Creedmoor Faces Uphill Battle Over Annexation Proposal
Posted January 20, 2006 7:02 a.m. EST
CREEDMOOR, N.C. — A strip of businesses on Highway 56 at I-85 in Granville County is thriving. It's also a battle zone in what is turning into a bitter fight over annexation. The town of Creedmoor wants the acreage in the city limits.
"We're trying to improve Creedmoor and how we relate to a region," said Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss.
But business owners want Creedmoor to stay out.
"Basically, all Creedmoor has to offer us is a tax bill," said annexation opponent Randy Perry.
The landscape is peppered with signs, and T-shirts carry the same message -- stop annexation.
"Our numbers are growing daily as to who is opposing it," said Perry.
The property that Creedmoor wants to annex is technically in another town's fire district. Butner, which is on the other side of Interstate 85, has expressed an interest in the same tax-rich district for the town's future growth.
Some residents say that given the choice, they'd rather be annexed by Butner. But Butner, known for its hospitals and prisons, is run by the state and isn't incorporated. For that reason, the town is unable to annex any area.
Moss believes Creedmoor is the answer anyway.
"We're heavily weighted toward residential, and this will help us in the commercial state," said Moss.
The mayor admitted that annexation is an uphill battle. The annexation is opposed by both the Granville County Commission and the state of North Carolina because of Butner, as well as a determined group of opponents who appear willing to stop the annexation drive -- whatever the cost.
"It's cheaper for us to pay a lawyer and tie it up in court than it is to pay the tax bill," said Perry.
If annexation is successful, Creedmoor will reap an additional $500,000 a year in tax revenues. Business owners say their taxes will double.
Creedmoor will hold a public hearing on the proposed annexation on Jan. 31. The city commissioners are scheduled to vote in late February.