State of North Carolina Suspended Gaston County Town – Taking Its Money and Canceling Elections

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spencer-mountain-ncThe town of Spencer Mountain, NC is now officially suspended, meaning that its town charter has been revoked and “all monies and assets held by the Town of Spencer Mountain shall be placed under the control of the State Treasurer”, according to HB1143.

Spencer Mountain was originally settled in 1772 by Zachariah Spencer. In 1874, J. Harvey Wilson II built a water-powered textile mill (Wilson & Moore Cotton Mill) at the base of Spencer Mountain. A predecessor of Duke Power purchased the mill and the hydroelectric plant that powered it in 1926, and was eventually shut down in 1999.

The town of Spencer Mountain was incorporated by the state of North Carolina in 1963, allowing it’s citizens freedom to hold elections, pass laws, and collect and use city taxes.

According to the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 37. The median income for a household in the town was $32,143, and the median income for a family was $32,143. Males had a median income of $32,083 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,848. There were no families and 1.3% of the population living below the poverty line, including none under 18 and none of those over 64.

Last year, only two residents remained living in the town, Chase and Alice White; who voted themselves in as mayor and councilwoman in 2015. In an article published last year, USA Today noted, “a closed down store, a haunted mansion, a church and one house are all that remain in the half-square mile town.”

In May of last year, a bill was introduced by NC Representative Torbett that would effectively shut down the town – a bill that will forever be known on the streets of Spencer Mountain as ‘HB1143’. A little over a month later, on June 28th, 2016, House Bill 1143 was officially ratified, spelling doom for the little struggling town.

Chase and Alice White will still remain mayor and council person of the town until their term ends later this year, but their town’s funds have already been transferred to the state treasury, and now that the town’s charter has been revoked, no more elections can be held.

What do you think about HB1143? Do you think North Carolina should reinstate Spencer Mountain’s town charter? 

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