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Water rate lowered for non-annexed property owners

AHOSKIE – A passionate plea heard last month prompted members of the Ahoskie Town Council to take action here Tuesday.

In a unanimous vote, the council opted to lower the water rate for eight properties that were recently taken over by the town’s water system, but not a part of the newly annexed areas of Ahoskie.

The water rates for those eight properties will now be the same as the standard in-town fee. If the council had ruled against the measure, those property owners would pay double the in-town rate, a standard billing procedure for those living outside the town limits, but requesting to be hooked to Ahoskie’s water system.

Each of the eight properties were former customers of the Hertford County Rural Water District who were part of a sale of water lines/service by the county to Ahoskie in the town’s newly annexed areas.

At their June 21 meeting, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners approved the sale of 137 water service locations linked to the Southern Rural Water District to the Town of Ahoskie. That sale affects those county water customers whose property was part of Ahoskie’s most recent annexation – residences and businesses along sections of NC 561 East (Harrellsville Highway), NC 42 West, the Ahoskie-Cofield Road (including Willoughby Road, Waldorf Lane, VIP and Lincoln Roads) and NC 561 West (Colonial Acres and Oriole Drive areas).

That sale affected eight customers who are not in an area annexed, but were served by the rural water district. Due to the locations of those properties, there were no options, except having the property owner digging a private well, to provide water other than through the town of Ahoskie.

One of those property owners, Tammy Piland, made a passionate plea to the town council at their July meeting in regards to the water rates.

Piland, who lives on Holloman Lane off NC 561 East, said it wasn’t her fault that the annexation stopped just short of her property.

“It hurts me to think that we’re getting the raw end of this deal,” Piland said at the July meeting.

Based on the vote taken at Tuesday’s meeting it’s apparent that the Ahoskie Town Council agreed.

“It’s not their fault,” Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn said of the eight property owners. “I was very happy to see our council approve this measure.”