Annexing land will mean millions

Map shows the area to be annexed into the city after approval by the City Council, a total of 426 acres on the southeast side including Swan Lake Memorial Gardens.

MICHIGAN CITY – The city’s Sixth Ward grew by 426 acres this week when the City Council voted unanimously to approve annexation of several large parcels of land on the southeast side.

The parcels of property within the newly-annexed area – between Menke Road, I-94 and U.S. 20. – are owned by Oehmstead Co., Green Acres, Pioneer Lumber, MHP 1, LLC; Illinois Indiana Development Co. and Cemetery Regents of the City of Michigan City, Indiana.

All six entities voluntarily petitioned the city for annexation as a means of gaining access to city services, including sewer and water.

In addition to approving their petition, the council also unanimously passed a resolution accepting a state-required fiscal plan outlining the ways in which the annexation might impact the city financially.

According to the fiscal plan, the recurring revenues the city would gain from the land over five years should it not have been annexed would have been $143,750.

However, annexed and with full build-out, the land is projected to create $9,226,112 in recurring revenues over the next five years, and costs of $18,636 over the same time period – making the net financial impact of the annexation a gain of $9,207,476 for the city.

The plan analyzes recurring and non-recurring expenses and revenues, most of which will come in the form of taxes and fees.

It also identifies capital and non-capital services that must be completed within the next one to three years.

The only recurring cost anticipated in the plan will be that of street and road maintenance.

Properties within the boundaries of the new annexation will be zoned as single-family residential, highway commercial, light manufacturing or heavy manufacturing.

In other business:

• The council voted 8-0 to decrease the contractual services line item in the Aviation Department’s budget by $1,021, while increasing the line item for salaries by the same amount.

• All eight council members voted to appropriate an additional $44,500 from the Riverboat Fund for the local match for the Lake Michigan Coastal Grant for the Michigan City Parks Department’s Sheridan Beach public access and erosion control project.

• Additionally, council members made nominations to fill positions on local boards and commissions. All will be effective Jan.1 and will be up for vote at the council’s Dec. 18 meeting:

• John Sheets, Kathy Dennis, Pat Kowalski, Dahlia Zygas and Damon Carnes to fill the seats currently held by Dennis and Carnes on the Redevelopment Commission.

• Dennis Knaup to fill the seat currently held by Ricky Jackson on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

• Ricky Jackson to fill the seat currently held by Louise Mock on the Fire Merit Commission.

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