Archive for Thursday, October 6, 2011

Early Glenwood survey results show support for annexation deal

The Glenwood Estates subdivision is south of Basehor, off of 158th St.

The Glenwood Estates subdivision is south of Basehor, off of 158th St.

October 6, 2011

Early returns from a survey sent last month show a hefty majority of Glenwood Estates landowners ready to accept an annexation bargain from the city of Basehor, but more than half of the owners had yet to respond as of Monday.

Basehor City Clerk Corey Swisher reported Monday that 39 of 46 Glenwood Estates survey respondents had signaled they would submit to a voluntary annexation into the city in return for a break on sewer fees and rates, but more than half of the roughly 95 households there had yet to respond.

Those results were preliminary, he said, as the city had requested for residents to return their surveys by Monday, and not all of the responses may have made their way to Basehor City Hall yet.

Basehor City Council members agreed during Monday's work session to make a final decision on the residents' sewer fees and rates at this month's regular meeting, set for Oct. 17.

Council President Dennis Mertz said he would like to receive more responses before the council made a decision.

“I still don't think we have enough back yet to know whether or not they want to,” Mertz said.

Though the survey results were incomplete, members Travis Miles and David Breuer both said they would support a plan to offer Sewer District No. 3 residents the current in-city sewer connection fee — about $1,000 less than the fee they're set to pay now — as well as in-city monthly sewer rates to any homeowner who agrees to a voluntary annexation and the higher property tax rates that would come with it. The residents currently pay 150 percent of the city's standard monthly rate for sewer service, as is the policy for people who live outside the city limits.

Members Fred Box and Iris Dysart said they would be willing to offer the residents regular monthly rates, but that the residents should still pay the $4,425 connection fee set by a 2009 agreement between the city and the sewer district.

Box said that arrangement would allow the city to protect its bottom line while also giving a break to families whose sewer bills have approached $200 per month since they connected to the city's system.

“I do want to help the people of Glenwood out,” Box said.

He said he didn't agree with the idea of awarding the lower rates to individual residents based on their intent to be annexed, as an effort to annex the subdivision could take years to complete and may not even succeed.

Mertz said the city should make a decision now whether it would attempt to annex the subdivision in the future, and adjust their connection fees accordingly.

“You can't stick them with 150 percent (on their connection fees) and then annex later,” Mertz said. “I mean, I just don't feel like that would be right.”

Basehor City Attorney Shannon Marcano told the council that, under a new state statute regarding annexation, an annexation of an area larger than 40 acres would require approval by the Leavenworth County Commission and by a majority of registered voters in the area.