Mayor discusses annexation issue

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By The Staff

Several council members and I have been visiting with residents in the proposed annexation area this past week. Several good questions have been asked by the residents and I thought it may be useful to those who will be voting on this issue to know the questions and answers prior to the election:

Will the school district change?

No, the city and county school districts have nothing to do with the city limits.

When will the sewer be installed?

We will immediately begin to work on the project. The properties with the greatest need for the sewer will be engineered first. We anticipate a start date in 2008, but it may be 2009 before we can start on the project.

What will the cost be to each property owner?

The $500 tap-on fee will be paid for with grant funds if the customer hooks onto the sewer within 18 months after the sewer is installed. There will be a $35 fee required by the health department and the cost for a plumber to lay the sewer line into the house. We are planning to work with local plumbers to adopt a payment plan to help those who need assistance.

There will be an immediate reduction on the water bill. There will be a substantial savings on the water bill until the sewer is installed, which could be up to 10 years, and when the sewer is installed the cost of water and sewer combination will be a slightly decrease over the county water rates. Example: County rate $39.46 for 5,000 gallons water only. City rate $17.68 for 5,000 gallons. Saving $21.78 x 12 = $261.36 per year. If you wait for the maximum 10-year time limit to connect to the sewer, the savings would be about $2,613.

Will senior citizens and disabled individuals receive discounts for garbage collection and for ad valorem taxes?

Yes. There is already a discount in place for the same tax rate discount, which is given in the county. The City Council will be working on an ordinance that will allow a discount on garbage collection for citizens who are age 65 and older or show proof of disability. The garbage bill is added to the monthly water bill instead of being assessed quarterly by Waste Management. The garbage will be picked up weekly by the city sanitation department.

Will there be street lights and sidewalks?

Yes. These are both projects that cannot be done immediately but will be done in the future. I cannot say there will be sidewalks on every street but our goal is to build sidewalks where they are most needed.

Will residents with agricultural uses on their property be allowed to continue those agricultural uses?

Yes. The City already has an agricultural/residential zone. We will check the acreage and usage of each property prior to zoning to insure they are zoned properly to cover those with the need to be zoned agricultural.

Brenda Allen, Mayor