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County approves boundary line shift for Port Royal

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 10:04 pm

The final proposal for the boundary line adjustment for the Town of Port Royal was approved during the Board of Supervisors meeting on Nov. 26.

The Port Royal Town Council had conducted a public hearing a week earlier and voted for it unanimously.

The hearing was set as a precursor to the final decision by the board to adopt the proposal. Floyd Thomas, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, summed up the intent by stating that the decision would be made about the boundary line adjustment “as is.”

“You either like it, or you don’t like it,” Thomas said.

The boundary line adjustment that was approved is the product of a work session held in October between the Port Royal Town Council and the Board of supervisors. This latest compromise satisfied county and town officials as well as landowners who are affected by the change in boundary lines.

The amount of land that will be folded into the town of Port Royal will be less now than originally proposed; there will be less land west of U.S. 301 added to the town’s borders, adding up to about 26 acres.

With this new compromise, the town’s boundaries will be drawn about 500 feet west of the highway. This is about a quarter of the land west of U.S. 301 that the town had wanted to incorporate in the beginning.

During the public hearing, the only speaker was an attorney representing C.B. Holloway. The attorney told the board that his client is opposed to the boundary line adjustment and that he and his client believe that “voluntary annexation procedures should be followed.”

Holloway’s representative told the board that his client was “opposed to any portion of his property” being incorporated into the Town of Port Royal. He further stated that his client did not believe that the town would even benefit from having his property within the boundaries because of the land’s agriculture usage.

The new boundary lines would be in effect July 1. The next step is for a circuit court judge to review the paperwork and tentatively approve the newly drawn boundaries.

If the final change were approved, the town would pull in businesses along U.S. 301 and U.S. 17 within its rolls, and the revenue they generate for the town. The town’s expansion of its current 78 acres will bring in about $60,000 more revenue annually.

The historic Town of Port Royal has fought diligently to do everything necessary to increase revenue so that the town may remain an independent chartered entity, separate from Caroline County. In addition to wishing to maintain independence, the cash flow has been severely limited within the town. The town hasn’t had the money to maintain sidewalks or do tree trimming or turn on all of its streetlights. It needs an upgraded water system and a new water tower to replace the one that is in danger of collapsing.

After the hearing was declared closed, Supervisor Calvin Taylor stated that he believed the issue had been “talked about and met about” enough. He further stated that the county and town have “done everything we have deemed necessary” to accomplish regarding the issue. Taylor made a motion to adopt the proposed agreement as it was presented. Supervisor Jeff Sili seconded the motion. The board passed the motion unanimously.