08/30/10 — Commission looks at planning, tax issues

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Commission looks at planning, tax issues

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 30, 2010 1:46 PM

Meeting Tuesday, the Wayne County commissioners voted to apply for $255,488 in state transportation funding for the GATEWAY transportation system following a public hearing at which no one spoke.

The Rural Operating Assistance Program grant through the state Department of Transportation has three components:

* The Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance Program provides operating assistance for the transportation of elderly and disabled citizens.

* The Employment Transportation Assistance Program provides operating assistance for the transportation of people with employment-related transportation needs.

* The Rural General Public Program provides operating assistance for the transportation of people who live in non-urbanized areas and who do not have human service agency assistance, such as the Department of Social Services, to pay for their transportation needs.

Several planning-related issues also were addressed.

Commissioners denied a request by a developer to be exempted from the county's fire hydrant requirements, but approved his subdivision plat. Gerald Bell, doing business as B&D Management, had sought the exemption for Southside Mobile Home Park-Section 2. Bell plans to add four lots to the park located on the north side of Potts Road at its intersection with Timothy Street.

The mobile home park ordinance requires that each lot be within 500 feet of a hydrant. One of the four lots meets that requirement. The other three do not.

Commissioners approved these subdivision plats:

* Tammy Anne and Danny Ray Strickland final plat, one lot on Peele Road, approximately 1,900 feet south of Mark Edwards Road.

* Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Hawley final plat, two lots on the south side of Buck Swamp Road about 1,600 feet east of Planter's Place.

* Roger and Nancy Cooke, division of lot 3 in Ross Acres final plat, two lots on Crow's Foot Road about 570 feet east of Old Grantham Road.

Sitting as the county Board of Adjustment, commissioners approved a setback variance request from Dallas and Lydia Price. The Prices had petitioned the county for the variance for their property in the Canterbury Village subdivision in order to add an outbuilding. The setback ordinance requires 25 feet. The Prices asked that the distance be reduced to 20 feet.

No action was taken on a tax appeal from Deets T. McCullen concerning the tax valuation of property at 307 Quail Drive. McCullen said he had purchased the property in the Jefferson Park area for $47,000. It appraised at $52,000. However, the county set the value at $64,000 during the 2003 revaluation. McCullen said he also owns four other properties in Jefferson Park, all valued between $56,000 and $57,000 during the 2003 revaluation. He said those values make it appear that the $64,000 value is out of line.

Tax Administrator David Ward and Assistant Tax Administrator Alan Lumpkin told commissioners the tax office, by statute, cannot lower or raise the values after they have been set by the revaluation.

Commissioners, sitting as the Board of Equalization and Review, can make adjustments -- based on the 2003 values and not current ones.

Ward said tax officials had reviewed McCullen's property, but had decided not to make any changes, prompting McCullen's appeal to commissioners.

Following McCullen's comments, Lumpkin asked commissioners to give him time to go back and look at the property in light of the four others McCullen had mentioned. Lumpkin said McCullen had not mentioned those properties before. Commissioners agreed to give Lumpkin the time to do so and Lumpkin said he would report back to the board.

Commissioners met for 30 minutes in closed session during their 8 a.m. briefing to discuss "location/expansion of a business in the county." Mike Haney, existing industry specialist with the Wayne County Development Alliance met with the board. No action was taken when commissioners returned to open session.