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City studies annexation plan
Mayor: Additions would help market Madison
Saturday, April 05, 2014 5:00 AM
Madison city officials are exploring annexing four areas into the city limits, a procedure that could begin as early as June.
The four areas are to the west, east, northeast and northwest of existing city limits.
The annexation process is still in its very early stages, and some - if not all - of the proposal could change.
Part of the reason for the proposed annexation has to do with a "fairness factor," Mayor Damon Welch said.
All of the areas in question use city water lines, while most have sewer lines.
Mostly, it's another economic development initiative to increase the city's marketability to outside developers, Welch said.
Because many of the areas already have water and sewer lines, it makes sense to bring them into one municipality to try to attract businesses, the mayor said.
"It's going to be more marketable if we can include some city resources," he said.
City officials wanted to present the annexation plans at the second City Council meeting in March because at that time two pending bills at the Statehouse that appeared close to passing would have changed annexation laws, possibly derailing the city's plan.
The proposed legislation would have placed a one-year moratorium on all involuntary annexations that were not introduced by April 1. There was also consideration that the state would do away with all involuntary annexations.
One bill deadlocked in the Senate, 24-24, while the House bill was not addressed. The lack of action at the state level removed the urgency to get the proposal introduced.
But the mayor said he believes support still exists for the state's changes in annexation, which is why he hopes to move forward with the proposal before it's taken up again by the General Assembly.
The failure of the passage of those two bills has bought the city more time to study the annexation process. City officials said they will develop a fiscal plan to determine details of how the annexation will affect individual entities and the city.
"In the long run, the numbers may not work out for us," Welch said, emphasisizing that the project is still in the study stages.
The goal is a June introduction of the proposal, with completion before the end of the year. The latest the mayor hopes to finish is March 1, 2015.
The proposed annexations are divided into four areas, listed on city maps as A-D.
Section A would extend State Road 56 west to Clifty Drive and put all properties belonging to Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp. into city limits.
Section B follows State Road 62 from the intersection at U.S. 421 up to Olive Branch Road. The proposed annexation also follows U.S. 421 north to Dawson Smith Road. This would include King's Daughters' Hospital, Madison Precision Products and Century Tube.
This annexation would also extend the eastern border of the city to U.S. 421, simply because it would be an easier marker for the edge of the city than arbitrary lines along the edges of properties, Welch said.
Section C would extend west along Dawson Smith Road to State Road 7, including the Meadows subdivision. Everything east of State Road 7 south of Dawson Smith Road would be included in the annexation.
Annexation area D would extend the eastern border of downtown to Fulton Street. It would also include the Indian Cave subdivision on top of Telegraph Hill, and all properties on Telegraph Hill Road up to Indian Cave Road.
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 revenues. The total population increase would be about 365 people.
The priority for the city, according to mayoral aide Bob Cooke, is Area B, which he referred to as the Hospital Corridor.
"When the hospital put in their facility, that changed the whole dynamic of that area," Cooke said.
City officials believe additional development will continue to occur in that area, most of which is zoned heavy industry.
"We started out knowing there was one place that was necessary for the future of our city," Cooke said.
Annexation area C came into discussion because the city has already spent money on improvements to Hutchinson Lane, as well as already providing water and sewer lines to the Meadows subdivision.
Area D already has a city water line. Additional sewer lines would likely have to be added, Cooke said.
Welch plans to have these proposals introduced by June. All four proposed annexation areas would have to be introduced as separate ordinances and would require separate fiscal plans. At a minimum, it would take six months for an ordinance to be passed.
But there's still more research that needs to be done. Welch said they are continuing to take a deeper look at financial aspects, but also other factors that would come with annexation, including an increase in the areas police have to patrol and the fire departments would have to respond to.
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