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Annexation efforts moving more smoothly in Calabash

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

CALABASH—Residents had more questions than complaints last month about the town’s plans to annex their neighborhoods along Beach Drive.

Three weeks after a roomful of residents turned out April 29 to express reservations about the town’s plans to annex a 174.4-acre area between the Calabash River and Sunset Beach, residents were back, this time with more questions about what Calabash will provide.

The 20-minute annexation hearing May 20 consisted of residents asking about a timeline and procedures for streets dedication to the town.

“Give us information, and we’ll listen,” said Ray Church of the Landing II subdivision, one of the neighborhoods included in the proposed annexation site, which includes Oak Ridge and portions of Shady Forest, Bonaparte’s Retreat and Somersett subdivisions.

The proposed effective date for the annexation is July 1, 2009, if the town passes an annexation ordinance slated to be acted on at their upcoming monthly meeting next Tuesday, June 10.

Another man said no matter the condition of streets, the town should take over responsibilities for them.

Mary Barton of Landing II requested what the tax rate will be, which was outlined by Calabash Mayor Anthony Clemmons at the April 29 informational meeting. The town’s current 7 cent tax rate per $100 of valuation would mean a tax of $105 on a $150,000 home and $140 for a $200,000 home.

A man who lives on Wilson Avenue complained about a lack of assistance from the county regarding noise, loud radios and drinking.

The problem, he said, is Brunswick County doesn’t have a noise ordinance.

“Y’all do,” he told town commissioners. “The EMS and fire department have a lot better response time than the sheriff’s department.”

He said he felt the town could benefit financially if it had its own police department.

“You could have your own court and generate money to cover it and apply for grants from the government,” he said. “I feel like it’s time y’all have one because the response times are ridiculous.”

Kate Blackburn of Landing Drive cited a discussion about adding streetlights at the last meeting.

“Most of the people with whom I’ve spoken think we have enough lights,” she said, asking if there are any specifications by the town regarding footage and spacing between lights.

Clemmons said there is no such requirement.

“We’ll consider that,” he said. “Anything y’all comment on will be up for action.”

Commissioner Forrest King said the town would not install streetlights if someone didn’t request it.

Clemmons said the last time involved surveying neighbors to make sure it was OK, “so you’ll be in good hands.”

Richard Sisco asked what is going to happen to neighborhoods like Bonaparte’s Retreat as far as streetlights go.

“They’re paying big money every year for maintenance of Bonaparte,” he said. “Are you going to take over their streetlights?”

Clemmons said streetlights will be paid for by the town and installed as needed.

Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at llewis@brunswickbeacon.com