County Council asks to partner with city on annexation study
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:00 AM
The Jefferson County Council said Tuesday it hopes to partner with the city of Madison on a financial impact and feasibility study for a proposed annexation project that would bring multiple county areas into city limits.
The county began studying the effects of annexation after Mayor Damon Welch released a preliminary report that focused on absorbing four county areas into city limits. Those areas would include all properties belonging to Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp, King's Daughters' Hospital, Madison Precision Products, Century Tube, Meadows subdivision and Indian Cave subdivision.
According to a report prepared for the city by the Reedy Financial Group, annexing all four properties would only add between $40,000 and $80,000 in additional revenue.
While the city has released only a preliminary plan, the County Council said it wants to know more about the impact annexation would have on its property tax and economic development income tax revenues. Earlier this month, the Board of Commissioners had requested a study by H.J. Umbaugh, which would have cost about $5,750, but the County Council has now tabled that request and opted for a new direction.
City officials said after unveiling the preliminary plan they will develop a fiscal plan to determine details of how the annexation will affect individual entities and the city. The County Council said it wants to be included in that process as part of a joint city-county impact study.
"It would be good to know the final cost, whether the city does it or the county does it," Council member Joe Craig said of the study.
Council member Larry Wynn said he is hesitant of having one study from the city's vantage point and another from the county's vantage point.
"If we have two different studies, I only see it becoming a tug-of-war," he said.
County attorney Wil Goering said he plans to approach the city about crafting the joint study.
Also at the meeting, Assessor Tina Gleeson presented a plan to change software providers for the assessor's office.
The proposal is to switch from provider Manatron to Xsoft. The current system requires sale disclosures to be entered twice because the company uses two different systems. Xsoft uses only one system and would cut down on data entry, Gleeson said.
"It's kind of like comparing a typewriter to an iPad," she said.
While the change would not occur until next year, Gleeson asked the County Council to approve a funding formula for the switch.
The new software would cost about $142,000 over the next four years with an additional $23,000 in maintenance - which is about $4,000 less expensive than Manatron. The $142,000 would go toward licensing seven computer systems. Because of state mandates and changes with parcel entry, the software is consistently updated.
"Overall it's going to save us money annually and it updates us in technology," Gleeson said.
The council debated if they needed to license all seven of the assessor's work stations given the decrease in data entry the new software would create. The board ultimately agreed to table approving any funding formula for the possible change because it wanted to hear from other county offices that have considered changing software providers.