Landis board opposes annexation changes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó The town board passed a series of resolutions Monday to show its opposition to proposed state legislation that would place a moratorium on involuntary annexation, require a vote prior to involuntary annexation and require towns to allow communications providers to use their utility poles.
Mayor Dennis Brown said the League of Municipalities asked the town to show its opposition to two House bills on annexation.
If approved, one of the House proposals would establish a year-long moratorium on involuntary annexations. Another would stipulate that no annexation ordinance could take effect until the people who will be affected by the proposed annexation take a vote, and more than 50 percent of the voters would have to approve the annexation.
Reps. Bruce Goforth, Larry R. Brown, Nelson Dollar and Fred Steen are the primary sponsors of the bills, both of which would become effective July 1.
Alderman James Furr was the only board member who voted against the resolution opposing the bills.
Furr said he felt as though people who “are about to be brought into a municipality should have a voice.”
He also said he wanted to know the language of the bill before he voted.
On the utility poles issue, the board has discussed at length having communications providers such as Time Warner Inc. pay for attaching to its utililty poles.
The town passed an ordinance Monday that would require providers who want to attach to town-owned poles to pay $50 per attachment, per pole.
If a provider is attached, meaning they have wire connections or power supplies to the pole, and have not been authorized, they will be fined $15 per day per attachment until the violation is corrected.
The resolution passed Monday opposes Senate Bill 357, which proposes municipalities allow communications providers to use their poles at a reasonable cost. This request may be denied only if there is insufficient capacity or reasons of safety, the bill states.
The board also received a presentation from Phil Conrad, director of the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization about the Rowan Express bus program.
Conrad spoke about how the system will work, the stops, the cost and when it will start.
The Rowan Express will connect riders from Salisbury, China Grove, Landis and Kannpolis. The operation starts April 6.
It is the first public transit system for southern Rowan County, Conrad said.
The service will run Monday-Friday. Rides begin around 6:15 a.m. and end at 5:15 p.m.
“It’s something I’m glad to see happen. It’s very gratifying to see it come to fruition,” Brown said.