Annexation brings concerns from residents

Standard photo/Wyatt Squires

Steve Mohler along with Joe Mohler and Larry Ellenburgh, all of Mohler Technology in Boonville, addresses the Boonville City Council during the city's public hearing to allow members of the community voice their questions and concerns related to the city's proposed annexation of both Quail Crossing and Stone Haven subdivisions. Mohler Technology will be potentially annexed with the Stone Haven annexation.

The Boonville City Council heard questions and comments about proposed annexations recently.

The city hosted a public hearing on Dec. 14 in order to hear comments and questions from members of the community who will be affected by the annexation of the Quail Crossing and Stone Haven subdivisions.

Many home owners and business owners within the proposed annexation areas expressed concerns about higher taxes and abrupt changes to their way of living.

The Quail Crossing annexation is projected to affect 114 households with an estimated population of 287 while the Stone Haven annexation is projected to affect 113 households with an estimated population of 285 individuals. However, the Stone Haven annexation is proposed to cover 244 acres, while the Quail Crossing annexation will potentially cover 650 acres.

The net assessed valuation for the land and improvements in the proposed annexation area for Quail Crossing is $15,623,955 while the same valuation for the proposed area for the Stone Haven annexation is $6,420,791. The assessed values are as of Jan. 1 2016 for taxes payable in 2017. In total, the annexation could mean that a total assessed value $22 million for the 227 properties could be added to the city's taxing area.

Steve Mohler of Mohler Technology in Boonville said the annexation could have a major impact on the business. He said the higher taxes will cause strain on the business already struggling to keep up with payroll costs.

Mohler said the company already pays $14,800 annually for real estate taxes and $14,200 for personal property taxes for a total of $29,000.

He said there was only tables provided detailing changes in real estate costs, but the company is expecting an increase of $11,256 for real estate tax and an increase of $10,740 for personal property taxes amounting to a total annual increase of $22,000 in taxes for the company as a result of the proposed annexation.

"We have been a good corporate neighbor contributing positively to the community as a whole," he said. "This is a 76 percent increase in our taxes and fixed costs for which we are unable to see any discernible difference in public services. This is $22,000 that could otherwise be used for increasing employment, capital expenditures or expansions and things that could make our company grow."

Clifford Whitehead, an attorney representing several property owners asked several questions of the council during the meeting. The council did not respond to the questions, but said they would be addressed at a later date.

Whitehead asked if there was a formal process for addressing the comments and concerns, but the council said there wouldn't be a specific process.

"So, is there a possibility they'll never be addressed?" he asked.

The city's attorney Steve Unger responded saying the comments and questions are taken under advisement and are planned to be addressed.

"We'll just have to address them later," he said. "There's no formal process."

The city now will have a 30 day waiting period before they can take action on either proposed annexation. The council's next meeting will be on Jan. 4 at 5 p.m.

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