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Mecklenburg County, Clarksville settle boundary dispute

South Boston News
Map of areas subject annexation agreement – new areas are marked in black, existing areas of Clarksville are under the diagonal lines.
SoVaNow.com / November 06, 2012
Mecklenburg County Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a resolution approving the settlement of the annexation proceedings between the County and town of Clarksville, putting an end to a decade and a half long battle over Clarksville's expansion plans.

Supervisor Gregg Gordon, who represented the county during the annexation mediation process said, “Based on what the committee went through, this is a real compromise on both ends. The lawyers did an excellent job to bring this to closure.”

Chairman Glenn Barbour also commended the team and said, “This is the best solution for both parties [referencing the annexation settlement agreement].

The agreement gives the town an additional 722.54 acres of both industrial and residential properties, establishes a tax revenue sharing agreement for some properties, obligates the county to work with Clarksville to promote tourism and revitalize the town, and contains a promise from the town to forego any future annexation proceedings for at least ten years.

Originally the town wanted to annex close to 4,000 acres, including over 1,000 acres on the east side of Buggs Island Lake

The agreement, which is expected to take effect by June 30, annexes four sites into Clarksville’s town limits. 331.46 acres are located near the old Burlington Mills Plant. This acreage includes the plant site and several subdivisions located nearby (Stripers Cove, The Pointe, Mill Village, Springfield Subdivisions, Tisdale Subdivision, Burlington Village and Kinderton Landing). 243.52 acres are added along the town’s southwest border, extending the town limits along Virginia Avenue to the intersection with U.S. Highway 58 bypass. Included in that acreage is all but one parcel located in Grace Stone Estates, off Buffalo Road. The final 147.56 acres are two separate blocks. Both are located on the south side of town by U.S. Highway 58 bypass and U.S. Highway 15.

Not included in the annexation are the property on which EDS/Hewlett Packard is sited, the property owned by the Clarksville Economic Development Authority (EDA) that abuts Occoneechee State Park and the Lakeside Commerce Park on the east side of the lake, or several homes along Noblin Farm Road.

In exchange for the right to annex the property, Clarksville must extend its existing services (water and sewer, police, solid waste and zoning) into the annexed areas following the effective date of the annexation. However, the town cannot force any of the annexed property owners to connect to the town’s water and sewer.

Since the town agreed to forego immediate attempts to annex the EDA owned property, the county will share 25 percent of the new net tax revenues from the property with the town, help market the property, and assist with installing an access road to the property.

This revenue sharing obligation lasts for 20 years, or until the town takes the EDA property into its limits (through future voluntary boundary adjustment), whichever occurs first.

Clarksville also receives 30 percent of the new net tax revenues from Kinderton Technology Park for 20 years in exchange for supplying water and sewer services to the park. Businesses that locate in that park will pay in-town rates, but must bear all costs incurred in connecting to the water and sewer lines of the town.

As part of its 2013-14 budget, Clarksville must set aside funds to pay for a person or firm that will help develop and implement a revitalization plan for the town. At the same time, the county agrees to employ, for at least five years, a tourism development coordinator who will prepare and implement a marketing program promoting Clarksville and its connection to Buggs Island Lake.

The annexation agreement was brokered after Dr. Roger Richman, professor emeritus of urban studies and public administration at Old Dominion University. He previously mediated a similar annexation dispute between South Hill and the Mecklenburg County, which was resolved by an agreed boundary adjustment in 2001.

In other business supervisors approved a $40,000 supplemental appropriation for the schools which will be used to purchase a house and 7 acres adjoining Chase City Elementary School.

School Superintendent James Thornton called the reasoning behind purchasing the property "a safety issue." The land has an easement that runs directly through the school property. If someone purchased the currently vacant house, the school could not control the traffic flow through that easement.

Thornton also said some of the extra land could be used for parking around Chase City Elementary Schools and additional playing fields.

Thornton was also told the county could not give the school system the land where the Mecklenburg Correctional Center was located because they did not own that property. Earlier, school board chairman Robert Puryear, asked supervisors to consider turning over the property to the school system to be used as the future site of a consolidated high school.

Supervisors approved a request by Dan Tanner on behalf of the county’s Economic Development Committee to advertise for tourism coordinator position. The impetus behind this decision was the annexation agreement approved by the county which obligates the county to hire and fund such a position for at least five years, though Tanner said their decision was based on the need to have a person in place before the summer months.

The amount the county expects to allocate for this position is $120,000, to be used for both salary and office expenses.

Southside Regional Library director Lee Lambert gave a progress report on her work with the library system in Lunenburg and attempts to get that county to meet their share of the library’s expenses.

The Sheriff’s office has instituted a new policy where road deputies make “service calls” to various businesses checking on their well-being. Last month deputies checked 903 business. Most of these services calls were made during business hours.

Sheriff Bobby Hawkins told supervisors, “The businesses are very supportive. I think the business owners appreciate knowing their buildings are being checked.”

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