Alpine officials receive feedback on proposed annexation
Some in attendance complained about how the annexation effort was being done and how quickly they felt it was being pushed through. Chris Anderson said he was personally excited about being annexed into Alpine City, but he wanted to understand the math, the cost and the benefit of annexation.
A major concern was water. Alpine Cove has its own water district, and the residents wanted to know what would happen to it. City Attorney David Church told them that the Cove's water system was an independent district and would not be impacted by the annexation. It would continue to operate in the same way it always had, he said. It would be like any other neighborhood in Alpine City except they would have their own water system, Church said.
Another concern was roads. Jason Thelin asked if the city had to upgrade the streets in the Cove, would those costs be passed onto Cove residents or onto the current residents in Alpine City. Church responded that if annexed, the Cove would be treated like any other neighborhood, so if a road needed to be upgraded the city and Alpine taxpayers would pay for it.
Mayor Sheldon Wimmer told the residents he'd had discussions with the county about the roads in Alpine Cove. The county had said they would overlay the roads with two inches of asphalt along with some other possible expenditures, he said.
Some residents addressed previous proposed annexations.
Craig Skidmore said 20 years ago when annexation was considered, Cove residents were told they would need to pay $10,000 to put in street improvements. The people in the Cove didn't want sidewalk and streetlights and didn't want to do it, he said.
Tom Abbot said that 20 years ago when annexation was considered, city officials said that homeowners in the Cove would have to replace the pipes to the individual homes and that would cost about $10,000 per home. He asked what assurances there were that it wouldn't happen again.
Church responded that the only way requiring new pipes to the houses would happen was if state regulators or the EPA determined they were non-qualifying and needed to be replaced.
Emergency services were also discussed. Wimmer said the city had provided fire and EMS service to the Cove and the county reimbursed the City about $100,000 for it. If the Cove was annexed, the county was considering paying that amount to Alpine City, which could be used for a water connection, he said.
Greg Zippi said he didn't understand why Alpine City would even consider this annexation. Wimmer responded that in 1980 when Alpine Cove was developed, there were some "not very good reasons" why it was not annexed and developed inside the city. He said the people in Alpine Cove were part of the Alpine community.
"They're Alpiners," he said. "The people in Alpine City and Alpine Cove live and work together; they go to church and school together. I feel it is a wise thing to include all of Alpine in Alpine."
Wimmer said that before the council voted on the annexation, they hoped to have all residents' questions answered and information about what the costs would be.
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