Annexation has been a hot topic in the Wilmington area for years, and Tuesday night, it comes to a head.
The history of annexing Monkey Junction goes back eleven years. In 1998, city leaders first proposed annexing an area of New Hanover County, ultimately making it part of the city of Wilmington.
Somewhere along the line there was an error, and the proposal was removed.
Fast forward to 2009, and annexation is back on City Council’s agenda.
“The law is very clear, as cities and area get more urban in natures, cities have the right to annex those particular areas,” said Mayor Bill Saffo.
According to NC state law, residents of the area annexed area would have to pay both county and city taxes.
The area consists of more than 90 acres along Carolina Beach and South College roads and would affect around 3,900 residents and businesses.
Many residents aren’t happy.
City leaders say paying to use city amenities is inevitable. Other urban areas in the country without annexation laws, find ways to charge people for city services.
“Toll booths, some cities, if you drive into the city, you pay a toll, to come through that city, so if they do away with the annexation laws, the state is going to have to find other mechanisms to help pay for it,” Mayor Saffo explained.
City Council’s vote of two voluntary annexations of 90 acres of Monkey Junction will come during Tuesday’s meeting. Voluntary annexation would allow both parcels of land to become part of the city in June of this year instead of June 2010, which is when the city-initiated annexation would take affect.
A public hearing on the proposed involuntary annexation of the Monkey Junction area will also take place. The vote for this item is scheduled for the May 5 City Council meeting.
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