Pharos-Tribune

Local News

April 5, 2013

Residents planning protest of annexation

More than 50 gather to sign petition, discuss options

Residents in Washington Township are preparing to fight Logansport’s annexation plans as the city gets ready for future meetings and votes on the matter.

The proposed areas to be annexed include about 500 parcels of land and about 100 houses to the south of the city. The border between Clinton and Washington Townships would serve as the western boundary of the annexation, going south to 400 South, then east to 50 East. The boundary would then go north to 300 South, boxing in the Logansport Municipal Airport and industrial park, then span east to 325 East before squaring back off at the city.

The annexation would exclude the land containing the homes between Stoney Pike Road and South River Road because the area provides little development opportunities and would require expensive utility installations to existing homes, according to Mayor Ted Franklin and consultants hired to assist with the project.

Franklin said the motivation behind the annexation is to include part of the Hoosier Heartland Highway within the city in an effort to attract developers and increase economic development.

Indiana Code states opponents must present objections from 65 percent of the affected landowners to delay a proposed annexation. As there are about 300 landowners in the proposed annexation area, their petition would have to include about 200 names.

More than 50 residents living in the proposed annexation area gathered at Fire Station 2 in Washington Township Wednesday to start a petition, discuss legal options and strategize how to spread the word.

At a previous meeting, a group of Washington Township residents was nominated to lead the effort. Terri Ayers is one of the members serving on this committee.

“We’re a group of neighbors trying to figure out how we feel about this and how to move forward,” Ayers said. “It will become more official as we go.”

Doug Weaver, a resident in the proposed annexation area, signed the remonstrance Monday. He called the city’s actions an infringement on his and his neighbors’ rights.

“We made the decision not to live in the city and now this is being thrust on people who have no chance to vote on it,” Weaver said.

At the meeting, residents discussed whether they wanted to hire a local attorney or go solicit someone with experience in handling annexations. Although a lawyer from another city would likely cost more, residents said they would like to research the matter further so as to make the best case for their cause.

Indiana state law requires Logansport City Council to hold three votes and a public hearing on the annexation measure. Last month at its first reading, city council voted in favor of annexing the proposed areas. The public hearing has been scheduled for May 20 and the final vote on the matter is scheduled for June 24.

Mike Shaver, president of Wabash Scientific, Inc., was hired by the city to consult on the project.

While a financial report prepared by Seymour-based Reedy Financial Group PC projected 2013 property tax collections in the proposed annexation areas to total $426,092, Shaver said he did not yet know what the impact would be on a property-by-property basis until he knows how the area will be zoned. He said he will be working with Logansport-Cass County Planning Director Arin Shaver to determine these details soon.

“I would expect there are some people whose taxes are going to go up,” Shaver said.

One factor that will have an impact on how the proposed annexation area could be zoned, which would in turn affect how it would be taxed, is a recently changed state law that currently prohibits the city from allowing agricultural landowners in an annexed area a 10-year property tax exemption. Mayor Ted Franklin and consultants assisting with the annexation project said they are working with Sen. Randy Head and Rep. Bill Friend to get the law changed back to allow for the exemption.

Should the law be changed back and should the Logansport-Cass County Planning Department decide to zone any of the annexed areas as agricultural, those landowners would be eligible for the 10-year exemption.

Lisa Hanson, a Washington Township resident who is also serving on the unofficial committee nominated to lead the opposition effort, said at the meeting that this tax abatement would only be applicable to Washington Township residents who currently own agricultural property. If they were to sell if and when the annexation goes through, Hanson said, it would be considered city property and the abatement would not apply to the new owner.

Along with working out the language in the state law regarding tax exemptions for annexed areas, Franklin said he is also working to remove the 25 percent outside-city utility surcharges for customers in the annexation area and reducing the cost of trash collection.

Many Washington Township residents at the meeting Wednesday dismissed Franklin’s proposed benefit of reducing trash collection fees, saying they burn their trash and aren’t paying fees anyway.

Mike Shaver has also said at public city meetings that residents in the proposed annexation areas who aren’t currently connected to the city’s utilities to do so,  nor is it required for the city to extend utilities throughout the entire annexation areas at once.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042014 Monk String-MAK Local Lao-Thai celebration brings 'new year, new life' Five Buddhist monks sat cross-legged on the stage of the Cass County Memorial Home Saturday morning, draped in orange robes, their hair cropped close to their heads. Those in attendance sat and knelt on rugs before them, many wearing sashes over thei

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Hospital CEO calls for growth Logansport Memorial Hospital's president and CEO said the facility will continue with its goals for growth in his State of the Hospital address Friday. Among the hospital's goals for 2013 were to preserve existing net revenues and resources, achieve

    April 20, 2014

  • NWS-PT042014 ballistics vest.jpg Protective investment: Family donates dog's bulletproof vest A local family recently donated a bulletproof vest to protect the Cass County Sheriff's Department's new canine, Kurby. Dr. Gerhardt Winkel III, his wife Stephanie and their children Elizabeth and Benjamin donated the vest because Kurby is a Belgian

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT042014 miami co crash.jpg Two injured in Miami County crash PERU -- Two people were injured Thursday afternoon in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. 24 and Ind. 19. According to a preliminary crash investigation by Indiana State Police, Rachael Pegg, 23, Mexico, was driving a 2002 Oldsmobile Intr

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT042014 smith retirement.jpg Pastor retiring after 36 years After 36 years at Logansport First Church of the Nazarene, the Rev. Dr. Horace Smith thinks it's time to call it quits. Smith is preaching his last sermon next Sunday as the church's pastor. He and wife Linda Smith plan to remain in Logansport, which

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police blotter: April 19, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 19, 2014

  • UPDATED: Logansport HS teacher arrested on child seduction charge

    A Logansport High School teacher was arrested Thursday on a charge of child seduction.

    April 18, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 18, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 18, 2014

  • NWS-PT041814 LC50 cords.jpg 50 years later WALTON -- Dean "D.A." Zehring graduated from the current Lewis Cass High School, but he never attended classes there. It's one of the unique characteristics of the graduating class of 1968, the first class to complete all four years of high school un

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Caston considers Logan bus stop FULTON -- Caston Schools administrators are considering establishing a bus stop a few miles outside its boundaries on the north side of Logansport. The school board recently discussed the feasibility of adding a bus stop for students transferring fro

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition