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Hope Mills residents voice complaints about conditions of Applegate Road

Town board sets budget workshop for May 15


HOPE MILLS — Poor conditions on Applegate Road were the focus of public comment at the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday night.

Residents said that large pits in the two-way road have made it impassable in one lane. The road is a primary access to a neighborhood that is home to many military families. Its condition has become a safety hazard causing damage to vehicles and jeopardizing the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, they said.

Commissioner Jerry Legge said the town is addressing the hazards but noted that the road is not in the jurisdiction of Hope Mills.

Interim Town Manager McLaughlin told CityView that the roads in the area are regulated by Cumberland County and the town has no authority over them.

McLaughlin said the long-term solution is to provide a new access point to the valley neighborhood.

“It’s been an issue for a while,” said McLaughlin.

Meanwhile, he said, the town’s hands are tied.

“That’s not what citizens want to hear,” McLaughlin said.

The board also scheduled a budget workshop for 5 p.m. May 15 after McLaughlin presented the proposed budget.

“The town’s sales tax distribution has been modified with the county’s new interlocal agreement that fiscal year 2022 is the base year,” he said. “Any revenue increase in sales tax over the base year will be apportioned to the county for the fiscal year 2024 and ’25,” McLaughlin said.

The county’s interlocal agreement, which took effect in 2018, affects Hope Mills and its surrounding municipalities. On March 6, the town board voted to accept an extension of the sales tax interlocal agreement offered by Cumberland County. The agreement directs how tax revenue is shared among Hope Mills and surrounding municipalities.

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In other business, the town board passed unanimously an annexation request for about 11 acres belonging to the High family. The annexation includes a zoning change from commercial to planned industrial.

According to McLaughlin, the zoning change will benefit the company.

“This could create jobs,” McLaughlin told the board.

The new zoning also will benefit government tax allotments, he said.

In new business, the board unanimously passed a motion to move forward with a request to annex 2.2 acres at Corporation Drive and Chickenfoot Road. The request was filed by J.G. and Ann Leigh Horner.

Lastly, the board tabled a budget amendment that would transfer $15,000 from the general fund to cover extra charges from the town attorney. The fee transfer was not itemized, drawing concern from Commissioners Jonne Scarola and Grilley Mitchell.

Mitchell requested an itemized list be presented to the board before a vote at the next board meeting.

At the end of its regular meeting, the board met in closed session.

Hope Mills, budget, Applegate Road, town commissioners