LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) – In the city where two rivers meet, annexation plans are in the works.
“We are trying to do this … for the economic development of Logansport, obviously, and the growth of a population but also to extend water and sewer lines to people who need it,” Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell said.
The city of Logansport is in the early stages of an annexation plan proposed by Kitchell. It includes areas southwest and north of the city.
“It could take up to a year to happen, really. We have to notify property owners, there have to be now a series of public meetings to make that happen,” he said.
Although Kitchell said the move brings good intentions, annexation has caused controversy in the past.
During former Mayor Ted Franklin’s administration, a forced annexation took place south of the city. Unhappy residents fought it all the way to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
The city won the lawsuit, but many questions remain unanswered.
“Are we gonna do police, fire? Are we gonna extend water and sewer lines? Are we gonna extend stormwater service to that area? Street lighting, fire hydrants — all of this has to be considered,” the mayor explained.
Kitchell wants to assure that this time around, things will be handled differently.
“What’s changed in Indiana is that annexation now is virtually a volunteer thing,” said Kitchell. “If you want to be annexed, cities often will annex you. But the forced annexation is over.”
Kitchell said thanks to the state’s circuit-breaker law, those who are annexed will not see an increase in property taxes.
Right now, residents outside city limits pay 25 percent higher rates for Logansport Municipal Utilities services. He said those in the annexation area would see lower utility rates along with city trash, recycling, police and fire services.
“The city and county officials this time are on the same page. We don’t want to go back to court; we don’t want people to sue us,” Kitchell said. “We want to work with them to make a very cooperative agreement that will be beneficial to both sides.”