Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy said she’s “disappointed” by the city council’s decision last month to scuttle an annexation plan that had been in the works for more than a year.
The council voted 6 to 2 Dec. 17 to end the study and not submit a proposal to the voters.
The decision came before the council had completed several workshops scheduled to consider possible changes to the plan and proposed annexation map.
“I was really disappointed,” Lucy said this week. “There were so many aspects of the study that we hadn’t delved into.
“The more I learned, the more I felt there were things that should be changed on the maps, but we never got the chance,” she commented.
Lucy made similar remarks during the Washington 353 Corporation meeting Thursday morning.
She said in an interview with The Missourian that the city has been making investments over the past several years to handle growth.
Chief among those was construction of a new wastewater treatment plant that’s designed to handle Washington’s sewage as well as a large area around the city. That plant is being financed through higher fees charged to residents.
Another was construction of the four-lane Highway 100 that makes it easier and safer to come to Washington, she noted. Citizens approved a half-cent sales tax to finance that improvement.
“The community has been planning for growth and now we’re stymied,” Lucy remarked.
The city has stormwater issues, but there’s no place inside the city to build large detention facilities, she noted. Such structures could be developed on land to the south if those areas were taken in, Lucy said.
She described the council’s action as political and said council members caved to opponents who own property in the adjacent area.
“Since when were they (council members) elected by the people outside the city?
“It was politics at its worst,” Lucy remarked.
Members of the planning and zoning commission worked with city staff members for more than a year to come up with the plan submitted to the council last summer.
“With all the time and effort that went into the study and then to just throw it out makes no sense,” Lucy said.
“We’ll have to regroup and try to figure out what we want to do next,” she said. “When the economy rebounds, we need to be ready.
“It’s just prudent planning,” the mayor remarked.