The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Politics

February 26, 2014

South Madison towns disagree over benefits, pitfalls of annexation

INGALLS — Town council members of neighboring municipalities wished each other good luck in their future plans to annex key parcels of land near the Hamilton County border.

The town of Ingalls held its planned public hearing on the annexation at its town hall on Monday night. About a half dozen residents from the area in question spoke out against the town’s proposal, either saying they’d prefer to be annexed by Pendleton or not to be annexed by anyone. Chet Babb of the Pendleton Town Council also spoke at the meeting.

Ingalls Town Council member Tim Green believes his town has the inside track for roughly 700 acres that span north from Interstate 69 to County Road 700 South and east from Indiana 13 to County Road 800 West. The annex would also include the Pilot Travel Center off Exit 214.

At the meeting, Ingalls representatives said the expansion has been part of the town’s comprehensive plan since 2004 after a strategic planning conference. A series of economic slumps have slowed the progress for the town, but according to officials, they are further along in the process than other municipalities. Green said he understands Lapel has no interest in the parcel in question, and Pendleton hasn’t broached the topic until recently. Ingalls has drafted an ordinance and sent the roughly 20 homes in question notice.

“What we want to do is run water out to those tracts, if that becomes part of the town, and that will square up our boundaries,” Green said. “Taxes will not change. Schools will not change. Addresses will not change. And, you’d be looking at police and fire enhancements.”

The residents at the meeting voiced their displeasure with the efforts.

John Canaday asked the council why he would want to be annexed. He said he moved to the country strictly so municipalities wouldn’t attempt to grab the territory. Pam Watson said she feels the residents in the parcel aren’t being given a choice, and if she had one, she’d want to voluntarily be annexed by Pendleton.

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