The annexation paperwork was presented to the council at the last meeting in July for a first read. At both meetings, council member Hezikiah Walker expressed concern that no action had been taken on an earlier petition for property annexation.
Mayor Chris Edwards said the original petition for annexation was just a petition, minus the legal descriptions and other paperwork needed to complete the annexation. He also said that those properties, at the time of the petition, were not adjoining the current city limits. Edwards said that he hopes this annexation will open the path to at least some of those original properties.
“I don’t want to drag our feet on this,” Edwards said. “I want to annex all the way down to the Corridor.”
Some residents from the original petition, as well as a resident from Yerkwood, were present at the meeting to express frustration at the time it is taking to move the annexation along.
All the council members said they were sympathetic to the issue and the disappointed residents. But, the council members explained, large quantities of property would need approval from the state legislature for annexation, while smaller parcels can be taken in a portion at a time. They also have to be annexed starting with the property closest to the city limits, in order to establish the required continuous line.
“You’ve got to take baby steps to get there,” Mayor Pro Tem Betty Sanders explained.
Sanders, along with council members Donnie Burns, Clyde Nix, Kristie Tuggle and Gary Thomas, voted to approve the annexation, while Walker cast the only dissenting vote.
“I want to go all the way to the Corridor,” Burns said. “I want to take Yerkwood in, but I can’t punish these people who want in and have met the requirements. Justice has not been done, but I cannot punish these people for that. I hope people can understand.”
In other business:
•The council renewed the city’s contract with Revenue Discovery Systems to collect the city’s sales tax and some of the alcohol taxes.
RDS shows that the city’s sales tax numbers are up about 32.6 percent this year.
•City Clerk Cindy Vines said she has provided all the documentation available to the city-hired accountant who is preparing the audit.
The accountant expects to have the audit prepared by the end of August.
•The council approved the hiring of a temporary employee from a temp agency for three months to assist Vines with bookkeeping and administrative duties.
•The council approved the purchase of new tires for one of the city’s fire trucks. The purchase had been approved previously but a change in the price of the tires brought the issue back in front of the council.
The truck had been taken out of service due to the poor condition of the tires.
•The city-owned golf course has been doing well, despite recent rains, which helped the grass.
•Park Director Anthony Dill updated the council on the park and recreation football and cheerleading sign ups.
They currently have about 75 football players and 45 cheerleaders signed up and will need 15 to 20 more sets of shoulder pads to outfit them in the near future.
The council asked for more accountability and record keeping from the park, and Dill agreed to work with Vines to establish a new system.
•The council agreed to allow Rising Star Church to use the park for a church bazaar on Aug. 25, without charging the usual $250 business license fee.
The council did ask for a $50 deposit to ensure the park was cleaned after the event.