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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.

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15 Comments on "UPDATE: Monkey Junction annexation may cost City of Wilmington $1.7 million; Rivenbark says money budgeted"

Nancy H.
2015 years 10 months ago

City of Wilmington already can’t keep its promises to areas annexed years ago, and now they want to annex MJ! If I lived in one of those areas I’d raise holy H#@&!!! Why doesn’t Saffo and his “gang” stop spending all of the current city taxpayers’ money and be fiscally responsible? Then, they wouldn’t have to keep stealing other areas of New Hanover County just to milk the public of its taxes. I’d like to say it will serve the city officials right that they have to pay out so much money to annex MJ but, sadly, their irresponsibility will only fall on the unfortunate city taxpayers to make up for it. AND, THEY WANT TO BRING A BALL TEAM HERE??? SHAME!!!

2015 years 10 months ago

“I think it probably would just be a better idea to let the courts play it out and see where it shakes out”

Funny how when it comes to coughing up 1.7 mil they want to wait and see how this plays out in the courts first, but were quick to declare that MJ is now in the city with this latest court ruling.

2015 years 10 months ago

J. Thompson and the Authority board are spending freely and as much as possible, with watchdogs no longer in the way (O’Shields, Mccoy, berger,). Thompson and the current board, chairman Jim Quinn (fired by voters but quickly renamed to Authority as its highest ranking official) have been on a spending spree beyond their own astronomical spending and waste, incompetence or outright frauds. Their was nobody there to say “hold on” when the CFPUA Board chose to spend the highest amount proposed – gauranteing the highest rate increases to pay for subsidies, which they call “needed projects” and benefitting very few at the growing rates passed on to captive “customers.”

Thompson was wrong to create the authority, making it immune to elected officials and the public, so he, Quinn and the original and still Board members have total freedom to spend your millions for their people – and this year theyre seeking the maximum rate hikes because they “care.” Thompson is the only source of this example of government at its worst who can be voted out this year…he’ll spend and spend payback contributions to buy support at the polls…lets hope “we wont be fooled again” as the Who sung.

2015 years 10 months ago

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

City of Wilmington just went too far on this one and now they are getting lined up to lose big time! We taxpayers are getting shafted anyway, but it is fun watching politicians eat each other.

Thompson, you still are a turd, but not much bigger a turd than Mayor Slapnutz, Surly Cheat ’em or any other load on the City Council.

2015 years 10 months ago

Tuesday: “From that day forward, the Monkey Junction annexation area took effect, so according to the General Statutes, and we have a lot of experience in this, we have to provide the core services beginning the next day.”

Thursday: “I think it probably would just be a better idea to let the courts play it out and see where it shakes out….”

So in other words, they understand that this process is working its way through the appellate process when it’s convenient for them, but will ignore it when they want to sneak in like the rats they are and establish the argument that “This annexation already took place, so the rules don’t apply.”

It’s like dealing with the mafia….

2015 years 10 months ago

Forced annexation to those of us who chose to live outside of the city limits for various reasons doesn’t quite seem fair to me. Some of us specifically bought homes in the MJ area, to live outside the city limits and are now to be forced in? What if the opposite were tried? What if some of the areas within the city limits were determined to be of no value, or detrimental to the value of the city? Is it okay to “annex” them out? I realize that sounds absurd, but for some of us, that’s how it seems. The city has decided a “certain” area would be beneficial to them financially so they just go out and take it? The MJ area has grown to where it is a self sufficient area. We have all the amenities of the city. Our own restaurants, stores, home improvements, everything but a mall. So of course the city wants us annexed in now. We will bring huge revenue!
Yes-The city should be able to grow, but not at the expense of others. The city needs to learn to live within its budget and stop reaching out to grab up areas that don’t belong to it just so it can reap the rewards of tax revenues.

2015 years 10 months ago

The US Constitution gives us the freedom from taxation without representation. Forced annexation goes against this. There is nothing wrong with a municipality growing. There is plenty wrong with forcing property owners into a situation, against their will, where they have to pay more taxes. From where I sit, Wilmington cannot handle what it already has and they want to take on more? It’s very irresponsible.

They didn’t like things in the city, that is why they moved to the county. Should we all move just to satisfy those who want to force more taxes on us against our will and when we have no say about it?

