Russell, Pugh homes now part of Clinton

Chris Berendt Staff Writer

January 2, 2014

Portions of the Russell Street and Pugh Road neighborhoods that served as the focal point of a massive wave of housing, street and utility upgrades in recent years are now officially part of the city with their annexation Wednesday.

That annexation process began with a petition for annexation, whose sufficiency had to be signed off on by city clerk Elaine Hunt. The request then went before the City Council following a public hearing process. The Council unanimously signed off on the annexation Dec. 17 and, little more than two weeks later, several residences are now part of the city.

The properties annexed included 463 Pugh Road, 479 Pugh Road, 416 Pugh Road, 159 Russell St. and 136 Russell St.

“They’re looking forward to sanitation service and lower water and sewer payments,” said city manager Shawn Purvis.

The annexation brings several more properties into Clinton’s fold, yet another move to broaden the city’s borders and its tax base — especially to areas where it has funded — and obtained funding — for a great deal of improvements. Similar moves are now being eyed for the Eliza Lane, Abron and Jerome Street neighborhoods off U.S. 701 Business, north of Clinton, where the same kind of comprehensive upgrades have been made.

The unanimous annexation by the Council of the Russell Street and Pugh Road residences, which elicited no public comment, was the final step in the annexation request as required by the City of Clinton’s policies to connect to city utilities. An “ordinance to extend the corporate limits of the City of Clinton” read that the property will receive all city privileges, and be subject to all city taxes, upon annexation.

“Upon and after Jan. 1, 2014, the above described contiguous property and its citizens shall be subject to all debts, laws, ordinances, and regulations in force in the City of Clinton and shall be entitled to the same privileges and benefits as other parts of the City of Clinton,” the ordinance read. “Said contiguous property shall be subject to municipal taxes under (state statute).”

The properties located within the Russell Street and Pugh Road areas have been the target of sizable upgrades in recent years, initiated through Community Development Block Grant projects pursued by city staff.

Through the 2008 Russell Street project, approximately $1 million in CDBG funding was spent to provide adequate housing and infrastructure to households in the neighborhood. Dilapidated houses were demolished, replaced and renovated as part of the project, including two residents who were relocated to city-owned properties at Williams Street, where new homes were built. Russell Street saw homes rehabilitated and two relocated as part of that project, which also brought water upgrades and better sewer service to the area.

That was followed up by a project that encompassed other areas of Russell Street, as well as Pugh Road, bringing similar infrastructure upgrades.

The city began installing water and sewer lines and renovating homes along Russell Street with $850,000 in CDBG funding in 2008. As that project came to a successful completion in 2010, the city received funding for two more CDBG projects along Pugh Road, adjacent to Russell Street. Those two projects combined to install water and sewer along Pugh Road, renovate four homes and rebuild two more.

In all, the Russell Street project totaled $950,000, including $850,000 in grant funding. The project brought 1,860 linear feet of water lines, 1,840 linear feet of sewer lines, six home renovations and two new homes to that area. The Russell Street Phase II and Pugh Road project totaled $536,000, including a $520,000 grant, bringing 1,590 linear feet of water lines, 720 linear feet of sewer lines, four home renovations and two new homes with it.

Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at