing this service

*At least 110 street lights on public streets

*Street maintenance on public streets other than the streets that are maintained by the state Department of Transportation

*Refuse collection, with containers being delivered to the residents on or before the effective date when private companies will stop providing the service

*At least 76 street signs on public streets

*Building inspections, since Wayne County will stop providing the service.

The city must also provide sanitary sewer service to the 29 residents who petitioned for the service, but Goldsboro has two years to install the lines and to provide the service.

Water service for the area will continue to be provided by Fork and Belfast Patetown sanitary districts.

Fire protection will still be provided by Belfast Volunteer Fire Department to the annexed area based on a first responder contract between the city and Belfast, but the Goldsboro Fire Department will also respond to all 9-1-1 calls from the annexed area and provide fire protection.

After the state Supreme Court's decision, Huffman said his focus turned from the case to the people in the annexed area.

"My focus will be on making sure that we do a good job of serving the area," he said Wednesday. "I also intend to focus on developing relationships with the people who live in the area. I am thinking that communication with residents will help us to meet needs and expectations and give us the opportunity to address concerns that will arise."