An opponent of the annexation plan said the city should work harder to fill lots in the Heidmann Industrial Park before trying to “grab more land.”
Jeff Adams, who lives off Westlink Industrial Drive in the proposed west annexation area, told city council members Monday night that instead of being “obsessed” with annexation, officials should concentrate on filling vacant lots in the industrial park.
Then, he said, citizens may be more in favor of supporting annexation.
He spoke during the citizens discussion portion of the council meeting and reiterated that he is opposed to the city’s annexation plan.
Adams also produced maps and deeds showing that the city owns three parcels of land in the west area that “butt up to the city” and questioned why those areas have not been annexed.
He said the city has done a great job in getting grants for public improvements like the Highway 100 project and the team track rail facility at the end of West Main Street.
City Administrator Jim Briggs said he would have to study the maps to be sure but he felt that the parcels are in the floodplain and cannot be developed.
“I’m not sure why they need to be in the city,” Briggs remarked. He said city services can’t be extended to those parcels, and that city-owned land does not generate tax revenue.
Briggs said he believes the largest parcel behind the city recycling center was deeded to the city by the Washington Civic Industrial Corporation because it could not be developed. Another small parcel is adjacent to the team track facility.
“Could the city annex those areas? Yes,” Briggs said. “Is there a reason to? I don’t know.”
Councilman Jeff Mohesky called Adams’ comments “B.S.” and noted that the city spent two years developing a much bigger annexation plan but after listening to property owners reduced the size of the areas.
“Your arguments don’t hold water,” Mohesky commented.
Adams also said that out of 11 businesses that located in the Heidmann park all but one were already at different locations in the city. The exception he said was Harman/Becker which moved its operations after five years.
Last month, the council approved ordinances placing three separate annexation areas — west, south and east — on the Aug. 5 election ballot.
Voters living in Washington will cast ballots on all three annexation areas. Voters living in the annexation areas will only vote on their specific area.
The west area includes approximately 131 acres in separate parcels and tracts along Highway 100 and Westlink Industrial Drive.
The south area includes approximately 294 acres south of Route 100, west of Highway A and east of Pottery Road. The area includes 60-plus homes with most of those in the Meadowlake Farms subdivision.
The east annexation area includes a stretch of South Point Road and the properties along the west side of the road. It encompasses approximately 35 acres.