Give Crab Orchard a chance to grow

March 16, 2004

Dear Editor:

Since the reading of the Intent to Annex Ordinance, the comments I've heard show that there is a lot of confusion, misunderstanding and misrepresentation floating around. I would like to take this opportunity to clear the air about the proposed annexation and to explain why and the reasoning behind it.

The annex area was decided on after a long review by the city commissioners and myself. Planning for the future and being ready for it, that is what this annexation is all about - future growth.

First, the William Whitley Road area. Already, there are many homes and no doubt, more to come. As many already know, the Lair family was initially turned down by Planning and Zoning on the proposed 25-home residential development on William Whitley Road. The underlying reason? Lack of sanitary sewers. Can you imagine 25 homes, each with their own lagoon in their back yard? Not a very desirable idea. They are costly, a mosquito trap and no doubt take away from the property value. City sewage will increase property values and make it less costly to develop. It also will insure that sewage will not seep into the lake from any development, protecting this, our most valuable resource.


Concerning the area that will be affected by the new U.S.150, the intersections of old and new U.S. 150, west and east, and the intersection of Elm Street and U.S. 150, all have the potential of becoming valuable commercial property. Look at any bypass. With city water, sewer and fire hydrants in place, it will increase property values all along the new U.S. 150, which will be inviting to future businesses, homes, campgrounds, etc. Whatever comes, we'll be ready for it.

The area's trash collection rates will be cut nearly in half. That alone will just about pay city taxes for the average household. Street lights, police patrols, lower fire rates, all are a plus for annexation.

Crab Orchard has been at a virtual standstill for well over 100 years. We are working very hard to help a factory locate here - 200 jobs in the first two years with an owner committed to giving back to the city for community development. We're working for a new and larger water line to Lancaster to insure an ample water supply for the future and working to have the theater and the first black church restored, for ourselves and tourists. With the growth we are about to see, we must be ready for it, and as a result of this growth become a self-sustaining city, able to furnish all the city services due its citizens. Please think long and hard before you make up your minds about the annexation. Please give Crab Orchard and the proposed area a chance for the future. It's a win-win situation that helps to insure a bright future for everyone.

Mike Ramey, mayor

City of Crab Orchard


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