Local News

Residents Voice Concerns About Annexation

Posted November 11, 2003

— Hundreds of residents crowded the Crown Theatre in Fayetteville Monday for their first chance to go face-to-face with city council members over a proposed annexation plan.

If approved, it would be Fayetteville's biggest annexation ever. It would include 28 square miles and affect 40 neighborhoods in western Cumberland County

"I represent 16,000 voters who won't vote for you if you pass this annexation," resident Tom Parent said at Monday's meeting.

The cost to provide added services for 43,000 residents would require a tax hike the residents do not want. Opponents argued the annexation is a takeover for more revenue.

"It comes down to poor city planning and mismanagement, mishandling money in the past," opponent Usula Hicks said.

City Manager Roger Stancil outlined the annexation plan at the beginning of the meeting. He said state law clearly defines when a city can annex an area.

"There are requirements regarding population density and there are requirements that the areas meet for development for the purpose of urban standards. Those standards apply to this particular annexation," he said.

Residents on both sides of the issue assume the city is just trying to bring in higher taxes at their expense.

"I know I'm probably in the minority, but I think it's going to help the city economically," resident Mike Dudley said.

"I haven't seen anything that means the city is going to do anything positive for the people that are getting annexed," resident Kyle Slater said.

The council is scheduled to vote on the plan on Nov. 24.

Mayor Marshall Pitts, who was just re-elected, said he and many of the council members are leaning towards annexation.

If it passes, annexation would take effect June 30, 2004.

and

Michelle Singer

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