The deal to prevent Cary and Apex from annexing parts of Chatham County without approval from the Chatham County Board of County Commissioners is sailing through the General Assembly.
Commission Chairman Brian Bock announced the agreement Feb. 21 when the commissioners approved the Western Wake Partners’ plan to run 8.1-miles of wastewater treatment pipe underground through the county from the unincorporated Wake County town of New Hill to the Cape Fear River.
The partners, composed of Apex, Cary, Morrisville and RTP South, offered to take involuntary annexation off he table and to help push the legislation through this session in exchange for Chatham commissioners approving plan. Chatham commissioners voted 3-2 to allow the pipeline and also received $500,000 to spruce up a youth center and the option to tap-in to the pipeline in the future as needed.
As Bock promised, House Majority Leader Skip Stam, a Republican, and House Minority Leader Joe Hackney, a Democrat, are sponsoring the bill. Stam’s district includes Apex, which would be served by the wastewater treatment plant. Hackney represents Chatham County.
The two lawmakers were brief in urging acceptance of House Bill 358 during a House Government Committee meeting Thursday morning.
“This bill simply implements an agreement between a county government of Chatham County and the town governments of Apex and Cary,” Hackney said in his pitch.
“Part of that agreement is that this bill would be passed, and so Rep. Stam and I are here representing the various parts to recommend the passage of the bill. There is a technical amendment regarding the effective date, but other than that, I don’t know anything else to say.”
The amendment was needed to make clear the bill would be in effect immediately upon adoption.
Stam stood silently and stretched his thumb skyward.
No one, not representatives nor citizens, spoke on the bill. The committee approved it unanimously and referred it to the House Finance Committee.