City's plan to annex explained

Published 8:08 pm Sunday, November 19, 2006

By Staff
Where the future is concerned, people can be divided into three types. Many people let the future happen. Some people make it happen. Others wonder what happened. The residents of Brewton do not have to wonder about the future. An announcement was made at the Nov. 14 Brewton City Council meeting about the plan to annex some areas into the Brewton city limits in the near future.
Annexation is a legal action that can be taken to add to or make larger a city by reaching out and bringing in area. Three areas are under study presently for possible annexation by Brewton. One area follows a section line north of Brewton encompassing the Brewton Country Club and U.S. 31 is the easternmost boundary reaching back south to the existing city line at Old Castleberry Road. Another area has U.S. 31 as the westernmost boundary and reaches Old Castleberry Road to the south and follows Kirkland Road from its junction at U.S. 31 to the point where it covers the Woodmere Drive region. The third area has Burnt Corn Creek as a natural border and includes space from past Georgia Lane to an area south to the city limits on Appleton Road following a property line south until it turns west to connect to Burnt Corn Creek. Annexing these areas would increase Brewton's land mass by 8.62 square miles and the population by approximately 1,300 people.  
A public hearing will be held to provide information and receive questions on Nov. 28 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Brewton Community Center. A vote by the City Council on the issue may be taken on Dec. 12. Next, a four-week period of notice by publication takes place. Then, the matter can be presented to the legislature for consideration. Annexation can occur by legislative act.
A natural question that arises is why would Brewton annex areas? Several reasons explain the basis for annexation.  
First, annexation is a vision for the future.  It is a proactive measure to provide stability for progress. The welfare of people is the heart of the plan.
Second, annexation will clearly define Brewton's boundary lines.  The proposed city limits will utilize neatly familiar boundaries rather than conform to an uneven arrangement of parcels.
Third, annexation will lower insurance rates for residents.  When a new fire station is constructed and stocked with equipment and manned by the necessary staff, new residents will receive the same insurance rates as the rest of the city. Typical studies indicate that lower insurance ratings in a city will save new residents more money than taxes they pay by virtue of living within a city.
Fourth, annexation will allow for an expansion of services by a city. In time, additional police officers will be hired. Another fire house will be constructed. More firemen will be employed.  People will have access to the school system that they could previously attend only by admission on an out-of-district basis.
Fifth, annexation enhances the quality of life for residents. The desire is to make Brewton's state of life available to others. Also, areas within a city are subject to zoning regulations that manage the use of land in a way most beneficial for residents.
Informed people make educated people. Educated people make wise people. Wisdom embraces a city's action to contribute to an improved living standard for the greatest number of people.  Annexation is the approach to make a better today and brighter tomorrow for our municipality.
Steve Yuhasz is community development director for the City of Brewton.