KINSTON, Lenoir County - Kinston's City Council met in a special session Monday morning in response to a brazen move by the Hillcrest Farms Homeowners Association to de-annex their subdivision from the city.
Of the more than 50 homeowners in the neighborhood, only one has responded to city leaders as to the reason for the move, with some city officials saying they have been "blindsided" by this action.
Monday morning's session was held behind closed doors in executive session as City Council members obtained legal advice on what could be done about the matter. At stake is not only the $150,000 or so in property taxes the city would stand to lose, but the larger scale hit to the city's reputation.
The homeowners association has yet to formally file the request with the state legislation but says it will do so soon, along with providing an explanation for why they are choosing to go this route. The decision would remove fire, police and utility services from those residents, who would then potentially have to contract with the city or Lenoir County to have those services provided.
Kinston city officials plan to send letters to each of the homeowners in the subdivision, asking for open lines of communication to address whatever concerns they have.