The Washington City Council, at its Monday meeting, voted six to one in favor of annexing 1,234 acres east of the city to support and control orderly, long-term growth there and capture the tax base from development along the I-69 corridor.
Councilman Blake Chambers cast the lone “no” vote. Chambers declined comment on his vote after the meeting, saying, “I have my reasons, obviously. Since there may be a remonstrance, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment at this time.”
An annexation ordinance was introduced and fiscal plan approved July 23, effected property owners notified, and a public hearing held Oct. 8.
Many of those property owners have been opposed to the annexation and made their thoughts known at the public hearing.
Some concerns voiced by the impacted residents included loss of privacy, encroachment on their properties and higher taxes. According to one of the property owners, it’s unknown if they’ll remonstrate. He also declined comment.
Mayor Joe Wellman contends the benefits outweigh any costs or inconveniences to the annexed residents.
Some of those benefits are lower electricity rates and homeowners insurance, full-time police and fire protection, garbage collection, road maintenance, improved sewer and water lines, as well as paved streets and streetlights if the residents so choose.
As for the increased tax rate, Wellman explained that growth in the area will increase the city’s tax base, which will benefit property owners. In addition, it was explained at the public hearing that tax caps limit how much taxes can increase.
Wellman said the annexation could become effective in mid- to late February. However, before any steps can be taken to move forward with it, there is a 90-day remonstrance period during which the property owners may band together and file a lawsuit to stop the annexation.
Prior to the vote, an amendment to the annexation ordinance was approved that removed farm- and woodlands in the southeast corner of the original proposed area. Wellman explained the ground is not accessible by road and could not be developed. The remaining 1,234 acres includes all commercially zoned properties and the U.S. 50 and I-69 corridors.
Also before the roll-call vote was taken, Councilman Joe Fleck questioned whether utility rates would be raised to pay for infrastructure upgrades in the annexed area. David Dahl of Midwestern Engineers said nothing major is needed currently, and development will pay for any long-term requirements.
“At this point, as David said, the growth will pay for it,” Wellman emphasized.
“We need the water anyway (for fire protection for existing businesses). We have to add that whether we annex or not. We’re 90 percent sure annexation won’t raise (utility) rates.”
Councilman Eric Bassler said he’s been vocal about the city being unprepared for I-69. He said he believed not approving the annexation would only add to that.
- Local News
- Colts' 'monster' now preparing to 'hunt' ANDERSON — There’s a different kind of buzz surrounding the Indianapolis Colts as they prepare to report for training camp today at Anderson University.Expectations have been high inside the locker room since Chuck Pagano arrived in January 2012 and
- Police Reports CITY REPORTS Tuesday 12:30 a.m. - Police were called to investigate the theft of a cell phone at 703 SW Fifth St. 4:14 a.m. - A resident reported someone got into a vehicle at 501 Lincoln St. ransacked it and left the front passenger door open. The o
- Band season starts with music camp While a lot of high school students are finishing up the summer break, the members of the Washington High School Golden Pride Band are back in class and getting ready for the fall, by taking part in music camp. "We're excited," said Washington High S
- B-R teachers union sue Madison, Board Members of the Barr-Reeve Classroom Teachers Association have filed charges of unfair labor practice (ULP) against Superintendent Travis Madison and the three elected members of the school board; Joe Cummings, Galen Graber and Scott Lottes. The docum
- Field day to educate livestock producers WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University-sponsored Indiana Beef Integrated Resource Management program will hold a field day to showcase the benefits of bringing water to livestock grazing paddocks.The field day will run 2-6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the M
- North Daviess School Board approves handbook revisions North Daviess Superintendent Robert Bell updated members of the school board Monday night about progress on the corporation buildings. Several projects have been taking place at the elementary and junior high/high school buildings over the summer. Be
- Accident claims life of Camp Illiana director A late Monday morning accident killed the director of Camp Illiana. The Daviess County Sheriff's Department reports that around 10:44 a.m. emergency crews were summoned the Camp Illiana, 727 E. 450 S. in southern Daviess County where David Ira-Mitch
- Tuesday's police report CITY REPORT Monday 6:51 a.m. – Chad Burrus, 10 W. Van Trees St., reported the theft of an iPod from his vehicle the night before. A report was made. 1:58 a.m. – A female caller reported an accident on Southeast Seventh Street. A car hit another park
- James Mulkey OTWELL — James Keith Mulkey, 76, died at 4:30 a.m. Monday at his residence. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. John's Lutheran Church, Otwell, with Pastor Catherine Gallager officiating. Burial will be in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery. Vis
- Calling all community leaders Purdue Extension and Daviess County Extension are joining forces to bring Leadership Daviess County to the area beginning in September. The Community Leadership Program will consist of 44 hours of interactive educational opportunities to help individ
- More Local News Headlines