FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — It was supposed to be Fayetteville's biggest annexation ever, but those plans are now on hold. Now, residents are waiting for the city to make its next move.
Police were already patrolling their beats. The city gave out new trash cans, and crews put up new city limits signs. The city planned to take over 26 square miles and 42,000 residents at midnight Wednesday, but with just hours to spare, the state court of appeals issued a temporary stay.
The city had already won three court battles about annexation. Now, it faces its latest legal challenge.
"It was a last-minute notice, but that's the legal process and that's just the way things are done in this country," said Jason Brady, city spokesman.
City leaders spent weeks and millions of dollars getting ready. For them, it is a big setback. For residents who do not want to be annexed, it is another chance to keep a county address and county taxes.
"I moved into the county because I didn't want to live in the city," resident William Crisp said.
The city has 10 days to respond to the appeal.