City moves forward on annexation
Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]
A vote on one of the last steps for the city of Havre to annex properties into its boundaries led to a comment from an audience member who was dissatisfied with the process. “All I can say, as I look at this map, and I assume this is the final map you've all heard the term gerrymandering?” asked Dennis Morgan, whose business, Modern Aire, is one of the properties being annexed into Havre. “I'm really curious about a couple of pieces of property that were left out.” Morgan said the annexation was done to increase the size of the city, but several areas of property were not annexed, although adjacent property was included. Morgan asked how many people live in the properties that were excluded in the process. “Maybe 50 people? Nobody seems to know,” Morgan said. “All I can say is, that is really a piece of work.” Morgan's comments came after council unanimously approved amending a previous resolution to annex property to adjust the property descriptions of the areas annexed. Council member Andrew Brekke, chair of the council's Annexation Committee, said there were some errors in the property descriptions in the original resolution, either due to changes in the property descriptions since the annexation process began or else minor errors found in the property descriptions used. “There were 13 such corrections that we made,” Brekke said. One was significant in which land was transferred between owners while the annexation process was ongoing, Brekke said. That property description was corrected in the latest resolution, as were the other more minor property description corrections, he said. The resolution includes the updated map, which was created at the request of the Hill County Commission and created using data Provided by the state Department of Revenue, Brekke said. That map was posted in the council chamber when the audience arrived. “That map is a much better map than what we had before ,” he said. “They're easier to see, and there's no question about which particular properties (are being annexed).” Brekke said he is working to set a date to meet with the County Commission before Thursday, Dec. 31, to set the dates for the official transfer of properties.