Rick Wilson
2015 years 10 months ago

Since your hand picked, 11th hour appointed judge saw fit to overturn the will of the people, and even though it is under appeal, the city decided to annex Monkey Junction before the appeal is decided, I hope the legislature will do the following: Make forced annexation against the law. Make satellite annexation against the law. Make radius laws against the law. Allow anyone that was forcefully annexed to vote themselves out of the city with a simple majority. Pass a law allowing only one zoning board per county, and it is controlled by the county. That way the government that has the best interest of all the citizens will make these decisions.
It is way past time for cities such as Wilmington, Mayor Saffo and City Council to be put in their proper place. Being elected to office does not give you the right to trample the will of the people. After the legislature gets done spanking you, why don’t you do the right thing and resign? You are supposed to be public servants, not dictators serving themselves and special interest.
One last thing, the argument that cities have to expand or die is bogus. If this is true, Wilmington would die after it annexed all of the unincorporated areas left in New Hanover County, because there would be nothing left to conquer. This issue is about a Mayor and City Council that is out of control, and I am happy that the folks in Raleigh are going to put them in their place. Beachbum, why don’t you move? Your zeal to rubberstamp anything the government wants to do is tiresome. Can the Mayor or Odom move without your nose up their……….ssssses?????

Beach Bum
2015 years 10 months ago

So, why shouldn’t the city be allowed to grow? Everyone has a right to be prosperous and grow, so why shouldn’t the city be allowed the same right?

This is a coastal community with one of the most expensive colleges in the state. There is plenty of money here. If you don’t like things, move.

2015 years 10 months ago

No, Beach Bum, you have it all wrong. When a business grows it BUYS more land, buildings and equipment. When a family grows it BUYS a larger house. Neither TAKE from their neighbors.

The City’s argument is hollow. It claims to be paying the bills for the folks in the county but has yet to provide any real proof of the value it claims to provide.

All annexation will acomplish is the lining of politician’s pockets with the fruits of the labors of others while NOT providing any real benefit to them. I am moreover worried that MJ businesses will cut hiring and raise prices to cover the anticipated increase in real estate taxes if this annexation debacle comes to pass.

Not only will MJ property owners face a doubling in taxation, this increase in taxation will bid down the prices of their already value diminished properties.

This article was written five years ago and remains true today: http://www.thefreemanonline.org/features/involuntary-municipal-annexation-the-ugly-truth/

In conclusion, Beach Bum, yes, there is plenty of money here. Money to be EARNED, not politically wrangled away.

Citizen of the Republic
2015 years 10 months ago

Where do we draw the line when it comes to city growth. Do we want to be Charlotte? Maybe Myrtle Beach?

There comes a time when city growth passes over a line of being beneficial, to becoming overcrowded and packed with nothing but offices and vacant buildings.

Long time residents can remember when you could get anywhere in the city in about 10-15 mins. Now you can spend that amount of time at red lights. You could ride a bicycle to the beach without ending up in the ER.

Growth is fine, to a point. Then the quality of life for residents begins to suffer.

Wilmington is at that point. Bigger does not mean better.

Tourist can find traffic congestion anywhere, and there’s nothing that cant be found on the web, except the beach.

Maybe Wilmington should take a deep breath, consolidate what they have, and be satisfied that this area is still worth coming to.

Wilmington is special. But it won’t be if we keep packing everything into the city limits. That’s why people bought homes outside the city.
Residents should be happy and proud that they live in such an area.

However with forced annexation they are neither.

2015 years 10 months ago

I would think annexation would help relieve some of the things you talk about with people moving out of New Hanover, it won’t make it worse.

2015 years 10 months ago

Quinn would have to stand on a ladder to tickle the belly of a snake. A true case study of politicians infesting a local economy.

Owen O'Neill
2015 years 10 months ago

Thompson represents everything politicians have come to personify. He is arrogant, belligerant and a bore to boot. Remember this creep when elections come around and show him the door.

2015 years 10 months ago

At a City Council meeting a couple of years back before the annexation happened, this very issue was brought up. Councilwoman Padgett seemed not to know this was going to be the City’s expense, but at least the Mayor was knowledgable enough about the ILA to know this was the case.

Quite simply, the COW can annex to hell and back, but CFPUA doesn’t have to pay for the whims of the city with the money they don’t have.

There are places the COW annexed in 1995, 1998, and other areas (Masonboro Loop) that still don’t have water and sewer as promised and required by Annexation.


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