The North Bend Eagle

 

Annexation gets second reading

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/27/18

The second reading of Ordinance 561 drew a little more attention that the first.
Eleven people attended the June 19 North Bend City Council meeting, with about five speaking against the ordinance, which would annex ground southwest of town, including the North Bend Golf Course, Frontier Coop and Pioneer Lake housing development. All visitors who spoke at the meeting have a home on Pioneer Lake.

Previous coverage:

Map of annexation area

June 5: First reading of annexation ordinance

May 29: Planning commission recommends annexation

May 8: Public informational open house

May 2: City to talk annexation

The annexation ordinance and will receive its final reading and be voted upon at the July 5 council meeting.

Roland Dvorak said he questions the city’s claim that the annexation would provide “orderly growth” for North Bend. He said growth would be better served by expanding northward, and a more likely reason for annexation is for the additional tax revenue.

“Pioneer Lake residents will gain almost nothing from this annexation and cost each lot owner thousands of dollars in increased taxes,” Dvorak said. “This does not promote a friendly atmosphere between the residents and city officials. Shopping in this city is already limited, and I submit to you some residents will take their business elsewhere if this passes.”

Richard Wegner, another Pioneer Lake resident, echoed the sentiment.

“I know a lot of you (council members) are in business in North Bend,” Wegner said. “Do you know what that’s going to do to your business? Because there’s 50-some out there (at Pioneer), and most of them that I talk to, if we get annexed, Fremont’s there, Schuyler’s there. You guys are going to lose quite a bit of business. That’s just the word of the community. So you have to be looking for yourself, too. You could put a few people in North Bend out of business by that.”

Larry Kreikemeier said Pioneer Lake would get nothing in return for its higher taxes.

“We also moved down here to live in a small town,” he said. “I hate the big cities, and we love it here. I hate to think of paying all the extra taxes, and really I can’t think of what you can provide us down there.”

Councilman Bart Bosco said the council members have talked to a lot of people about annexation. He said the existing citizens of North Bend consider people who live at the lakes to be residents of North Bend, and as such should pay their fair share.

“You use the streets, you use the churches, you have the ability to use everything,” Bosco said. “So in reality, you are residents of North Bend. A lot of the existing residents have said, ‘But they’re getting by without contributing to the infrastructure.’ So that’s one of the main things a lot of people are looking at, getting the people that are right there, right across the highway, to help contribute through the infrastructure.”

Other Pioneer Lake residents expressed concern that they would lose amenities when annexed. They were assured that the lake could not become public unless 60 percent of the Pioneer Homeowners Association agreed to sell the lake to the city, something the city has no interest in, council members said.

A second reading was also given to Ordinance 562, which would allow Pioneer Lake to keep the gates at the entrance to the subdivision.

Homeowners Association president Duane Ellermeier said if annexation goes through, he would like to see the city hire the same person who currently plows the snow at Pioneer Lake, Matt Shaw. Councilman Tom Mullally said the city could retain Shaw’s services.

In other council business:

• The hours of the city dump were changed to 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. The city is currently looking for someone to man the gate at the dump.

• Mike Hunke was appointed to the planning commission as the one-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction representative, replacing Ellermeier. Mark Johnson was reappointed to a three-year term.

 

<<Back to the front page