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Friday, April 19
The Indiana Daily Student

politics

City council expresses favor of considering annexation

Region Filler

The Bloomington Common Council said it was in favor of approving resolutions for each of the proposed seven districts for annexation at its meeting Wednesday.

The meeting was the the second in the series of meetings for the year for the annexation process.

Each of the seven areas that were proposed for annexation last Friday by Mayor John Hamilton were considered individually at Wednesday’s meeting.

The nearly 10,000 acres considered for annexation are on each side of city limits with some inside of current city limits. If adopted, the additional 15,000 people would bring the official population of Bloomington to roughly 100,000.

“These seven areas proposed for annexation have been considered for decades,” Philippa Guthrie, corporation counsel for the city, said.

Currently, the council is only considering the annexation areas under resolutions. Resolutions are legislative expressions of whether or not the council approves to consider something later. If the resolution passes, the council would be expressing its support for considering 
annexation.

Prior to considering whether or not to pass the resolutions at a later meeting, council members expressed their concerns about taxes, sewer, fire services and electricity to city executives regarding the seven proposed areas for annexation at their committee of the whole session 
Wednesday.

Jeffery Underwood, city controller, said tax levies would not decrease. Monroe County, however, will see a slight decrease in its $3 million annual budget, Eric Reedy of Reedy Financial Group said.

Monroe County will not see a decrease in its budget because of property taxes, Underwood said, because its levy will stay the same. Services transferred as city responsibility would include law enforcement and road maintenance.

People annexed will not have to connect to city water if they already have septic systems, Underwood said.

A bill was proposed last month in the Indiana Senate last month that would require counties to accept or deny town annexations.

If passed, it would take effect June 30. The expected timeline of passing the annexation would end with the city council approving annexation by June 28.

Council member Stephen Volan asked why three of the seven districts considered for annexation were considered separate areas though they are adjacent.

Districts one and two, which surround the current west, south and some of the east sides, are currently part of separate fire districts.

Each will have a fire station built or upgraded. The third section was considered to be an area with different interests from the areas next to it.

Currently, township fire departments are who respond to the annexation areas. Agreements between some of the districts and their fire departments is partially why the annexation, if passed, will not take affect until 2020.

Areas proposed for annexation were considered by the mayor’s office to be urbanized.

Council member Allison Chopra asked why certain area’s boundaries — namely on the east side of the current — were placed where they were. Guthrie said it was based on what areas were considered urbanized and not.

Chopra then asked whether or not people who currently live outside city limits that have farm animals not allowed in town would be grandfathered in. Guthrie said that issue and similar ordinances to enforce onto the annexation areas are being worked 
out.

More than eight miles of the I-69 expansion will run through two of the proposed annexation areas. Underwood said the “image of Bloomington and Monroe County people have in their mind” is worth preserving after the expansion.

“The whole idea is — whether­ people are coming to Bloomington or not — that they would be able to see Bloomington,” Underwood said.

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