The North Bend Eagle

 

City officials explain annexation

by Nathan Arneal
Published 5/16/18

Forty-five interested citizens attended an open house public meeting at the North Bend city auditorium last Tuesday to learn more about the city’s plans for annexation.

NB Annexation mapThe city will consider two annexation plans: Area A, in yellow, and Areas A and B, in yellow and green.

The majority of the people at the meeting live in the area that will be affected by annexation, which includes the Pioneer Lake subdivision, the North Bend Golf Course and Frontier Coop off the southwest corner of town.

Leading the discussion and answering questions were North Bend mayor Jeff Kluthe, JEO city planner Jeff Ray and the city’s attorney, Tommy Thomsen.
Ray opened the meeting by explaining the annexation process. He said an area has to meet two requirements to be considered for annexation. It has to be continuous and adjacent to the city and it has to be urban in nature, in other words, non-agricultural. He said the ground under consideration meets the criteria, and the city council would have final authority to make the decision on annexation.

Ray said the reason the city is looking at annexation is to be able to grow North Bend and to have everyone contribute to the tax base. Property in the annexed area would see a tax increase of about $230 per $100,000 of valuation, he said.

“The city looks at it from an orderly growth perspective as well as how everybody pays their fair share,” Ray said. “Residents here (in the affected area) who drive on city streets, use (the auditorium) and the library and so forth don’t really contribute dollars to city efforts to maintain all of those facilities. This will put everybody kind of on the same page.”

While the meeting remained cordial for the most part, everyone who spoke was either against annexation or at least skeptical of it. The large majority of people who spoke live in the Pioneer Lake subdivision. Not everyone agreed with city officials that annexation was necessary.

“I think it’s very clear you’re after one thing, and that’s taxes,” said Duane Ellermeier, a Pioneer Lake resident and member of the North Bend planning commission. “That’s all you’re after. You certainly have not explained to me what other benefits there are. Growth, who cares? It’s not going to go into the river.”

While Ray agreed that North Bend will not grow into the Platte River, he said there is room for further growth on the land west of Pioneer Lake.

 

Read the full story in the print or e-edition.

<<Back to the front page