By Susan Redden
CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Carthage City Council on Tuesday advanced plans to annex a 31-acre subdivision that is surrounded by the city, but residents of the neighborhood told the council they would resist the proposal.
The council approved the annexation measure in regular session, after a public hearing in which city officials outlined plans for city services to the area. A number of residents spoke in opposition.
The hearing attracted about 30 residents from the South Wind Acres subdivision, which includes commercial and residential property in the area of West Fir Road and South Grand Avenue.
Nancy Troyer, 2857 S. Maple St., submitted a petition against the annexation that she and a neighbor circulated. She said it was signed by most of the residents.
Norman Rush, 2892 S. Maple St., said the annexation was proposed earlier and was rejected by residents. He cited water drainage problems in the area that he said were caused by development in Carthage. “We don’t want annexed, but we want the problem fixed,” he said.
One woman expressed concerns about how annexation would affect her fireworks business, since fireworks sales aren’t allowed in Carthage. A man said residents need more time to study the city’s plan of intent to provide services to the subdivision. The plan was distributed just before the hearing.
City Administrator Tom Short said the meeting marked the first presentation for those plans, and other meetings with residents would be scheduled. He said the city is working to follow a timeline leading to a Nov. 4 vote on the annexation proposal.
In his remarks before the hearing, Short noted that the area is totally surrounded by the city. He said officials believe the annexation is necessary to address issues including zoning and land use, health concerns involving sewage treatment, and safety concerns such as the lack of building and fire codes. He said residents would receive police and street maintenance services and still would be served by the Carthage Fire Department, but would no longer need to pay a tax as part of the fire district.
The residents would pay city taxes. The plan included a tax-rate comparison showing that taxes on homes would increase in the range of $50 to $110 per year.
Under state law, the council will have to adopt an annexation ordinance and obtain a declaratory judgment that the annexation is reasonable and necessary, and that the city can provide services to the area. The proposal will be approved in the election if it is endorsed by a simple majority by both city residents and those in the annexed area. If it is rejected in the annexed area, the measure can be resubmitted to voters; it would be approved if it is endorsed by two-thirds of the total vote.
In business during the regular meeting, the council:
n Advanced on first reading an ordinance calling for a Nov. 4 election on a proposal for a half-cent sales tax to be collected for 10 years to provide funding for economic-development purposes.
n Heard from Bob Copeland, executive of McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital, who reported on hospital operations and introduced Dr. Elizabeth Barlet, who will work in the hospital’s new obstetrics department.
The Carthage City Council on Tuesday approved several measures authorizing activities planned as part of the annual Marian Days celebration, which will bring thousands of Vietnamese Catholics to the city Aug. 7 through 10.
By Susan Redden