The North Bend Eagle

 

Commission recommends annexation

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/6/18

The annexation of ground southwest of North Bend took another step closer to actualization at a May 29 planning commission meeting.

The North Bend Planning Commission voted 7-2 to recommend that the city council proceed with annexation option A, which does not include most of the playing holes of the North Bend Golf Course. It does include the golf course clubhouse, Frontier Coop and Pioneer Lake housing development. Option B is the same but includes the entire golf course.

The matter of annexation now moves to the city council, where it will undergo three readings at separate meetings before a vote. A final vote July 5 will decide if the annexation takes place and whether option A or B is chosen.

The commission’s recommendation followed a public hearing that was attended by nine people at the city auditorium.

Jeff Ray, a city planner for JEO consulting, summarized the annexation process and reviewed some of the information he presented at the May 8 open house public meeting. He reiterated that the roads of Pioneer Lake would remain privately owned but would be maintained by the city. He also said the city intends to pass an ordinance that would allow the gate to Pioneer Lake to remain.

Planning commission member Duane Ellermeier, who lives at Pioneer Lake and is a member of the NBGC board, gave a statement opposing annexation. As the commission’s representative from the city’s one-mile jurisdiction outside of the city limits, he said all three affected entities – the Pioneer Lake development, Frontier Coop and the North Bend Golf Course – are against annexation.

“Frontier Coop has made a huge investment in the North Bend area,” Ellermeier said. “A vote to raise their expenses on real estate and other business investments (through additional taxes) will send a very negative message to them and any future businesses looking at North Bend.”

He went on to say the golf course made a total profit of $94 last year. Adding the city sales tax of 1.5 percent would cost the course an additional $8,505, he said, based on the $567,000 of sales it did last year.

“So (NBGC has) a choice: to operate at a loss or to increase prices to patrons,” Ellermeier said. “A vote to increase tax expenses will send a very negative message to all the local folks who have invested money, labor and support to the golf course, a community attraction that’s been a real benefit to North Bend, that’s drawn a lot of people from outside the city.”

Ellermeier’s statement received applause from the crowd.

Ellermeier and Tom Johnson were the two dissenting votes. Commission members Gary Widhelm, Ken Streff, Alex Legge, Lon Bohling, Kevin Ferguson, Rick Hobza and Mark Johnson voted in favor of recommending annexation to the city council.

 

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