Henderson explores annexation on Industry Drive

The Henderson City Council heard on update during its monthly work session this past Monday evening on the potential annexation of properties containing approximately 25 businesses on Industry Drive.

The project is being mentored by freshman council member Sara Coffey.

According to Assistant City Manager Frank Frazier, the properties included in the potential annexation have an approximate value of $3 million, not including personal property.

City water is the most pressing need for businesses along Industry Drive. According to Frazier, a preliminary estimate of costs of installing water to those businesses is approximately $179,000. He noted that water is easier to run than sewer.

A pumping station would be required to run sewage lines from the various businesses. According to Frazier, those are much more expensive due to regulation and the need for back-up generators.

Frazier told members that the city has two years after annexation to extend city services to the annexed area. He stressed the need to plan properly for annexation and to account for capital costs.

City Manager Ray Griffen told members that the city would look to grants for the financing of water and/or sewer lines before going to a “traditional model”, i.e. a budgetary process and assessment process to defray costs.

Coffey reported via a PowerPoint presentation on the businesses that could potentially be annexed along Industry Drive. She said that there was complete participation by businesses in the area in a meeting she held on annexation.

Coffey noted for the council that several businesses do not have potable water from their wells. She told members that Fred’s Towing is actually using an old firetruck to bring in water to wash its vehicles. To punctuate the need, she passed around a sample of one of the businesses’ well water for council members to smell. It exuded a strong chlorine-like odor.

The Ward 1 at-large member told fellow council members that she had spoken to North Carolina Representative Jim Crawford about the annexation idea and that he was “very encouraging”. She quoted him as saying that she should get it done and he would worry about the money.

Member Mike Rainey complimented Coffey’s efforts as a “nice job”.