City creates annexation committee

Published 11:21 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mayor Ted Jennings on Tuesday appointed a new committee to examine annexation of areas north of the city limits, but he said the focus of the group will be on county residents who seek to be annexed.

“We won’t be forcing anything,” he said. “We’re not going to bring anybody in that doesn’t want to be in.”

Because of the potential for new residents, the committee will also examine the requirements for servicing the fire district; the need and location of additional fire stations and a timeline for building them; the need for additional fire personnel and potential upgrades to the existing fire station.

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Jennings said some residents north of the city have expressed interest in being within the city limits. To do so, property would have to be contiguous, he said.

In 2006, the city proposed a plan to annex an area north of the city on U.S. 31, but the proposal was met with opposition from residents — and questions about how the plan would affect schools.

Jennings said the city “made mistakes” in that first plan.

“It was dead on arrival,” Jennings said. “It would have affected a lot of school children, and we didn’t realize that.”

Annexing residents who want to be part of the city makes more sense, he said.

“We think this is the best way to go about it,” Jennings said.

Members appointed to the new committee include attorney Broox Garrett; city council members Frank Cotten, Dennis Dunaway and Fred Barton; utilities director Ray Madden; police chief Monte McGougin; fire chief Lawrence Weaver; community development director Steve Yuhasz; and city clerk John Angel.