Annexation expected to create jobs, city revenue

Published 9:16 pm Saturday, February 14, 2015

A newly annexed piece of land should help bring new jobs to Washington.

During its meeting last week, the Washington City Council unanimously approved annexing 5 acres on U.S. Highway 264 near the Beaufort County Industrial Park. A site plan submitted to the city identifies the property as the future home of Washington Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. That site plan was prepared by J.S. Janowski Engineering and dated Oct. 20, 2014.

City Clerk Cynthia Bennett investigated the petition, which was filed Dec. 3, 2014, and determined it is valid.

A city document shows the dealership is projected to generate just under $20,000 in revenue for the city during this fiscal year and the next fiscal year combined. Most of that revenue would be come from payment of property taxes. The annexation’s costs to the city (police and fire protection, public works) for the same time period is just over $3,000. The property owner is expected to pay $10,130 in water/sewer tap fees, water/sewer impact fees and an environmental fee. The annexed property is projected to generate $20,000 in water/sewer revenue for the city during the current and next fiscal years.

When considering annexation, the city performs a costs-benefits study to determine how that annexation could affect city finances.

The annexation opens the door for the city to use grant funds to help pay for sewer-infrastructure improvements. Those improvements would support the dealership’s plans to locate in Beaufort County, according to a city document. To receive water and sewer service from the city, the owner of commercial property outside the city is asked to submit a petition for annexation. If that annexation is approved, the property also receives other city services such as police and fire protection.

The new dealership plans to create about 33 jobs, according to a city document. The dealership pledges to create at least 21 jobs, the document notes.

The project’s cost estimate is $220,000. The grant amount being requested is $210,900 (22 jobs at $10,000 per job) and requires a 5-percent match ($11,100) from the city, according to a memorandum from Matt Rauschenbach, the city’s chief financial officer and administrative services director, to the mayor and council members. The dealership would reimburse the city for the match, according to the memorandum.

The proposed improvements include extending the gravity sewer line the serves the area of Page Road and U.S. Highway 264 near the Beaufort County Industrial Park and Pecheles Toyota.

If awarded, the grant would come from the Rural Economic Development Division (Rural Center) of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

An ElectriCities grant is being sought to pay for the cost of the Mid-East Commission preparing the Rural Center grant application. That cost, according to a city document, is $2,500. ElectriCities is a trade organization that provides administrative support and other services such as training for N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency members, including Washington, and members of the power agency that serves the western part of the state.





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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