To The Editor:
As a new resident in one of the proposed annexation areas, I have approached the annexation issue with an open mind. I have examined the plan of intent and have found several issues that concern me.
My cost/benefit analysis consistently shows that the benefits are heavily weighted in the city’s favor. The basic services (water, sewer, road maintenance, fire and police protection) to be provided by the city are, by the city’s own estimate, going to cost me more than I am paying now for those services without significant improvement in any area, with the possible exception of fire protection (if and when my area is eventually hooked up to city water).
Second, the majority of the initial costs of implementing the forced annexation plan will be borne by the residents of the annexation areas. Many of those costs are unknown (the cost of eminent domain proceeding if required, water hookup, sewer hookup, etc.).
Third, the city will likely collect several years of taxes without having to provide the major services for water, sewer (the city has three years to deliver) and road maintenance (the plan of intent indicates our roads should not need service for at least five years).
Fourth, the city anticipates that annexation will improve my property value. If that is true, I would expect that a “rising tide will lift all boats” and that the residents of the city should expect annexation to foster an improvement in their property values also. One thing I have learned about government is that with increases in property values inevitably comes increases in taxes for everyone!
Finally, I am concerned with the impact this is likely to have on residents on fixed incomes, all of whom planned their lives around the expectation that what they have is affordable and within their means. The increased cost of annexation to those residents could be devastating.
It is the responsibility of the city to develop a plan for the future that benefits all concerned. While I remain open to compelling arguments favoring annexation, the city still has a lot of work to do to make those arguments.