Plans appear to be moving forward for the annexation of the Walnut Tree community in Walnut Cove, with an upcoming public hearing scheduled for early October.
The public hearing is the next step in the annexation process after the petition was found to be sufficient by the board of commissioners.
According to Bobby Miller, town manager, the issue will more than likely go to a vote in November, which will deliver the final decision on the concern.
If the annexation is approved, 120 homes will be impacted by the change. The primary reason behind the annexation push is for the benefit of water and sewer rates, in addition to tax benefits. Miller explained that residents of the Walnut Tree community are already water and sewer customers, but don’t currently receive the benefits that annexation would grant them.
In other Walnut Cove news:
Bids for the vacant lot that was once home to the Dodson Hotel are currently being accepted by the Town of Walnut Cove.
The hotel that once sat at the location was built in 1912 and was demolished in June of 2012. The demolition was the result of the discovery that the roof had collapsed in when an individual looked at the location on Google Earth.
Miller explained that the bidding process lasts for 10 days and goes in a cycle, with the current bidding period being the fourth and closed on Tuesday. The bidding process started in June and the current bid sits at $37,850.
The board of commissioners has final approval over the bid for the property, which Miller said he feels confident it will approve.
As for the new use for the property, Miller explained that ideally a business that could generate a steady source of tax income would be placed at the location, adding that the possibility of a restaurant or community center has been acknowledged.
Despite the continued nuisance of the overly active buzzard population of Walnut Cove, the persistence of the issue has appeared to be alleviating, according to Miller.
Issues arose due to the unusually large percentage of buzzards roosting in the area, which has caused damages to residential roofs among other problems.
Miller explained that many solutions have been attempted to rid the town of it’s buzzard problem, including the elimination of the bird’s food sources which include pet food and food from dumpsters, as well as the display of buzzard carcasses that had died while in captivity. Other solutions that have worked to varying levels of success include loud noises and spraying the buzzards with water.
The town continues to work with the Wildlife Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address the issue.
As for the success of the relocation of the buzzards outside of Walnut Cove, Miller explained that the town currently has one-third the amount of buzzards that it did this time last year.
“It’s an ongoing thing that we have to educate people about,” Miller explained.
According to Miller, the town has applied for a Wi-Fi grant which would help fund the installation of wireless Internet to the downtown area.
Aila Boyd may be reached at 336-415-2210.