July 31, 2014

New Town City council passes resolution to annex Exhibit A property

By Edna Sailor

New Town City Council held a special session Tuesday to meet with property owners north of the city near the bypass. The council had tabled four to six annexation requests submitted in its last two regular meetings so they could be combined into a comprehensive annexation plan.

Just over a dozen people attended the meeting. A preliminary list showed that there were at least 41 landowners in the area the city is considering annexing. The goal of the meeting was to determine which property owners want to consent to annexation. After lengthy discussions, city council members voted to annex property contiguous to Newtown. The map outlining the proposed area is being fleshed out and the city’s engineers will provide it to the city. It will then be displayed at the auditor’s office for public review and comment.

Several issues emerged in the discussions. At the time of the meeting, the council had not yet heard from all property owners. Questions surfaced at the meeting regarding what benefits land owners could expect with annexation. One of the unresolved questions involves infrastructure such as water and sewer. Participants questioned how long it will take to provide those services to the newly annexed property. There were no easy answers.

The city of New Town does not currently have the funds it would take to immediately start construction of infrastructure. Loans or funding from the legislature are not possible until the annexation is complete. State funds could be requested when the legislature meets again. One participant described the situation as a "chicken and egg" scenario.

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