Crothersville Town Council approves annexation ordinances


CROTHERSVILLE — Another step in the lengthy process to annex real estate to the town of Crothersville has been completed.

During a meeting Monday night at the town hall, the Crothersville Town Council had just enough members for a quorum to vote on five ordinances for the annexation of five areas into the town.

For each one, Councilman Chad Wilson made the motion to approve, Councilwoman Terry Richey seconded and President Jason Hillenburg provided the third vote. Vice President Jamy Greathouse and Councilman Aaron Mays were absent. The meeting was held a day earlier than usual due to Election Day.

Town attorney Matt Lorenzo said the next steps in the process are to publish each ordinance in the newspaper within 30 days and send final letters to all impacted landowners about the 90-day remonstrance period.

In the fall of 2021, the town sent letters to the 39 property owners to let them know about six public outreach meetings and share maps of the five areas. That’s a state-required process to inform affected property owners about the annexation proposal.

Written and visual information regarding the proposed boundaries, extension of services and fiscal impact were provided at each meeting. Each area also was enlarged on posterboards with parcels listed on the back at the town hall for people to view during business hours.

The town also conducted public hearings to give people a chance to ask questions or make comments in favor of or against the annexation proposal. They were notified of those hearings and received a copy of the studies via certified mail.

Annexation is a process governed by state statute with a number of requirements, including contiguity of existing town boundaries and a provision of capital and noncapital services.

Capital services include water, sanitary sewer and fire protection, while noncapital services include police protection and trash pickup.

At the end of the remonstrance period, if nothing has been filed against the town, it would have three years to provide capital services and one year to provide noncapital services.

At previous meetings, Brad Bender with FPBH Inc. said annexation helps a community set up some orderly growth for development and opportunities and helps set a tax base, and residents also could vote in the town elections and even run for town council or clerk-treasurer.

Questions regarding property tax impact were shared with Reuben Cummings with GFC LLC so he can do an analysis on the projected tax rates, Bender said. If the parcel is assessed as agricultural, he said the rate will not change unless the use changes.

Here’s a breakdown of each area:

A: 13.64 acres on U.S. 31 between south of Marshall Drive and north of Industrial Way, including nine parcels surrounded by town limits and five parcels with two common owners with a total assessed value of $580,500. It has all sewer and water utilities, which were installed on the west side of U.S. 31 in 2005. To satisfy annexation requirements, two parcels on the east side need to be connected because fire protection already is in place.

B: 161.97 acres south of the industrial park from the railroad to frontage on Bethany Road, including four parcels, two with common owners and two parcels owned by the railroad with an assessed value of $147,900. It will require sewer and water extensions and fire protection. The tax rate should not increase as long as it remains agricultural.

C: 183.94 acres north and south of County Road 600S from town limits near East Street to County Road 1150E where the town has a lift station, including 23 parcels and four with two common owners with an assessed value of $2,764,400. Utilities were installed in 2005, but sewer and water services need to be set out to eight parcels. Fire protection is in place. The roadway would become the town’s responsibility and formally be changed to Moore Street. The tax rate shouldn’t increase for four of the parcels as long as they remain agricultural.

D: 160.33 acres northeast of town limits with limited frontage on Moore Street, including one parcel with an assessed value of $181,400. Sewer service is needed. The tax rate shouldn’t increase as long as it stays agricultural.

E: 58.98 acres south of town from U.S. 31 to town limits, including two parcels and one common owner (Sims Bark). The frontage road would become the town’s responsibility from U.S. 31 to where it turns north. It doesn’t require any utility services or sewer extensions.

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