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Rock Hill Asks Neighborhood To Choose: Water Or No Annexation

A showdown is shaping up in Rock Hill, except it's not technically Rock Hill. The city says it has every right to annex the neighborhood of Miller Pond and the area around it. But residents there won't agree to it. So the city has threatened to turn off their water. Rock Hill officials say on Monday they'll begin shutting off the water of any one in the Miller Pond neighborhood who doesn't turn in a petition in favor of annexation. At this point, that's 100 people. "We have churches saying we can use their facilities to shower and brush our teeth if we need to or use the restroom," says David Grigg, president of Miller Pond's HOA. Grigg bought his home at Miller Pond six years ago. One of the big selling points was that it wasn't in Rock Hill. Now that it may be, he's upset. "It's basically thousands of dollars in increased taxes and fees with absolutely zero benefit from services," says Grigg. City councilman Kevin Sutton doesn't see it that way. Miller Pond residents are paying their way for water. In fact, they pay about double the amount city dwellers do. But he says they're driving on city roads, playing in city parks, and accommodated by city planning. "There are a lot of things that have taken place that the Miller Pond residents are gaining benefit from, but they're not participating in the cost," says Sutton. But that's not the main issue. Sutton says the city has every right to annex the neighborhood. More than a decade ago, Rock Hill struck an agreement with the subdivision's developers. The city would provide water, if residents agreed to be annexed by Rock Hill in the future. The city needs the approval of 75 percent of property owners. So far only 21 of 121 have given the go ahead. Grigg says a notice sent by the city a few months ago was the first he heard of the agreement. He says he and his neighbors have begun stocking up on drinking water.