Havre Daily News
Havre may soon begin annexing some properties in Hill County that receive some city services.
Havre City Council member Terry Schend on Monday told council members that the process to annex such properties is relatively simple and could get under way soon.
The process to annex larger portions of land west of the city will take more time and is more complex, he said.
Today, he said City Attorney Jim Kaze is awaiting more information from department heads and is still working to find out which of those properties have waivers of protest for annexation. Such waivers would make it easier for the city to annex the properties, he said.
“Those that are easy to do, let's get that done,” Schend said. “Let's start working on this process now.”
Kaze is asking city department heads how much it would cost to provide additional services, such as police protection and road maintenance. Some properties outside the city limits already have city water and sewer services, public works director Dave Peterson said.
Schend said the properties could be annexed in groups, and that property owners would have the opportunity to come before the City Council for a hearing. Council members would then vote on whether to annex the properties, he said.
At Monday night's City Council meeting, he said the city may have to seek the services of a professional planner to lay out the method to annex large portions of land west of the city.
The consultant would be “detailing plans for expansion and what will be necessary for those areas to receive services and who shall bear the costs,” Schend said Monday.
Bear Paw Development Corp. executive director Paul Tuss said today that the economic development organization provides some planning services for the city, but planning for a large annexation of property is outside of its capabilities.
“It's something that we haven't been involved with in the past,” Tuss said. “Land-use planning can be a very complicated matter.”
Bear Paw Development Corp. assists the city in economic development strategy, infrastructure development and other specific projects brought forth by Havre, Tuss said.
City Council member Emily Mayer Lossing said the city developed a 10-year plan in 1999 and could reopen that plan to include the possibility of annexing land into the city.