Mandan News

Letter to the Editor: Not happy to be facing unknowns in the annexation ‘pool’

Expansion is like water. It follows the path of least resistance.
When the city of Mandan decided to expand its borders north, it was and continues to be met with resistance.
Like water, the city changed its approach to counter that resistance, moving the proposed annexation from 1,000 acres to 878. This counter-move was taken to reduce by percentage the landowners objecting to below 25 percent of the total area in the proposed annexation. The 25 percent number must be in a law somewhere to stop cities from doing what the city of Mandan is doing in this new effort to annex.
Will they be successful? Probably not, but if not, you can be sure the water will be rerouted and the city will try again.
Why do we resist in the face of what many regard as a foregone conclusion?
Many of the 25 percent simply feel like we are being pooled into the annexation to amortize the cost out and toward the greatest number of people possible. To put this at a basic level, the city is asking the 25 percent to help pay for the development of an infrastructure “special assessment” for a 1,000- or 878-acre development.
We resist that not because we are against progress but, we simply don’t need any of the services offered in the annexation. We resist because the city has no, and I mean no, idea of the cost to complete the annexation.
Let me ask you: Would you agree to pay a bill no matter how much it was?
Those developers or individuals who have land or potential land to be developed do want and need city services, so annex that land and leave the other 25 percent alone. The developers can pass those specials on to the “new homeowners,” and us “old homeowners” can just pass on.
— DARRELL FARLAND, Mandan