HENDERSON, Ky. – Before the Henderson City Commission approved the first reading of an ordinance to incorporate the Bent Creek Subdivision into the city, a neighborhood resident raised questions and concerns about the annexation and proposed sports complex being built over Airline Road to the commission.
Dwight Williams, who lives on Blue Heron Lane in Bent Creek, spoke on Tuesday afternoon on behalf of approximately 70 homeowners in the Bent Creek subdivision who opposed the annexation.
From a legal point of view, there is little that owners can do to combat annexation.
“The developers, first the Klaffers and then the Dixons, approached the city and asked the city to extend their sewer lines to the Bent Creek subdivision. In order to receive this extension, the developer had to implement a restriction so as not to reject any future annexation, ”said Eric Shappell, lawyer for Henderson Water Utility. “In order for them to offer city services outside of the city, this is something the city needs. The document itself is fairly clear, and likewise, once this restriction has been implemented, the law applies not only to the then owners (the developers), but also to anyone who later owns that property. “
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Williams mainly focused on the proposed youth sports complex. The city has purchased this property on Airline Road, which extends to Aububon Parkway, for future development. The previous owner agreed to annex this property, which allowed the city to promote the annexation of Bent Creek.
“We understand that there is nothing (in terms of annexation) that we can legally speak out against,” Williams said. “The petition I sent you contains over 70 names of homeowners who oppose annexation and are really involved with the sports complex.”
Williams expressed concern about light pollution, rainwater runoff, traffic and noise.
“It’s a rural atmosphere. When you turn on those lights it will be like you have a town across the street, ”Williams said. “What about the noise? This is a peaceful area. I think it will hit the neighbors at night. “
City Administrator Buzzy Newman responded to concerns about the sports complex. “We’re going to hire an engineering firm to design the entire site,” he said. “You need to do a hydrological review of the drainage. We will be asking our Evansville traffic planning organization to conduct a traffic study at the entrance to the sports complex. You will be considering traffic outside of this property, which would include Bent Creek. “
Williams also mentioned that the annexation would have a negative impact on the Zion Volunteer Fire Department, which currently service the Bent Creek subdivision, but would lose about $ 4,000 in fees annually.
He also asked what benefits the annexation would have for the residents of Bent Creek. “Most of us have spoken to our insurance companies. We’d see an insurance reduction of $ 50 to $ 100 a year compared to thousands of dollars worth of taxes, “he said.
Commissioner Brad Staton offered a list of financial and other benefits to becoming a city dweller.
- Decline in Water Bills: City residents pay $ 9.59 less per 1,000 gallons of water than county’s customers.
“A typical family of four without a pool uses an average of 10,000 gallons per month. That’s a savings of $ 95.90 per month. On an annual basis that’s $ 1,150.80 for a typical family of four, ”said Staton.
- Eliminates the $ 55 annual volunteer fire department fee.
- Average home insurance savings of $ 100 per year
- Less expensive plumbing: “Chances are they could save $ 5 a month, so that’s $ 60 a year.”
“The total savings would be 1,365.80. The city’s property tax bills are $ 490 per $ 100,000 of estimated value, ”Staton said. “The breakeven point for the typical family of four is $ 278,700. If your estimated value is below that, you should break even with the new property tax bill, or be a little better off, due to the annexation. “
Staton also mentioned other advantages as a city dweller, such as: B. Faster response times from the Henderson Fire Department, including the availability of HFD first responders, rather than waiting for an ambulance as the county residents do. “If you are within the city limits, the first aiders will be dropped off by the nearest fire department, which will shorten the waiting time considerably. You can’t bet a dollar number on it. That’s a very real benefit that could come into play for the residents out there, ”he said.
“You have the ability to vote in city elections and represent your community in city elections,” said Staton. “There are numerous intangible, non-financial advantages associated with the annexation. There is the one that is negative and that is the city’s additional property tax. “
Prosecutor Dawn Kelsey noted that if approved, the annexed properties would receive city services from January 2, 2021, but would receive them for almost a full year before taxes were levied on those properties, proposed by Staton in November has been. 10 Meetings to Reduce Financial Concerns for Bent Creek Residents During COVID-19 Pandemic.
The commission unanimously passed the first reading of the regulation authorizing the annexation of 63 properties in a section of Bent Creek. Kelsey said the annexation would be presented to the state in two stages to expedite the process. The first reading on the second phase of the annexation will take place in February.
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The commission will vote on the final approval of the first phase of the annexation at its next meeting on December 15th.
In other business areas the commission is:
- I heard a suggestion about the city creating a Small Business Continuity Grant program for qualified businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The formal decision to draw up the program will be examined at the next meeting on December 15th.
- I heard a presentation on the Henderson Water Utility Audit for Fiscal Year 2020.
- I heard a presentation on the city’s comprehensive annual financial report for the year ended June 30, 2020, as well as a report on receiving a Certificate of Excellence in the financial report for the previous fiscal year. The city recently received the Popular Annual Financial Reporting Award, which was awarded a Sweep (and a Triple Crown Medallion) by the Government Finance Officers Association.
- Approved an ambulance contract with the Henderson County government and Deaconess Hospital Inc.
- Approved a relief deed with International Paper allowing Canoe Creek Nature Trail to transition to IP properties.
- I heard a report recommending some changes in the Marking Regulation. The board agreed to send the drawing ordinance to the Henderson City-County Planning Commission for review.
- I heard a report from Newman on the possibility of a merger between Henderson Water Utility and Henderson Municipal Gas. The Board recommended that the pros and cons of the idea be discussed in detail in a future working meeting.
- Approved several directorships: Rosa Woods as Resident Commissioner of the Housing Authority; Dorin Luck and Glenn Stone to the Henderson City-County Airport Board; and Paul Bird and Dr. Gary Jennings to the Water & Sewer Commission.
- Presented a 20 year service award to Susanne Todd of Henderson Area Rapid Transit.
- Approved the first reading of a regulation changing the regular meeting time of the Committee of Commissioners to 3 p.m. until July 1, 2021.
The next meeting is a special meeting and working session that will be held on December 15th at 3pm.