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Spartan

Gaffney/Cherokee County Growth

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This article sums up the situation for many cities in SC, not just Gaffney. City annexation is poissble only through the use of the water system. Cities accross SC have to annex by allowing access to water lines only when the area agrees to be annexed at some point. People see that it costs less up front to live in the county, rather than the city. The situation just feeds on itself.

-I have highlighted the meat and potatoes of this article-

-Unfortunatley the slick little map that the paper had in it was not online.

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Growth barriers ground Gaffney

By LYNNE POWELL

Cherokee County Bureau - SHJ

GAFFNEY

When Kellie Galloway began searching for a new home, she considered living inside the city for its convenient location.

Galloway, a young mother of two, also liked the idea of having curbside limb pickup and sidewalks.

But when she realized she would pay almost $350 more in taxes to live inside the city than she would for a comparable home in the county, her decision became easier.

"When I saw that taxes were so much higher in the city, the choice was really made for me," Galloway said. "You don't get that many more services, and since this area (the Grassy Pond community) has grown so much, you don't really have to travel that far for groceries."

It's a battle that city leaders have fought for years: how to stimulate growth inside the city limits, where there's a lack of unoccupied land.

Al McGaha, a real estate agent with Buice Bowers Realty, said persuading someone to move into the city is often a tough sale.

There is little land to construct new homes, and people aren't willing to pay higher taxes for what they see as few services offered to city residents, McGaha said.

According to census records, Cherokee County ranked 12th in the state for growth, with an 18 percent population increase from 1990 to 2000.

While the county population is expected to increase to 57,850 by the year 2010, there are 273 fewer people living inside the city limits than in 1990.

The areas of Macedonia, Grassy Pond and Sunny Slope, located near I-85, are steadily growing.

Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show population in the Macedonia community increased from 4,263 people in 1990 to 6,617 in 2000.

"There are no new houses in the city and city taxes are so much higher than in the county," McGaha said. "It's hard to get people to buy in the city."

For a home appraised at $100,000, a city resident would pay $1,392.80 in combined city and county taxes. That's $431.60 more than a county counterpart would pay, according to information from the county auditor's office.

Mayor Henry Jolly contends city residents do get "bang for their buck" in services, although he admits many city residents don't see what they're getting for their money.

Jolly said city residents receive:

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