04/21/10 — Wait, just a bit: Perhaps timing is not right to hit newly annexed residents

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Wait, just a bit: Perhaps timing is not right to hit newly annexed residents

It is not hard to see both sides in the case involving those neighborhoods identified as part of the recent annexation fight.

Even though they lost their court battle to stop the action by the city, residents in the area are up in arms again -- this time about a planned assessment to put sewer into their neighborhoods.

They say they are struggling to handle the additional costs of living in the city -- read, higher taxes -- and some of them simply cannot afford the fees upfront or the interest that will be charged for them to finance the cost.

Now, here is where the "both sides" come in.

It costs money to run sewer lines and to keep them operational. Other residents have had to hook onto the city system and no one covered the cost for them. So, why should these people be any different? If the neighborhood gets sewer service, which increases property values, why shouldn't there be some cost incurred by the homeowners?

On the other hand, the residents in this area were forcibly annexed and were asked to assume some costs they did not plan for, and in some cases are still struggling to manage. Perhaps now is really not the time to be adding on even more costs.

Would it really hurt to wait a little while longer -- to watch the area and to require the septic systems to be replaced as necessary, while allowing those who want to hook onto city sewer now the chance to do so?

In the end, reaching a compromise as far as the annexed area goes should be a relatively painless endeavor and one that might help mend some fences in a part of the city where feelings are a little raw.

For now, that might be the best plan.

Published in Editorials on April 21, 2010 10:37 AM