Perryville seeks landowners’ opinions on corridor annexation

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Some property owners outside of Perryville city limits may soon be asked their opinion on a “corridor annexation” that would pass near their properties.

During September’s council meeting, the possibility of a corridor annexation of a farm into the city limits was brought to the council’s attention. The property owners want to open a winery but won’t be able to sell alcohol there because it’s not within the city limits, where alcohol sales are permitted.

On Thursday, Perryville City Attorney Justin Johnson said his research showed that corridor annexations are “a little fuzzy,” and the simplest way to annex the farm would be to have the adjoining property owners agree for the road leading to the farm be annexed, so that the farm could be annexed too.

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Johnson said, “If they’re adamantly opposed to it, we’re facing an uphill battle that I don’t know if it would be worth pursuing.”

Council member Kelly Gray asked why they would be opposed to the corridor annexation plan, and Johnson answered, “Maybe they don’t want a winery next to their property.”

Council member Carlos Miller asked, “Is that the only place we’re looking to annex? We need to annex a lot of areas around here. We are landlocked. We can’t grow at all.”

He said, “Before Perryville is going to be able to grow, we’ve got to be able to expand somewhere. We don’t have any place to invite any … any new businesses without having to tear down something down … to build.”

Council member Adam Gray said he prefers the city attempt to annex the farm first. “Let’s get it done.” And then have the city look at other areas to annex. “It’s going to be a lot more complicated. You’re going to have a lot of naysayers that you’re going to have to try and win over.”

He said, “It’s going to be hard to convince” people to be annexed into the city where they’ll have to pay property taxes.

Mayor Brian Caldwell said people will have to be shown what the benefits will be if their property is annexed — for example lower fire insurance rates and garbage pickup 52 weeks a year, plus having police patrol in their neighborhoods. “How enticing that will be, I honestly don’t know.”

He said, “It won’t be a complete break even. But I think they would actually be really surprised at how little it would cost them to be in the city, and have a voice, have a vote in the city. And I get it. Some of them don’t want that.”

Caldwell said he and City Clerk Mary Sleet worked on a little “controlled experiment” where Sleet put the figures together on how much more expensive it would be for her home to be annexed.

Sleet reported that not only would she have to pay property taxes, but her fire insurance rates would be raised by $60-$70 a year, even though she lives close to the fire station. Also, she would have to pay the 11% insurance tax the city charges.

Boyle County Planning and Zoning Director Steve Hunter told the council his office could provide maps which show parcels and property owners so that the council could draw where they thought the best locations for annexation would be.

Hunter said a lot of cities “go out and grab some ag land. They know it’s going to develop. They don’t mess with the residential because it’s a tough sale.”