residents tell council their worries about proposed annexation
By Jason A. Givens
October 19, 2006 | RICHMOND -- The City Council had
a public hearing Tuesday night to hear comments on the
possible annexation of about 200 acres owned by Gary
Gibbons and Robert Skabelund. Several citizens showed
up to voice concerns. Mayor Mike Hall said more people
were there than had been in a long time.
"I don't know what's going to happen with the land,
I don't think anybody does," Jerry Woodland, a neighbor
to the proposed annexation, said. "If they knew what
was going to happen, I wouldn't have an objection to
City Judge Beth Skidmore, speaking as a citizen and
not a judge, said, "It will be homes, let's face it
that's what it will be." She added it will increase
expenses for the city and you can't just keep adding
homes without adding businesses that will generate revenue
for the city.
"It's a chicken-and-egg situation," Hall said. He
said the city's population is too small to attract a
lot of businesses.
City Manager Marlowe Adkins said the annexation ordinance
says infrastructure costs will be covered by the developer,
not the city.
Another resident who lives near the proposed annexation,
Steve Christensen, expressed concern about traffic and
water. He said the road is already dangerous and he
is not sure how development of the land will affect
his well. He added it is "prime pheasant hunting land
and it will be sad to see it go."
Hall said the city bought some additional water shares
and they have sufficient water. He said he doesn't think
the well will be an issue. If the land is developed,
it will not be on a well system.
"Just because the land is annexed doesn't mean it
will automatically be developed," Hall said. The land
will come in as A-10 (one residence per 10 acres) and
they would have to go to Planning and Zoning and the
council before it can be changed.
A motion to pursue annexation will be made at a future
The council almost voted on moving the implementation
of a voluntary recycling program from July 2007 to November
2006. Since it was not on the agenda they could not
vote on it.
"I'm uncomfortable putting this extra charge on the
citizens without giving warning that we are moving the
timetable from July to November," Councilwoman Terrie
The recycling issue will be placed on November's agenda
to give the public an opportunity to comment.
The council also approved a winter parking ordinance
that prohibits parking on the street between 10 p.m.
and 7 a.m., Nov. 1 through March 31. The ordinance passed
3 - 1. Wierenga said she thinks 10 p.m. is too early,
and voted against it.
The new ordinance will not be enforced until it has
been put out to the the public.