LAPEL — After finally starting the annexation process during a meeting in April, the Lapel Town Council is starting to feel the expense of annexation firsthand.
At its Thursday meeting, the Town Council agreed to pay two bills specifically connected with the extensive annexation process. The council unanimously voted to pay $2,750 to Precise Land Surveying for work the company did surveying the annexation land. It also paid $2,362 to attorney Matthew Skelton for his work on completing a fiscal plan.
Councilman Tim Munro said the numbers show the town will be able to cover the new expenses of maintaining roads and other expenses with the extra tax dollars coming in. The town will not have to try and create additional revenue.
“There was nothing surprising about the numbers,” Munro said. “It was about where we thought it would be.”
The council read the ordinance for the first time at a previous meeting in April despite not having a solid idea of what the fiscal plan’s final numbers would be.
While Ingalls and Pendleton have reached a common ground on the area near exit 214 off of Interstate 69, Lapel has been a little further behind in the annexation process. Because of that, the town missed out on the land near the exit. Lapel decided to wait on moving forward in order to ensure the annexation was a voluntary one. It took a month to get above the necessary 51 percent of landowners.
Instead of trying to get involved in a legal battle, Lapel decided to annex land south of the town’s current boundaries down to County Road 700 South. The area is roughly four miles long and two and a half miles wide.
The council is currently in a waiting period in the annexation process. There must be a 60-day time frame for landowners to be alerted to the impending annexation, followed by a public meeting set for July 3. The public will then have an opportunity to discuss their concerns or questions about the annexation.