By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — Mayor Kevin Smith plans to resurrect the so-called southwest annexation that was part of an annexation plan rejected last winter by Anderson City Council.
Smith spoke about reviving the annexation attempt, today during his state-of-the city speech to the Anderson Noon Rotary Club at the Flagship Enterprise Center.
The setting was an appropriate one for the announcement, Smith said, because the Flagship has been the the true engine 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 said.
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."
Anderson Fast Forward, which the Smith Administration unveiled in February, was a two-pronged proposal. The Northeast part was smaller but richer in both population and potential tax revenue, while the proposed southwest annexation was designed to fuel the city's future economic growth.
This story will be updated with more details this evening.