Our View: This should be the last annexation delay
November 20, 2013
Havre City Council has delayed for another year annexing property to the west of the existing city limits.
Yet another petition has thrown up yet another roadblock in annexing the area that includes Holiday Village Mall and several other businesses.
Maybe you thought because the people who filed an earlier lawsuit agreed not to block annexation any further, the seemingly endless process of annexing the land was nearing an end. A lot of people thought that.
But now a new form of delay has popped up, and it appears that the annexation cannot take place until 2015 at the earliest.
As a result, business and residential property owners in the current city limits will be subsidizing property owners in the area west of the city. They will be shouldering some of the cost of city services that these businesses receive.
The city and its taxpayers should now unite and agree that there will be no more delays in this long overdue process.
Annexation opponents have acted on the belief that the city will be the nice guys in the dispute, continuing to provide low-cost city services to the western outskirts at the expense of people living in the city.
It might be tempting for the city to tell the freeloaders that they are welcome to take their sewage elsewhere
We hope the city plays hardball in future dealings with the foes who have thrown obstacle after obstacle in the path of progress. We wouldn’t mind seeing the city jack up the cost of these services to the recalcitrant property owners.
The city has put out lots of money to serve the unannexed areas. According to any definition of fairness, these businesses should be paying their share of the costs.
The area is, by any definition, part of the Havre area. Businesses there should receive all the benefits of being in the city, but they should have to pay the costs as well.
Havre Police Department can certainly offer a greater guarantee of protection to the businesses. Officers will always be within a couple of miles from the area, while Hill County Sheriff’s deputies may be answering calls in Rudyard or Box Elder.
The time for dawdling is over. No more delays. The city should push for annexation ASAP.