NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- About a hundred people packed the standing room only meeting at the Riverside Community building. They all wanted to know about incorporating Castle Hayne. They had plenty of questions. What's in it for them? What are the benefits? Will there be any new taxes? Why do it now? Even people living outside the proposed town limits -- but still close enough to care -- showed up.
The meeting was fairly quiet until a member of Castle Hayne's incorporation committee suggested the City of Wilmington might be willing to hand over some of its land. "Now we could go to the city and ask them to extend past that blue line and we probably will," said committee member Steven Gause. That blue line he mentioned is Wilmington's city limits.
Ask most anybody and they know Wilmington is a land-hungry neighbor with a seemingly insatiable appetite to annex. As for Wilmington giving up land for a new town, what if Castle Hayne's bigger, next door neighbor says no? "That's fine," Gause said, "As I said we don't need their permission to incorporate. We're on our own,"
The proposed incorporation area would encompass nearly 13 square miles of land. Residents would pay a property tax rate of 10 mils for every hundred dollars of home value. That would amount to a hundred bucks for a hundred thousand dollar home. Compare that to Wilmingtons nearly quadruple rate of 37 mils. The committee says the people of Castle Hayne know what's best for Castle Hayne.
There's still a lot more to discuss. The next meeting is set for September 27th.