Annexation withdrawn, revision on the way
By Brian L. Gray
The Mandan City Commission unanimously approved withdrawing its proposed annexation of 1,000 acres north and northwest of Mandan into the city.
The city will now return to the drawing board and will redraw the lines of the proposed annexation, leaving out areas that protested against the original proposal.
The revised annexation proposal will now amount to approximately 878 acres.
Commissioners also urged impacted homeowners to meet with city staff to voice their concerns and uncertainties, in order to learn more details about how the annexation will impact their specific areas.
Nick Renner said the biggest worry of homeowners is the issue of cost to homeowners. “The last time this proposal came up the number $100,000 per acre often came up, and that’s the number people have been thinking of, and that’s what’s scaring people right now,” Renner said to the city commission. “And not only homeowners, but have you been checking into what it’s going to cost the city?”
Renner said he would like to see the city keep the residents up to speed on information once it is made available. He also asked what type of services will be made available to those residents once an annexation is approved.
City Administrator Jim Neubauer said all services, including fire, police and garbage disposal, would be made available immediately.
Nearly 33 percent of impacted homeowners protested the initial annexation. For the proposal to be overturned, 25 percent of impacted homeowners had to submit a letter of protest.
The city decided to make the proposal to annex the 1,000 acres into the city after several requests have come forward to the city requesting city services, including water, sanitary sewer and streets, in order to develop their property into urban commercial and residential areas.
The second option the commissioners considered was to ask the governor to appoint a mediator. The commission voted instead to start over with the revised proposal.
The resolution for a revised annexation will be brought up to the city commission during its next meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 20, for approval. From there the notice will be published and affected homeowners will be contacted. Once again, if 25 percent of homeowners submit letters of protest, the proposal will either be overturned or moved into mediation.