Local News

Wake-Franklin County Line to Move After Lying Still for Nearly 100 Years

Posted January 17, 2008 7:03 p.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2008 10:04 p.m. EST

— After lying still for nearly a century, the Wake-Franklin county line might be moving soon, raising concerns among some homeowners about possible tax increases.

The shift could affect a total of 68 homeowners. At least 26 might have to switch counties completely, moving from Franklin into Wake or visa versa.

When surveyors mapped the county line in 1915, they used markers that included rocks, tree stumps and fences. Many of those markers have disappeared, making it hard to pinpoint the boundary in some places.

"The uncertainty of the county line, as to where the county line or boundary actually is on the ground, over the years has become more and more of a problem," Jim Wrenn, Franklin County tax assessor, said.

The news that they might really be living in a different county caught some homeowners by surprise.

"It was kind of a shock to us," said Ray Bailey, a current Wake County resident. "We always thought we lived in Wake County, as far as I know ever since I've lived here. I went to Wake County public schools."

For the past 17 years, Tracy Hales has lived in Franklin County, and her neighbors have lived in Wake County.

"The sign's always been at the other side of our driveway," Hales said.

Local leaders, however, said the county marker is in the wrong spot and should be pushed back one house. And with that one move, Hales will become a Wake County resident.

Many homeowners want the boundary issue fixed because property taxes are higher in Franklin than in Wake. Some homeowners said they will be fine with the move, as long as their taxes do not change drastically.

"At least now it will be official," Bailey said. The boundary "won't be a rock. I won't be wondering where the line is."

Franklin County commissioners have already approved the new outline of the boundary. Wake County commissioners plan to hold a public hearing in February before voting on the issue.