FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — More than 42,000 Cumberland County residents and their trash are caught in the middle again after the latest court decision involving the area's proposed annexation.
The state Supreme Court said Fayetteville cannot go through with plans for annexation. On Monday, the court issued a stay. Lawyers for Fayetteville asked the court to reconsider, but their appeal was unsuccessful. The state Court of Appeals also delayed Fayetteville's plans, but later it lifted its order.
John Sumrell lives in one of the 40 neighborhoods Fayetteville has been trying to annex from Cumberland County. He was supposed to have his trash picked up Tuesday, but with annexation plans on hold, he is not sure whether the city or his old private hauler will come get it.
"This time, I put out both cans just to make sure I've got both," Sumrell said.
"Our feeling is it's going to happen. I don't like it, but it's going to happen," resident Don Ferrera said.
City leaders said they have spent millions getting ready for annexation and for providing services for the annexation.
"We knew there were still legal issues and whenever you're in the court system, it's certainly not over until it's over," City Manager Roger Stancil said.
Some residents said they oppose annexation and want to continue challenging the city even if it means inconveniences.
"I like to vote on stuff. I don't want politicians running my life for anymore I can help. [This] is certainly a 100 percent example of it," Sumrell said.
County deputies are back patrolling the streets. The county is paying the city to continue fire protection in neighborhoods, but trash is piling up. The city is afraid picking up the trash could violate the state Supreme Court's order.