Harrodsburg begins study for annexation project

October 01, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - The committee appointed to study annexation of property around the city began to set a strategy at a meeting Tuesday night.

The property looked at and discussed starts with U.S. 127 both north and south of the city, especially businesses. City Administrative Officer Ed Music said land to be annexed must be contiguous to property already part of the city.

Music said he had worked on several annexations, both difficult and easy, and if the city is sued over an annexation plan and the city loses in court, it will have to wait another five years before the issue can be raised again.

Bill Randolph, who was appointed chairman of the committee, said the city has no plan for annexation and without more property being added to the city, it cannot grow. "If we're going to do it, we need to do it correctly," he said. He suggested the city hire a consultant to work on the plan.


Music repeated that the process is not easy or simple. The committee appeared to agree with the plan he described for property to be added to the city.

Starting at the south end of town, the property between the city and the southern intersection with the bypass would be included. Heading west, the property behind Kroger and Wal-Mart and around that side of town using Salt River or a tributary as a boundary would be annexed.

Continuing north, the Anderson-Dean Community Park would be annexed and around the east side as far out as the inner loop of the bypass would be added to the city. Part of the preparation for a plan is to find out the sentiment of the people who live in the areas to be annexed.

If a petition is taken and enough signatures are gathered to put the issue on the ballot, only registered voters who live in the area to be annexed can vote on the referendum.

Randolph gave an example: A person who owns several apartments but does not live there cannot vote on annexation. Music said only registered voters can cast a ballot on the issue. Music said the next move would be to gather data about the proposed annexation area.

That information would include the average cost of homes in the area and the cost of city services will be used to put together a comprehensive plan of annexation.

Residents in some areas that have water or sewer service have signed waivers stating they would not object to the city's annexing their property. Music said the sentiments of the residents concerning annexation needs to be known.

"You don't want to go somewhere if you don't know what the voters will do," Music said.

Most important action is to educate the public

Harrodsburg Mayor Lonnie Campbell said the most important action the committee can take is to educate the public. Several statements about annexation in general included:

* Fire insurance rates would be lowered because the city's hired fire department would be responsible for fire protection.

* The city's property tax is one of the lowest in the area and the cost of that tax would be offset by the drop in fire insurance premiums.

* Annexation does not change the school district the property is in.

* Annexation does not mean residents will get city water and sewer service.

* Annexation likely will raise the value of the property.

Music said a comprehensive annexation plan is a priority issue, but it takes a back seat to the work being done on the water and sewer systems. "It will take a while," he said. "I'd be perfectly happy to return here in a year with a comprehensive plan," he said.

The committee met infrequently during the four years Carol Dean Walters was mayor. Robbie Adkinson wants the committee to meet once a month or once each six weeks to get information on how the process is going.

Ann R. Harney can be reached at

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