Mayor announces annexation plan for Elkhart - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Mayor announces annexation plan for Elkhart

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Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore announced a new plan to annex several areas just outside the city Wednesday.  They're areas that have been battling high sewer fees for months.

ProAir President Dennis Mitchell said, "I think it's an excellent idea."

Mitchell is the President of ProAir.  It's located on County Road 6 just north of the Elkhart Municipal Airport and is in an area that will now be annexed by Elkhart City.  "We're very happy, very excited to have this put behind us and see closure into this.  We've been battling this now for the last 10 months."

The battle you'll remember we've told you about before, high sewer compact fees.  A couple months ago Mayor Dick Moore vetoed a proposal that would have lowered those fees and council said State Law Prohibits them from talking about similar proposals in the same year so the issue was tabled.

Now, the Mayor has a plan to annex four areas just outside of City limits.  The areas are as follows:

Area 1 is the area north of the Airport and west of CR 5.  Area 2 is north and south of CR 6 east of Decio Drive and west of Elkhart E Blvd.  Area 3 is land surrounding CR 17 south of Middlebury St. and north of U.S. 20.  Area 4 is Borg Rd, Pierina Dr, and Fall Creek Wy east of Johnson St.

Mayor Moore said this will generate $1,500,000 in property tax revenue for the City.

Elkhart City Councilman David Henke said, "Revenue is coming for the city of Elkhart...revenue that actually eclipses what compact brings in itself."

Henke said the Mayor's new plan is good for businesses and good for the City.  "To survive as a city you must annex, you must grow in purposeful areas. "  But he does have some concerns.  "Don't pick and chose certain properties, take everyone that has signed certain sewer agreements."

Still, he says the plan should get through council without too many problems.

And Mitchell is happy this will finally let his company move forward with expansion plans.  He wants to build a 50 thousand square foot warehouse behind his current building and bring in at least 30 more jobs.  "This has been holding us up now for sometime so now we can finally finalize this and get going on our building plans," said Mitchell.

This plan takes away a lot of the unknown for businesses.  Henke said most of them are happy about annexation because now they'll have fixed property taxes and know how much they are paying every year.

The annexation plan does not get rid of the sewer compact fee battle though.  Because not everyone is being annexed.  Henke said the Mayor has only chosen certain areas, also there are some places that Henke said can't be annexed because they aren't right next to city limits.  So the battle continues just with less people.

 

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