WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington's rush to annex the Monkey Junction area may cost the city an extra $1.7 million according to a New Hanover County Commissioner.
Commissioner Jason Thompson tells WWAY that the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority was budgeted to spend the money to install water and sewer lines in the area. But, according to the inter-local agreement written when the city and county formed the CFPUA, he says the city is now responsible for the installation. The project, which would include installing a 24-inch water line through a Monkey Junction intersection, would cost around $1.7 million.
Thompson said, "It's great for CFPUA customers because we don't have to absorb it in our rates, however, if you're a city resident in Wilmington, here's an extra 1.7 this annexation is going to cost you. It doesn't matter if you live in Monkey Junction or not, if you're inside the city, you'll have to pay for it."
But City Councilman Charlie Riverbark told us this evening Thompson doesn't know what he's talking about. He says the city budgeted the money, then it went to CFPUA, but is now back in the city budget.
"If the annexation holds, yes we will do it," Rivenbark said. "We expect to do it and know all about the project, but if annexation doesn't hold, CFPUA will do it. They were going to do it anyway. I think it probably would just be a better idea to let the courts play it out and see where it shakes out, and whoever prevails, let it go on their CIP."
We reached out to Mayor Saffo and the other city councilmembers for reaction, but they have not returned our calls. A spokeswoman with the CFPUA says they will be negotiating with the city in the near future about this project.