ANDERSON — Mayor Kevin Smith said Tuesday that he plans to resurrect the so-called southwest annexation that was part of the city expansion plan rejected by the City Council this past winter.
Smith talked about reviving the annexation attempt during a state-of-the-city speech to the Anderson Noon Rotary Club at the Flagship Enterprise Center
Later in the afternoon, Smith called a special meeting of the Anderson City Council to take up the proposal once more. The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday at Anderson City Hall.
Smith called the Flagship Center an appropriate setting for his announcement because it has been the focal point of Anderson’s economic growth over the past decade.
“We absolutely have run out of room for this wonderful concept, the Flagship, and the demonstrated ability this city has had over the last nine years to attract global industry,” Smith told the local business executives.
Without more land with Interstate 69 frontage, which is what managers of modern manufacturing operations desire, city officials will have to tell potential “suitors” they will have to look for other cities to fulfill that requirement, Smith said.
“I do not find that is an acceptable alternative for the city of Anderson,” he added. “This is not dictated by just a simple whim, it is dictated by where industry tells us they want to be.”
“I am eager to see what it is that he proposes,” said City Council President David Eicks, D-at large, when told of Smith’s plan. “I’m sure everyone agrees that interstate frontage is the most valuable frontage out there.”
Smith’s Anderson Fast Forward plan was designed to stabilize the city’s population and property tax base and create an economic development corridor by capturing unincorporated frontage along Interstate 69 to the Madison/Hamilton County line.