Annexation foes voice more concerns about plan<BR><BR>

Opponents ofannexation of the Butler area again made their objections and concerns noted Saturday at Kingman High School North during the last of five public meetings conducted by the Heritage Crossroads Steering Committee.

A total of 71 people signed in at the meeting.

Of those, 45 indicated they favor annexation, 17 said no, and nine are undecided.

An agenda distributed to attendees included commonly asked question about annexation and answers to those questions, charts and graphs of survey responses about annexation, and information rates about utility rates for those living inside the Kingman city limits and those living in the county.

The area under consideration to be annexed is north of Gordon Drive extending west along Stockton Hill Road and east past the Kingman Airport Industrial Park.

The northern edge of the area is one mile beyond Jagerson Avenue along the proposed Gracie Neal Boulevard.

Robin Gordon, chairwoman of the Heritage Crossroads Steering Committee and moderator of the meeting, Kevin Davidson, committee vice-chairman, and Mary Griffis, subcommittee member, fielded questions for about an hour after Gordon briefly explained the committee's purpose in the annexation movement, and Davidson and Griffis both made some comments.

One resident asked about the attitude of the city toward annexation, saying he had seen a newspaper story in which City Manager Lou Sorensen did not seem happy with the idea.

"The mayor has invited us to join the city," Gordon answered.

"Taking on annexation will double the size of the city, so you can imagine the workload just for planning and zoning is going to rise significantly," she said.

"Any purchases made in Kingman go toward the sales tax, so people outside the city who make those purchases are helping support the city but receiving no representation."

Gordon went on to say annexation would mean taxes and water costs (now almost double what city residents pay) would be lower, while police and fire response times should be faster.

Questions about installation of sewer lines that came up in previous meetings also were posed.

Gordon said the city would not dig up streets to put in sewer lines.

People wanting them must band together and form an improvement district, indicating in doing so they will pay for the service.

The county health department is the only agency with authority to tell a property owner he or she must get on a sewer line, Gordon said.

That only happens if the owner's septic tanks fails and he or she lives within 500 feet of an existing sewer line, so it makes no difference whether one lives in the city or county, she said.

One man asked if the annexation movement is voted down by Butler residents will the steering committee continue to "finagle" until it gets its way.

"Once we determine the area to be annexed and file the necessary paperwork with the state, we have one year to collect the required signatures," Gordon said.

"We must get 51 percent of the property owners and 51 percent of the assessed valuation on those petitions or the movement fails.

"If we're not successful and it fails, I'm not sure what we would do," she said.

Another man said the federal and state government gets 100 percent of his tax money, then gives back 50 percent to cities and counties for use and expects him to be happy about it.

I moved here from Las Vegas because I want less taxes, government restrictions and control," he said.

His comments were among several that drew rounds of applause.

At the close of the meeting, Gordon said the series of public meetings had two purposes.

One was to give people information about annexation and counter a lot of misinformation that is circulating, and the other is to sign up volunteers in the movement.

A total of 12 people volunteered after Saturday's meeting.

Gordon said her committee will take about a month to study data collected from all the meetings and decide if annexation should proceed.

She said she will make a report to the Kingman City Council during its next meeting, on Aug.

21.

But she does not yet know if she will make a recommendation at that time.