Local News

Residents say they can't afford cost of Raleigh annexation

Posted December 22, 2010

— Homeowners in a neighborhood annexed by Raleigh say they cannot afford the bill for city services and want officials to give them a break.

Raleigh annexed the Skycrest community, located off Skycrest Drive, northeast of the Interstate 440 interchange with U.S. Highway 64, in 2006. Two years ago, city crews installed water and sewer lines under Dorety Place and sent Mickey Sauls and his neighbors a bill.

"The cost to me as the homeowner is $14,000," Sauls said, noting actually hooking up to the lines would cost him another $4,000 for water and $4,000 for sewer service.

"If I do absolutely nothing, don't hook up to the city – I don't need to because we have our own well water, our own sewer – I still have to pay $14,000," he said.

The city has put a lien on his house until he pays for the services.

"We didn't ask for this. We were forced into this," Sauls said. "My request is for some compromise. This is tough times for everybody."

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said the Skycrest neighborhood was annexed before the recession. The water and sewer lines have been installed, and the bill is due, he said.

Water, sewer hook-up Residents say they can't afford cost of Raleigh annexation

"(The City) Council took a look at that this fall and determined that percentage being paid was fair," Meeker said. "Overall, the city pays some of it, (the residents) pay some of it, and that's the reason it comes down to this amount."

A couple of months ago, the City Council agreed not to annex any more properties without the consent of homeowners. Members said the costs to homeowners could be too much of a financial burden in the down economy.

State lawmakers also might consider changes to North Carolina's annexation laws in the upcoming session, such as giving affected homeowners the right to vote on proposed annexations or making municipalities foot the bill for infrastructure improvements.

In the meantime, Raleigh officials have told residents of the Skycrest neighborhood that they can pay for the water and sewer lines over 10 years at 6 percent interest.

Sauls said the city needs to do more, noting he and the four other homeowners in the neighborhood are all retired and on fixed incomes.

"Do something to help us with this cost that's been placed on us," he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • chevybelair57sd Dec 23, 2010

    our governments have steadly erroded our rights to property for years, we must ask our candidates what their views are in this area BEFORE electing them and demand accountability after!!

  • yellowhorses Dec 23, 2010

    OMG can't you people stick to one subject. How come every subject, good or bad, becomes about Obama or Palin?

  • beachboater Dec 23, 2010

    "NC needs to change this forced-annexation policy. It's like being forced to buy something that you don't want"

    Kinda sounds like ObamaCare doesn't it?

    Except the penalty in ObamaCare is so low for individuals, there is no incentive to cooperate, so where have we gained anything? The annual penalty for a single person not complying by buying insurance is less than one month's premium that I'm paying.

    I'm from da gubamint, and I'm here to hep ya!!

  • WHEEL Dec 23, 2010

    All the moaners should be so happy to be living in the great City of Raleigh with their enlightened City Management and Know Everything Politicians that they should be willing to pay extra.Yeah and pigs fly!

  • SaveEnergyMan Dec 23, 2010

    It's called government eminent domain and it means that when you "buy" property, you're only really borrowing it until the gov't needs it. Is it right - IMHO - No. It's legal because the state legislature made it legal (in some other states it's not). Gripe to the General Assembly - there are a lot of others in the same boat wanting to fight forced town annexation.

  • sammyg Dec 23, 2010

    Here's Meekers email address...charles.meeker@raleighnc.gov.

    I just wrote him an email and suggest others do the same. If he won't change this, then he should at least explain himself...

  • babedan Dec 23, 2010

    This is taxation with out representation and is agaist the constitution. These people did not have an elected representative on the city counsel to represent them and their fight. So any requirements by the city do to this annexation is up to the city to pay for. Once the city pays for all the improvements then they can start taxing these individuals the going city tax rate for property, sewer, water, etc. Until such time, these people are not part of the city and should not owe them anything.

  • Alexia.1 Dec 22, 2010

    blossom3100, I bet most people do NOT have to pay $14K. In a planned sub-division, the developer installs all of this stuff. What do you want to bet that he gets that work done for far less? The developer likely paid for the labor or contracted at good rates, plus the cost was cheaper since the land was being developed-- far less costly to install than after a home is built on land, I suspect.

    Personally, I think if the city voted to go install stuff, then it's the Raleigh tax payers that have to pay the bill. If those folks want services from the city, then perhaps charge them a connection fee. But, by no means should the government just go take money right out of a person's pocket. I feel sorry for any person getting by only on social security in that neighborhood!

  • luv2surffish2 Dec 22, 2010

    typical gestapo moves..cary does same... fall cities do and no one has a choice cept move

  • Alex25 Dec 22, 2010

    Annexation laws HAVE to change. This is sick...Govt has become all too powerful.