08/22/12 — Buck Swamp residents keep gas station from rejoining city limits

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Buck Swamp residents keep gas station from rejoining city limits

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on August 22, 2012 1:46 PM

Less than two months after residents in the Buck Swamp area were released from the Goldsboro city limits, two of them were at the Goldsboro City Council meeting attempting to prevent a convenience store and gas station there from voluntarily rejoining the city.

There efforts were successful, as the City Council voted 4-3 against Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen's motion to annex the property at the southeast corner of Buck Swamp Road and Huntington Drive, leaving the Kangaroo Express there outside the city limits for the first time since 2008.

Two residents who live on Trappers Run Drive near the convenience store spoke during the public hearing, along with the general manager of the store.

The two residents said the applicant's purpose in joining the city was to sell alcohol and they expressed concerns about such transactions occurring beside a child care center.

"The whole reason is to sell alcohol," John Williams said. "And it's right next door to a Christian child care center."

Williams also said he had witnessed drug trafficking at the store and suggested that increased drug trade and prostitution would follow if alcohol were to be sold at the gas station.

John Woollums, who manages the Kangaroo station, said he had not seen the types of problems Williams described at his store and simply wanted his store to remain in the city limits as it had been for four years prior to the deannexation of the Phase 11 area by state law July 1.

"We would just like to retain our annexation," he said, adding that losing the ability to sell beer and wine would be "detrimental to our sales."

Bob Brundege, who also lives on Trappers Run Drive, was critical of the way the store had received its ABC permit in the first place.

"I don't remember us getting a say and this man getting a permit," he said, before noting he didn't live there. "He doesn't live in our neighborhood. We do. We want to keep our neighborhood."

Allen's motion was seconded by District 2 Councilman Bill Broadaway. Mayor Al King joined them in supporting the motion, but a 4-3 majority will keep the store from rejoining the city.

The store had been granted a temporary permit from the ABC Board to sell alcohol.

It wasn't the first time such a measure has been defeated, although it was a much closer margin than when the store first sought to join the city.

In October 2002 seven residents spoke out against the city's annexation of the convenience store while only one person, who represented the applicant, spoke in favor of it. Residents at that time expressed similar concerns about alcohol sales altering the neighborhood in a negative manner.

A motion by District 4 Councilman Rev. Charles Williams was seconded by then-District 2 Councilman Tom Barwick and was unanimously carried.