Lincoln City City Councilors heard again Monday night from a spokesman for a group of Roads End residents who refuse to be annexed into Lincoln City. Undaunted, Lincoln City is in the process of doing just that.
Chuck Jacobson said his Roads End group has hired a lawyer in an effort to stop the annexation process. Jacobson declared that despite the fact a formal contract for water service to Roads End ran out years ago, Lincoln City is still contractually bound to continue to provide water. And with that he delivered to Clerk Recorder Cathy Steere 100 signatures from Roads End residents who have declared they are withdrawing their permission to be annexed.
City Attorney Joan Kelsey, noting the alleged change of heart by one hundred residents asked, “These people don’t mind that their water will be shut off?” (which the city has threatened to do if the annexation process stalls). Jacobson shot back, “Their water won’t be shut off because they have a contract with the city to provide them water.” Kelsey asked, “What Contract?” Jacobson said, “The one the city has always had with the Roads End area.” Kelsey replied, “Could you be more specific?” Jacobson repeated his contention that the old contract is still in effect.
City officials say, in fact, there is no longer a contract for water service between Roads End and the city, claiming it expired some time ago. In the meantime, the city has spent millions of dollars on water lines, tanks and pumps that serve the Roads End area, paid for largely by the residents of Lincoln City who have been told for years that Roads End would eventually become part of the city and therewith contribute to the city’s tax base.
Lincoln City Mayor Dick Anderson said there was nothing new in Monday night’s discussions. He said the city is fully expecting to annex Roads End in the near future. He said that under state law there are three ways that residents can request annexation and begin receiving city services. And, there is one way that a city can initiate the annexation. Anderson said they’re still expecting to receive enough signatures from Roads End property owners to accomplish the annexation in the near future.
As a foot note, any area within a city’s urban growth boundary is expected, under state law, to eventually become part of that city. Roads End lies directly north, and up against the north Lincoln City city limits. Therefore Roads End is included in the city’s urban growth boundary. State land use laws are very clear that urban areas belong inside cities, and that non-urban areas are preserved primarily for farming and ranching.
Jacobson and others contend that their property taxes would rise substantially if they annexed in. They also claim that they pay enough taxes as it is without coughing up more. But city officials claim they have not paid their fair share of taxes to Lincoln City which has provided Roads End vacation rental owners with free advertising through regional tourist promotions, access to the city library, recreation programs and parks, police protection (Sheriff’s coverage is sparse) as well as other urban conveniences. And that it’s time for Roads End property owners to pay for what they’re getting.
At a recent city budget hearing it was noted that the city will be setting aside funds to pay for a potential court battle with the Roads End group who they expect may not go down without a fight.