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Cary's Rapid Growth Creates 'Donut Hole' Effect

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CARY — A battle over annexation is heating up again in one of the Triangle's fastest growing towns. One of the consequences from Cary's rapid growth are pockets of land that are surrounded by the town, but are not actually part of the town. The town ofCarycalls it a "donut hole."

The town has a problem with people who live in these areas. They do not pay taxes, but benefit from Cary's police, parks and roads.

"It seems like unfair for the people that do have to pay for these services," says Cary resident Rex Davis.

To fill these "donut holes," Cary has sent letters to 900 homeowners, offering one last chance to become taxpaying citizens. Many of those people are asking why they should.

"What's it going to do for me," says Wake County homeowner John Durfee. "You can find out in here there's almost nobody that uses any of the parks."

The town says people who become taxpayers will get garbage, sewer and water service. However, there is one catch. A hookup costs $10,000.

Cary officials say they may just decide to force these nonresidents onto the tax rolls.

"That is on the horizon that's being looked at by council. They haven't made an official decision about that yet," says Cary development review director Ricky Barker.

Annexation or not, Cary is still one of the North Carolina's fastest growing cities or towns.

More than 94,000 people call Cary home, making it the biggest "town" in the state. The town is more than double the size 10 years ago.

Cary officials are expecting the numbers to grow to more than 100,000 within the next five years.

Cary is not the only boom town in Wake County. According to Census numbers in 1998, Apex, Cary and Wake Forest are first, second and third fastest-growing towns in the state.


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