The Lincoln City City Council is expected tonight to give a “gentle nudge” to the residents of Roads End that the clock is ticking on what has been termed “their inevitible annexation” into the city.
The city council tonight is expected to give Roads End residents a reminder that they’ve got sixty days to comply with a request to sign a document indicating their support for annexation. Otherwise the city is not obligated to continue providing water to their property.
Many Roads End residents don’t want to annex in, which would, in fact, raise their property taxes. However, the city contends Roads End has long enjoyed what amounts to urban services, especially for police protection, at a much lower rate than everyone else who lives within the city limits. That, claims the city, is a direct subsidy to Roads End residents at the expense of Lincoln City taxpayers. Meanwhile, Lincoln County Commissioners, in whose jurisdiction Roads End residents live, have often admitted that the county Sheriff’s Office cannot afford to provide urban levels of police protection, which is needed in the Roads End area. The county commissioners recently voted their support for the city’s efforts to annex Roads End.
The issue dates back to the 1970’s when Roads End had grown to such an extent that individual well water was so low in quality as to be a threat to human health. In response, the state mandated that Roads End residents hook up to Lincoln City water. Roads End residents formed a local water authority to do just that with an agreement that Roads End would eventually annex into the city.
Thirty years later, Lincoln City is still waiting for Roads End to annex in, while Roads End has continued to grow in population with rising calls for police services they don’t pay for. Lincoln City also contends that Roads End continues to benefit from tourism related promotions (Roads End has a large percentage of vacation home rentals), visitors to the city library, and other services. Lincoln City also contends that although Roads End residents pay higher water bills than their counterparts in the city, Roads End revenues still don’t cover the total cost of providing water services outside the city.
Mayor Richard Anderson says there is no definite time line for annexation, only a reminder to Roads End residents that annexation is still on the horizon and that the city will be contacting those who have not agreed to annex in, that their water service could be shut off.
Meanwhile reports in the Lincoln City News Guard newspaper indicate that some Roads End residents are trying to rally their neighbors to pull out their checkbooks to support the construction of a Roads End water system, complete with numerous wells. Mayor Anderson said he would urge residents to fully explore what is going on and fully evaluate what their contribution is going for and if there is any likelihood of success.
The Lincoln City city council meets tonight to discuss the issue during their regular council meeting which begins at 6pm.