Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2009

Residents speak up against Cedar Lakes annexation

February 12, 2009

Residents of Cedar Lakes Estates gathered Monday night during a public hearing at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School to let the Basehor City Council know what they thought about the possible annexation of the subdivision.

Council members listened to comments from the public for more than three hours, with the majority of the opinions being against the annexation.

Resident concerns about the annexation ranged from address changes and police force to snow removal and trash services.

City Engineer Joe McAfee said that residents had several options for trash service, including the current service used at Cedar Lakes, Bumpy Roads. He pointed out that Deffenbaugh, the city’s trash service, was less expensive, but the services used in the subdivision could be determined later.

Residents were frustrated with possible address changes, not only for postal reasons but also because of the cost and time it would take to change this information on driver’s licenses, utility billing, bank accounts, at doctors’ offices and more.

McAfee said there were two options for addresses if Cedar Lakes was annexed. The street addresses could remain as they were, or they could be changed to comply with the city. He said that it was not out of the question for everyone to maintain current addresses, but that would have to be decided after a vote on the annexation.

Snow removal was an issue for some residents who were wondering if their streets would be cleared as well or as quickly if Cedar Lakes became part of the city. For Basehor, snow removal is something that is done on a priority basis, said City Administrator Carl Slaugh.

“Leavenworth County might have different priorities as far as snow removal,” Slaugh said. “But everyone’s streets will be plowed in a timely manner, as timely as possible.”

Other objections to the annexation centered on the police patrol and response for the area.

Basehor Police Chief Lloyd Martley said he thought the police coverage and response time of Basehor would be better than that of Leavenworth County for Cedar Lakes.

“I’m not saying that it would exceed the Sheriff’s Department,” Martley said. “However, we are closer to the area in Basehor.”

Some residents, like Vince and Magdalena Avila, were most concerned about the raise in property taxes that would accompany the annexation because Basehor has a larger total mill levy than Leavenworth County. The city’s is about 116, while the county’s is about 95.

The average house in Cedar Lakes is valued at $300,000 or more, and some residents could see their property taxes raised by $600 to $2,000.

“I am totally against this annexation because our taxes will go up approximately $1,000, and we get nothing for it,” Vince Avila said in a written statement to the council.

Cathy and Daniel Stueckemann said they believed the services they currently had in Cedar Lakes were more satisfactory than the city’s utilities.

“The services which the city proposes to provide are ones we already have and are, for the most part, at a better level than what the city can provide,” the Stueckemanns said in a written testimony for the council. “It is illusory to say that the Basehor City Council service plan will extend services, because those services already exist and are more adequate, and thus, we feel cheated and lied to.”

The Basehor City Council plans to take a vote on the annexation of Cedar Lake Estates at the next meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Basehor City Hall. A work session will take place before the regular meeting, starting at 6 p.m.

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