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Area residents express their concerns

RANDOLPH — Randolph City Council members met July 8 with at least half a dozen citizens attending the meeting to express their disapproval of the plan to annex properties west of Randolph.

Individuals were asked to indicate by a show of hands who was against the annexation plan. It appeared that all citizens affected by the annexation attending the meeting raised their hands.

The Council will make a decision on the issue at the August meeting.

City manager Ben Benton put together a sheet of pros and cons regarding the annexation.

According to Benton, annexation is the process by which a city adds land to its jurisdiction in order to extend its services, laws, voting privileges and better meet the needs of those residents living in the annexed area.

“Properties are located in the natural path of growth for Randolph. Bringing your property inside the city limits allows for simplified boundaries, better planning and development and makes it easier to provide services in an efficient, affordable manner,’’ Benton said. “Whether a neighborhood is technically part of the City of Randolph, or sits just outside the city limits, we are all part of the same community. That sense of community is one of our area’s strongest assets. Annexation is really nothing more than the official joining together of what in reality is already connected.’’

Property owner pro details included:

- Availability of all the services provided by the city including street maintenance, lighting, snow removal, health protections such as insect spraying and free access to parks and recreation; and future expansion of water and sewer.

- Equally important, since annexation provides more services, property values increase when annexed to the city. This means that properties will be most likely more marketable.

Property owner con details included:

-Taxes will no doubt increase.

-You would be subject to more restrictive local ordinances, regulations and licensing requirements.

Originally the City Council planned to attempt to annex 274 acres which would bring $12,705 annual income for the city.

Another option would allot the city $6,000 annually approximately if the dry acreage within the annex area considered was excluded from the plan. This would mean cutting back to a third of the amount of acres originally considered.

“If anyone lives within a mile of the city limits, they are already restricted by ordinances, regulations and licensing requirements,’’ said Keelan Holloway, city attorney. “We are sensitive to the overall cost to property owners. The properties to be annexed are bordering the City of Randolph. We couldn’t pick out pieces of property without connectivity. The owners will not have to pay for a survey.”

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