Archive for Thursday, November 11, 2004

Lansing gets OK to grow

County Commission approves city’s annexation request

November 11, 2004

— The Leavenworth County Commission, in a split 2-1 vote Wednesday, approved Lansing's petition to annex about 1,296 acres of land south of the city to the Leavenworth-Wyandotte County line.

Commissioners Donald Navinsky and Joseph Daniels voted for the annexation; Commissioner Robert Adams voted against it.

The decision doesn't soothe the disappointment of residents in the area who opposed annexation, but it moves forward Lansing's plans, Mayor Kenneth Bernard said after the vote.

"We're growing so fast, we've got to be able to control it," Bernard said.

He stressed the importance of controlling growth along the Kansas Highway 7 corridor, given the rate of change and growth.

For residents of the annexed area, the change will mean an increase of 30 percent in property taxes as well as an immediate increase in city-provided services, Daniels said.

City Administrator Mike Smith said Lansing planned to begin services such as trash pickup immediately and look into longer-term projects like paving roads and extending sewer service.

Bernard agreed that some services would begin right away. Already residents of the annexed area use Lansing's parks and library, and their children attend Lansing schools. Lansing Police also respond to calls in

the area.

"We'll continue the planning - we've done a lot of planning for that area already," Bernard said. "And as soon as it's effective we'll start doing the police stuff, the street patrols, the snow removal, those kinds of things that are quickly available. Next summer, we will do the study for the sewer lines going out to that area to see what we can do."

Residents of the affected area have 30 days to file a lawsuit against the decision to annex. The Lansing City Council plans to pass an ordinance to make the decision official at the Dec. 18 City Council meeting.

The city is moving quickly in part so the new city members will be able to vote in the April municipal elections.

"By the first of the year, they will be members of the Lansing community," Bernard said.

The land Lansing gains means about a 35 percent increase in the city's acreage, according to information provided by John Jacobson, Lansing community development superintendent.

Residential areas identified as affected by annexation are the Deer Run and Caraway subdivisions, Curtiss Estates, Sherwood Forest, Timber Ridge and Hartridge Estates.

While all three commissioners agreed that the county provides some services at this time, Navinsky said he thought the city could do a better job providing residents with services like snow removal, animal control and faster police response.

Adams disagreed, saying he didn't think annexation at this time would be a great benefit to those in the affected area.

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