County says no to city's plan to annex the fairgrounds into the city ... for now<BR>
The county judge said he couldn't see any real reason to have the city proceed with plans to annex the fairgrounds into the city Any action the city takes about annexing the fairgrounds and county RV Park into the city limits will have to be done without the county's approval.
When the city council voted to annex in a number of properties, they left out the fairgrounds area at the county court's request. The court wanted more time to discuss the action. City Planner Dick Brown had explained that the move to annex property was due to the city's policy of not providing water and sewer service to property outside the city limits. There are two building projects slated to begin at the fairgrounds - a new Carey Foster Hall and a 4H facility.
Discussing the issue with members of the fairboard, county Judge Scott Cooper said he doesn't see what the benefit of having the fairgrounds annexed into the city would be. It was erroniously reported earlier that annexation of the RV Park would benefit the city by putting the city in the RV resort business. That is not the case: there would be no transfer of ownership by annexation, the RV Park would still be owned by the county.
The fact that all roads in the RV Park and the fairgrounds would remain county roads, was also discussed. "We are the underdogs," Commissioner Mike McCabe said. "We get to keep the roads - keep all the costs and have to pay any SDC fees but the city gets the hotel/motel tax" from the RV Park.
Judge Cooper said he was not "philosophically opposed to annexation, but I don't have a good reason to do so. If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Fairboard manager Gary Timmerman said he thought in the interim period, until the city gets its sewer system up to capacity, it should be possible to build the new buildings and put them on a septic system. Dick Brown agreed that might work, but "right now the policy remains to annex everybody who is getting sewer services."
Cooper and the two commissioners agreed to advise the city that pending additional research, "we will just table annexation."