Annexation hearings scheduled

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Washington City Council will conduct public hearings on whether the Washington Montessori Public Charter School land and West Park Motors land will be voluntarily annexed into the city.

The hearings will be conducted at 6 p.m. Jan. 13, 2014. The city clerk, as directed by the City Council, investigated the petitions asking for annexation and found them in order.

If approved, the annexations would be noncontiguous, meaning the annexed areas would be “satellites” away from the city’s contiguous city limits. Adjacent land used by the school was annexed by the city several years ago.

Annexation of the 6.95 acres where the school is located (off Old Bath Highway) could face some opposition. Several years ago, Councilman Doug Mercer expressed concern over annexing large facilities such as schools because it may cost more to provide city services to them than the tax revenues they provide the city. Then, he questioned whether it’s feasible for the city to annex such properties.

Once an area is annexed, the city is responsible for providing services such as police and fire protection and enforcement of zoning laws. The annexed areas also produce tax revenues for the city.

The land where P.S. Jones Middle School and John Small Elementary School are located is considered a satellite annexation because it is several miles away from the contiguous city limits. The schools receive city services such as police and fire protection. City EMS units respond to the schools when there are medical emergencies.

The Montessori school has eight grades. It plans to add high school grades in the near future.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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