PENDLETON — The Pendleton Town Council took its first step toward annexation Friday night when President Robert Jones introduced the town's annexation ordinance.
The ordinance and desire to annex has stemmed not from Pendleton's desire to grow but landowners' desire to be in Pendleton.
Jones said the town has been approached by several landowners in the coveted area near Interstate 69 and Indiana 13 asking to be voluntarily incorporated into Pendleton. Some of them like Paige Dooley realize they are going to be annexed by someone and would prefer to be in Pendleton.
Dooley lives on West County Road 775 South which would be in the 652 acres Pendleton is proposing to take in. She is also in the area Ingalls is proposing to take in. She said given the choice between the two, her family would prefer Pendleton.
"I have a Pendleton address and my daughter goes to Pendleton Heights," Dooley said. "We would much rather be in Pendleton."
The area the town is planning on taking in stretches from I-69 to County Road 700 South and from CR 750 West to Ind. 13.
Of the 22 landowners in the area, 14 of them have signed a petition saying they would like to be annexed into Pendleton. That puts them well over the needed 51 percent and Jones said more signatures are anticipated.
Jones said as far as he understands the law, voluntary annexations take precedent over forced annexations. He said giving people a choice is why the town decided to write up this ordinance.
Council member John Armington seconded that thought. He has been talking to a lot of people who want to be in Pendleton and helped write up the ordinance.
"We want you to have the option of where you want to go," he told about 40 people in the town hall. "Somebody is going to annex you."
There is still a long way to go before any annexation is official. The next step for Pendleton is to draw up a fiscal plan for the annexation and then adopt the plan as a resolution. Once that is adopted, the town must give notice to the property owners affected; 60 days after the notice a public hearing must be held for those affected to ask questions. After the public hearing Pendleton can make the ordinance official.
Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.
What's next Next up for Pendleton is to create a fiscal plan looking at how much it would cost the town to provide utilities and police and fire protection to the proposed annexation area. Once the Town Council approves the plan, a public hearing on the matter will be held.