Alice Campbell Havre Daily News email@example.com
After what committee chairman Andrew Brekke called a "long and arduous and diligent" process, 90 properties are being officially annexed into Havre. An estimated $250,000 in tax revenue is headed toward the city as a result. Council members, with Terry Schend and Gerry Veis absent, voted 5 to 1 for the annexation. Brekke recognized that some people are still not happy, but said the committee is comfortable with the final proposal. Bob Kaul voted against the process, saying after the meeting: "I do not believe that the city has crossed all their Ts and dotted their Is." Kaul, whose Ward 3 was not affected directly by annexation, said he Received feedback from residents inside and outside of his ward who shared similar feelings. Everyone said they believed it should be done, but that they wanted it done in increments and following the completion of an up-to-date growth policy currently being worked on by the city, Hill County and Hingham, Kaul said. While several details, including street maintenance and redrawing fire and law enforcement maps and jurisdictions, still need to be finalized, "this is a good first step," Brekke said. The Hill County Commission turned over maintenance records for the two lift stations in the annexed area Friday, Brekke said, and after preliminary review by Public Works Director Dave Peterson and himself, it appears that maintenance of the stations will be taken over by the city. Whether the city or the county will be responsible for road maintenance of 2nd Street West and 16th Avenue still needs to be decided. Where the city owns the property on both sides of the roads, the city will maintain, Brekke said, adding that the city will meet with the county and road department administration to determine where the lines will be. Newly annexed Havre property owners will pay city taxes beginning in 2010, a point of contention throughout the process with owners saying that while they will be paying the same amount as other city residents, their taxes will be higher than what they currently pay to the county. The basic formula is as follows: total taxable market value not retail market value times 3.01 percent standard tax rate and times total mill levies of 0.77053 equals total taxes due, city, county and state. Property owners who currently receive water and sewer only from the city, will receive other services once annexed, including fire, police, street maintenance and, after a five-year period, garbage collection. Garbage services can be received sooner if desired by a property owner if written consent is given by both the owner and the garbage collection service.