08/09/18 — Street-paving assessment hearing set

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Street-paving assessment hearing set

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 9, 2018 5:50 AM

Property owners in the Canterbury Village and North Creek subdivisions will be assessed more than $15,000 during a 10-year period to help pay for street improvements.

Wayne County commissioners on Tuesday adopted a resolution declaring the cost and preliminary assessment roll for the project and established a public hearing for 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, on the assessment roll. Property owners will be assessed a total of $15,879.38 or $1,587.94 annually during the a 10-year period.

The hearing will be held in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the Wayne County Courthouse Annex.

Tuesday's approval comes nearly three years after residents in the two subdivisions first approached the board seeking help to improve the streets to state standards in an effort to have the roads accepted into the state road maintenance system.

North Carolina law allows counties to create special tax-assessment districts, provided enough property owners in the district agree.

At least 75 percent of the property owners representing at least 75 percent of road frontage are required to sign a petition requesting such a project.

The street-paving policy approved last year by the board provides $2.5 million every two years for subdivision street repairs. Property owners in the subdivision repay the cost through a special property assessment.

The road work has been completed in the subdivisions, and the streets were approved by the North Carolina Department of Transportation on Aug. 2, said county staff attorney Andrew Neal.

There remains the formality now where the streets need to be assigned numbers and entered into the state road database, he said.

Property owners will be notified of the hearing by letter, Neal said. The letter will include Neal's contact information so his office can field calls before the Aug. 21 public hearing.

"At that hearing, any affected property owner could come forward and make whatever comments they wanted," Neal said. "Then, the board would have the option to approve the preliminary roll.

"Once that is done, we have to wait 20 days. The tax assesor would then run an ad in the newspaper notifying everyone that they have 30 days to pay in full. If they pay in full within 30 days then there is no interest."

If they choose not to, then the payments are spread out over 10 years in equal installments due Jan. 5. The county will charge 5 percent annually on the balance owed.

Since the tax bills have already gone out, the first payment will have to be made to the county finance office, Neal said. After the 30 days have passed, the finance office would send invoices to the property owners, he said. All subsequent years the assessment would be included in the tax bill, Neal said.

The original project cost was estimated at $2.2 million but came in lower at $1,921,405.04, he said.

Based on 121 lots in the two subdivisions, that means that each lot would be assessed $15,879.38 or $1,587.94 annually during a 10-year period.

"This has been a long time coming," Commissioner Ray Mayo said. "This is our first one by the way, but hopefully not the last one. But there were some issues here that we had no control over."

Those include things along street rights of way that are installed by residents, he said. Drainage issues also were a major cost, Mayo said.

"So anyone who is looking at the future to try to have their roads done, really needs to try to take care as much as you can on the DOT right of way," Neal said.

For instance, driveway entrances that aren't to code, tiles, or sprinkler systems that are on the shoulder of the road, he said.

Those things cost, he said.

"Having said that, I want to thank the commissioners and everyone concerned that through this process these citizens are pleased with what they have," he said.