Over a year ago, the Sampson County School system petitioned the town of Roseboro, requesting it annex the new Roseboro Elementary property site in hopes of saving thesystem close to $10,000 a year. On Tuesday night, they got their wish.
Town attorney Bill Poole explained to commissioners that only 23.28 acres of the school property, which is over 200 acres, will need to be annexed.
“Before any of it could go ahead, we had to determine whether or not all of our satellite annexations (in the town), banded together, exceeded 10 percent of our primary city limits,” Poole explained. “We worked with our surveyor and he told us that it does not and we were safe to proceed with the annexation.”
Before a vote, Commissioner Alice Butler asked if the board could weigh the pros and cons of such a move.
“Could we talk about the advantages or disadvantages to annex that land?” she asked.
Before any discussion, former mayor and current commissioner Roland Hall explained that the former Charles E. Perry Elementary School was in the city limits of Roseboro; Roseboro Elementary School is not.
“Because of that, water and sewer rates come into play,” he told Butler. “We have an in-town rate for water and sewer and we have an out-of-town rate. We don’t have the authority to arbitrarily give them the in-town rate because they are out of town and currently paying those rates.”
The school system’s petition for annexation, Hall pointed out, centered around the in-town water rates and the savings it would provide. p
Currently the in-town water rates are $17 a month for usage of 0-3,000 gallons; in-town sewer rates are $19 a month for usage of 0-3,000 gallons. Out-of-town water and sewer rates are $26 a month for usage of 0-3,000 gallons.
“They have computed the potential savings if they get the in-town rates, and it would be over $6,000,” Hall noted. “That is what is driving this petition.”
Butler seemed indifferent about the notion of giving the system a break.
“I understand it is good for them, but the town will be losing that $6,000 each year,” she asserted. “So, where do we benefit from this?”
Hall quickly answered, “We don’t benefit, the taxpayer benefits because it costs the school system $6,000 less to run the school. You are a taxpayer, I am a taxpayer.”
Butler then asked Hall who paid for the installation of the water and sewer for the school.
“When the school was built, the contractor put in the connections,” Hall explained, “so we didn’t bear any of that expense.”
Alexander noted that if the annexation was approved, it would only be for the Roseboro Elementary School site, not any of the surrounding properties on Will and Butler Island roads.
“That is how it is going to be for now,” he said. “Something may change later, but for right now, it is only for the school.”
“I really don’t see any additional expense for the town, except that loss of revenue for the water and sewer,” noted Hall.
With that, the board voted unanimously to prepare an ordinance accepting the property to be annexed, however before the motion can be made official, a public hearing must be held that will allow any person owning property near Roseboro Elementary to speak for or against the annexation.
Officials said that the public hearing will be slated for September, however, a date was not set by Wednesday afternoon.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.