Currituck Considering Four Service Districts

The Currituck County Board of Commissioners approved on May 6, 2019,  the creation and/or extension of four service districts.  These are as follows:

  1.  Creation of the Carova Beach Watershed Improvement Service District
  2.  Extension of the Carova Beach Road Service District
  3.  Extension of the Guinea Mill Watershed Improvement District
  4.  Creation of the Knotts Island Fire Protection Service District

DEFINITION:  A service district is a defined area within a county in which an additional property tax is levied in order to provide extra services to the residents or properties in the district.  A service district is not a separate government.  It is simply a mechanism whereby a local government may raise money to pay for services or projects from those property owners that most directly benefit from the services or projects.  The North Carolina Constitution authorizes the General Assembly to permit counties to define special service districts within their borders and to levy additional taxes in those areas to provide services or facilities that are not offered throughout the entire county.

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Information on each proposed service district may be found below.  In addition, a public survey for each district is available to allow citizens who reside or own property in each area an opportunity to provide feedback.

(1)  CREATION OF THE CAROVA BEACH WATERSHED IMPROVEMENT SERVICE DISTRICT

The purpose of creating this service district is to provide financing for the design, construction, and maintenance of storm water management facilities.  This area has a history of flooding for extended periods of time that causes damage to private property, restricts access to property, causes safety concerns for fire trucks and EMS vehicles, and creates adverse health impacts.

There are approximately 5.5 miles of existing ditches in Carova Beach.  A service district is needed to improve the existing ditch system and provide improved drainage.  Steps to improvement include clearing of existing ditches and removal of sediment.  Road conditions and durability can be improved by providing road side swales and replacement or proper maintenance of culverts at ditch crossings.

The assessed valuation of property subject to taxation in the proposed service district is $286,500,000.  Currituck County’s current tax rate is 48 cents per $100 valuation.  A service district tax of $0.01 would generate $27,686 in revenue.

 

(2)  EXTENSION OF THE CAROVA BEACH ROAD SERVICE DISTRICT

The purpose of extending this service district is to provide enhanced street maintenance.  The four-wheel drive sand streets in Carova Beach must be maintained in order to maintain public safety, address increasing traffic demands, and preserve and protect property rights through the reestablishment of the rights-of-way in this area.

The county will assess the roads and develop a needed maintenance plan.  This is expected to include the clearing of rights-of-way for emergency vehicle access and regularly scheduled grading of sand roads.

The assessed valuation of property subject to taxation in the proposed service district is $286,500,000.  Currituck County’s current tax rate is 48 cents per $100 valuation.  A service district tax of $0.01 would generate $27,686 in revenue.

 

(3)  EXTENSION OF THE GUINEA MILL WATERSHED IMPROVEMENT SERVICE DISTRICT

The purpose of extending this service district is to provide additional drainage and watershed improvements to areas outside of the current district, which was formed in 2000.  Flooding occurs along Guinea Mill Run Canal and its drainage basin which includes Lateral Ditch A, B, and C, and Hayward Ditch.  Current services need to be expanded to help protect growth areas and farms from flooding issues.

A study determined that improvements should include the removal of vegetation and debris within primary drainage canals, modification to existing culverts, and modification of canal dimensions to improve consistency and efficiency.  Additional improvements include replacing certain culverts.

The total assessed valuation of property subject to taxation within the current service district and the proposed extended area is $400,922,732.  The existing tax rate for the service district is $0.015 per $100 valuation.  The service district tax within the new annexed area will also be set initially at $0.015 per $100 valuation.  This equates to $22.50 per year for a $150,000 property or $37.50 per year for a $250,000 property.  For a farm with a value of deferred value of $1,000 per acre, the tax would equate to $0.15 per acre per year.

 

(4) CREATION OF THE KNOTTS ISLAND FIRE PROTECTION SERVICE DISTRICT

The purpose of creating this district is to provide operational and capital funding for fire protection.  Currituck Fire-EMS has staffed the Knotts Island Fire Station since December 2017 and has provided this service by using funds from the county’s General Fund.  The isolated nature of Knotts Island requires the presence of fire protection staff in the community to protect life and property.

Currituck Fire-EMS has staffed the fire station with four firefighters and will continue to provide this level of service. Due to the limited tax base in Knotts Island, funds from the service district will be supplemented by the General Fund.

The assessed valuation of property subject to taxation in the proposed service district is $135,706,253.  Currituck County’s current tax rate is 48 cents per $100 valuation.  A service district tax of $0.01 would generate $13,570 in revenue.  The overall cost to provide this service for Knotts Island is $1,017,830.