It appears that the Lincoln City Council is starting to get serious about annexing the Roads End area into the city. City Manager Dave Hawker told the council that the Roads End area, under an original agreement to get water pipes extended out into county lands where they live, would annex into the city and begin paying property taxes and other fees to help pay for city services to their neighborhoods. That was back in the 1970′s. They’re still outside the city.
Hawker said, in effect, enough is enough, especially after the millions of dollars in water system and other services the city has invested in Roads End.
In response, the City Council gave Hawker the go-ahead to draft a new ordinance that begins a process of holding lengthy public hearings on why Roads End should annex into the city. Then, after everyone’s had their say, including Roads End residents and property owners, the council will likely begin another process. Hawker says property owners will get a notice in the mail that either they agree in writing to annex into the city, or their water will be turned off. Hawker says there is no law that compels the city to provide water outside its city limits. He adds that the city has been spending Lincoln City residents’ tax money improving the lives and property values of Roads End on the expectation the area would someday become an official part of Lincoln City. Roads End residents promised would happen by 1978. That was 32 years ago. It still hasn’t happened.
Hawker says it’s not just about the water costs. It’s the roads and streets inside Lincoln City that Roads End residents drive in order to get to and from their homes. It’s the Lincoln City Police officers that respond on calls to Roads End because a sheriff’s deputy is “out of position” and can’t get there fast enough. Or a deputy needs a back-up for special kinds of arrests or traffic accidents. Hawker says it’s also the special events and tourist promotions that Lincoln City pays for that directly benefits vacation home landlords who don’t pay a dime for. Hawker also pointed to the fact that Roads End residents and vacationers use Lincoln City parks and other public facilities that they don’t contribute to either.
Hawker says there is an argument that room taxes cover some of those costs, but adds “not nearly enough to make any real difference.” Besides, he says, the level of services provided by the county to Roads End will be diminishing as revealed in their own tough budget forecasts which should prompt Roads End residents to join the city.
Mayor Lori Hollingsworth predicted the public hearing and “talk it out” process will take some time to unfold. She said she would not expect any annexing to go on for at least another 18 months to two years. The city has already circulated annexation consent letters in the Roads End area. Out of 1,240 Roads End property owners, 409 of them have signed. City Manager Dave Hawker says he expects the rest to get letters eventually, telling them either sign or have their water cut off. He added that the city needs to find additional water supplies with or without Roads End. Likewise, it needs additional revenue in order to keep Lincoln City just ahead ahead of the growth curve so it can continue to provide its citizens with important urban services. He said Roads End has, for decades, enjoyed those services without having to pay for them. “The subsidies have to end,” he said.
Obviously over the next couple of years, there’s lots more to come.Share on Facebook