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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — The idea of annexation does not go over very well with folks who live just outside Southport. Many say it’s unconstitutional, or that they can’t afford the extra fees and taxes. However, those who live in the Woodside Trailer Park say they could be left without a place to live.

“A lot of people I know who died for my country,” said Fred Gann, a Navy veteran. “A lot of people. And sometimes I think, what is it all for?”

Gann is just one of many military veterans who live in the Woodside Trailer Park right outside of Southport. To them, the park is more than just a neighborhood.

“They’re not rich people, but I mean, it’s a family,” said Reese Swan, who lives in Woodside Trailer Park. “It’s a wonderful place in here, and I don’t want to leave.”

The trailer park is located within the proposed Southport annexation area. If annexed, Earl Clewis, the park’s owner, says he will be forced to hook up to the city’s sewer system estimated at a cost of more than $1 million, which he says he can’t afford.

“If we get annexed and have to put on a mandatory sewer hook-on, we’d have to close this park down,” Clewis said.

Closing the park down would leave many people with no place left to go.

“I had to sell the family home because of high taxes,” Woodside resident Daniel Swan said. “I couldn’t afford the taxes anymore. I took what little bit of money I got from that, bought this trailer, moved in here, and this is where I live now. If Earl closes the place down, I’m going to be out in the street with no where to go.”

The Southport Board of Aldermen held a public hearing about annexation Thursday night, but Gann says he wonders if they were even listening.

“We feel like this board is a dictatorship,” Gann said. “It’s not a democratic thing. That’s what I put my life on the line for democracy. This is not a democracy. This is a dictatorship.”

At the end of the hearing, the Board of Aldermen announced that the vote for the annexation ordinance is now scheduled for June 2 instead of June 9.

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4 Comments on "Proposed Southport annexation could leave some homeless"

2015 years 10 months ago

I have read that $4 million were spent…..$1M from the PARKS BOND REFERENDUM OF 2006. The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission BUILT the facility….what I want to know is this:
Where did the other $3M come from?
What was the purchase price of the waterfront property?
Did Wildlife and Fisheries pay the balance of $3 or was their portion the construction?
Break it out for me: land price/construction/permits and WHO paid what?
If Wildlife and Fisheries OWNS and NHC MANAGES the facility as a whole; where were the Wildlife People last night?
Why this site? Was it permitting? Deep Water? Why?
Why not SeaBreeze? Seems a better site, to me, for such an investment. AND, there was room for expansion too. The Seabreeze Pier has been for sale for many years now…it would probably be grandfathered in on many of the uses that were wanted/needed so badly at the southern end of the county.

2015 years 10 months ago

The property tax rate for Southport is 0.180 cents per $100 of value. For Brunswick County, property taxes are 0.305 cents for $100 of value. The total is 0.485 cents per $100 of value.

A house that’s valued for tax purposes (thus, not its real value or actual sales price) at $200,000 would thus pay $970 a year in property taxes.

That’s $80 a month. If one has a mortgage, usually property taxes are already included in the mortgage and are escrowed.

I am not debating the annexation issue; but I am debating that someone would not be able to afford property taxes and would have to sell property because of them. The math above illustrates that they are not that unaffordable… on the contrary.

If one cannot afford to pay property taxes, then perhaps that person has bought too much house (which is one of the problems that led to this current real estate climate) or that property was not evaluated properly.

Blaney "MATH" Williams
2015 years 10 months ago

Hey Jr.

Get your facts straight and pay attention.
It’s not so much the tax as it is the citizens of these proposed annexed areas being “FORCED” into the city limits without a voice or say in the matter. As far as the money goes you don’t even have a clue about the $40,000+ that will be assessed to each parcel for sewer. So spend a little more time and do a little more research on your next attempt at a post.

2015 years 10 months ago

Over 30 years ago, I rented from Earl Clewis for a short time until I found an affordable house to buy. He and his wife run a first-rate park and it would be a shame if they had to close it. Seems like so many are becoming the victims of big government on all levels. Why force annexation on those who do not want it? I am not a religious person, but I do believe in the old “what goes around comes around” theory. When someone does you wrong, it will come back on them someday. So, watch out to those who cause so much unnecessary hardship on others.


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