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Cities cringe at new annexation reform laws
Gone are the days of land-grabs and sprawling municipalities...
. hereare the days of MAJORITY RULES
w= EMILY WEAVER
Cities, you have met your limits. If you
want to grow, you will have to get permis-
The North Carolina General Assembly
passed a pair of bills recently that essentially
fixes the boundaries of cities and bans invol-
untary growth. It also grants free accessibil-
ity to city services for all who are annexed.
Annexation reform was near the top of a
master to-do list for lawmakers in the short
session, who returned from their drawing
board with a July 1st death sentence on any
To Close or
- future involuntary annexations.
"This makes it impossible for cities to
continue to grow," said Mayor Rick Mur-
phrey. "We have the infrastructure and the
services to offer to those we annex and they
have that when they're annexed."
Police protection, fire protection, and
solid waste removal services come to resi-
dents of every annexation, forced or other-
wise. Although fire protection can lower a
homeowner's insurance, city taxes and fees
for services come to new citizens as well.
Water and sewer utilities can also be ac-
cessed. ..for a price... until now.
A few residents in the Crocker Ridge sub-
division, annexed into the city in 2010, were
surprised to find their street lined with new
green trash cans greeting them with a note
that said, "Welcome to the City of Kings
Mountain" July 1st.
The city was surprised they were sur-
Notices of the annexation intention were
mailed to all residents and appeared several
times in advertisements and stories in The
State law requires all municipalities to
first pass a resolution of consideration iden-
tifying the areas intended for annexation. A
copy of the resolution with a map of the pro-
posed area of annexation must be mailed to
all property owners. Then, city fathers must
pass a resolution of intent, give public notice,
hold informational meetings and hearings be-
fore taking a final vote.
But in four days the law will change. Be-
fore city leaders can vote on annexation, the
ones being annexed will have to vote and
their majority will be the one that rules. The
city will pick up the tab for the election.
In House Bill 925, which passed into law
without Gov. Beverly Perdue's signature,
property owners of annexed areas (voluntary
See ANNEXATION, 7A
Not To Close?
Citizens speak on safety, traffic
concerns on closing RR crossing
Will city fathers close the Oak Street railroad crossing?
City council members and the public were weighing in on
that question Tuesday night at 6 p.m. At the Herald's press
time the seven city commissioners were hearing comments
from the public. :
Three times this year truck and train accidents have hap-
pened at the Oak Street tracks because truck drivers have ig-
nored posted "absolutely no truck crossing" signs posted by
Tractor-trailers and trucks are prohibited from crossing
both the downtown Oak and Gold Street crossings. Under-
carriages of the big 18 wheelers get stuck on the tracks and
See HEARING, 7A
to stand trial
Joe Crosby, 48, the Mary's Grove Church Road resident
charged with murder in the 2010 strangling of his wife, Gay-
lain, 51, was found mentally incompetent to stand trial in
Cleveland County Superior Court this week.
Judge Timothy Kincaid ordered the man admitted to a
state mental hospital for treatment.
On Monday a psychologist testified in court that Crosby
was afraid his wife was plotting to poison him.
In the early morning hours of August 2010, law enforce-
ment responded to a 911 call from Crosby who said he might
have killed his wife.
See CROSBY, 7A
couple back in jail
with 2nd meth lab
A Kings Mountain couple - out on bond and awaiting trial
for possessing a meth (methamphetamine) lab - is back be-
hind bars after law enforcement officials say they found the
two with another lab in room 221 of the Victory Inn.
Narcotics officers with the Cleveland County Sheriff's
Department and Kings Mountain Police officers went to the
Kings Mountain inn on June 22 to investigate possible drug
activities. Officers knocked on the door of room 221 and
found Mark and Catherine Stacey, who were busted on
March 19 for possessing a methamphetamine laboratory in
See COUPLE, 7A
«= ELIZABETH STEWART
The City of Kings Mountain is in-
stalling fiber optics connecting all mu-
That's what workers in big electric
trucks are doing that you see down-
town this week. The project is ex-
pected to be completed in August.
City lays fiber of the future
Photo by ELLIS NOELL
City Director of Energy Services Nick Hendricks, left, and Mayor Rick Murphrey look at a small portion of what will be
the brains of the fiber optics project housed at the Citizens Service Center.
Fiber optics to revolutionize city's connectivity, reducing costs
Mayor Rick Murphrey explains the
process as a "self healing fiber net-
work operating 24/7."
The mayor said the new system
will remove contracted monthly
phone line expenses of the city, create
faster connection on the Internet and
increase data transfer speed while re-
ducing costs. Fiber linkage to critical
utility components in the electric, nat-
ural gas, water department and all city
operations and facilities is a big plus.
Fiber optics will also be a linkage
to radio 911 communications.
Construction is underway for a
state-of-the-art Fiber Hub Data Center
at the Public Works/Electric Depart-
ment building for 24 hour video sur-
"It will be fire suppressant and will
See FIBER, 7A
Revolutionary 4th events start at 11
The City of Kings Moun-
tain will celebrate the 4th of
July with the “Revolutionary
4th” at the Walking Track
Park in Kings Mountain. The
event will feature music,
muskets and the largest fire-
works show between Char-
lotte and Asheville. Activities
begin Wednesday, July 4th
at 11 a.m. with the opening
of a Colonial Era Living His-
Revolutionary War mili-
tias including the 84th High-
land Immigrant Militia, the
South Fork Militia and the
Charlestowne Artillery will
gather and participate with
musket and cannon demon-
strations, a children’s militia
muster and games. Everyone
is invited to sign the Decla-
ration of Independence.
skills will be
out the encamp-
ment. And, for
those wishing to
learn © more
will be a bayo-
ties to talk to all
At 6 p.m. on the 4th, “Jeff
Luckadoo and Southern
Wave” will perform at the
See JULY 4TH, 6A
history demonstrations ‘on
photo by ELLIS NOELL
Reenactor Jamie Walls prac-
tices his aim. Several reen-
actors will be at the Walking
Track July 4, providing live
Colonial life. .
START RIGHT. START HERE?
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