The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

November 11, 2012

It's time to annex I-69 land

WASHINGTON — Washington’s City Council faces one of its biggest decisions in recent years, as council members on  Tuesday will decide whether or not to approve annexation of 1,234 acres on the city’s east side.

If approved, the annexation would become effective mid- to late February.

Several property owners in the proposed annexation area, as expected, are opposed.

While we understand their frustration with having property in what they believed to be “the country,” only to have it claimed by the city, the Times Herald also believes the city’s prime reasons for annexation are valid and worthy.

The long-anticipated Nov. 19 opening of Interstate 69 east of Washington will no doubt bring economic growth and development. If the city intends to influence the growth in this area, capture the anticipated new tax base from development along the corridor, and provide infrastructure and services to developers looking to build near the superhighway, then annexation is a must.

The infrastructure updates may be costly, but the newly-captured tax base will help foot the bill. Sewer lines, paved streets, street lights, police and fire protection, snow removal and garbage collection, are all necessary as we look for long-term controlled growth that will be fed from the interstate’s existence.

We believe in the forethought of Mayor Joe Wellman and his desire to be fiscally responsible, yet pro-active in potential development for our community. Every property taxpayer will reap the rewards of a better, well-planned growth on the east side. The time for annexation is now.

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