GIRARD — The Crawford County Commission meeting Tuesday put County Counsel Jim Emerson in the spotlight with a full presentation to the commissioners about the options cities have when they desire to annex properties outside of their standing city limits.
Commissioner Carl Wood requested the in-depth presentation of the laws regarding annexation after he said several citizens approached him with concerns about local cities pushing into areas usually considered annexation.
“It’s starting to feel like a land rush,” Woods said of possible annexations. “People choose to live in the county, I think — no, I know — we need to protect them.”
Emerson said although it is possible for communities to annex areas which abutt the city limits, “island annexations” take county approval, and can not build off of previous island annexations.
An island annexation is a city annexing land it already owns outside the corporate boundaries of the city.
Emerson also said in order for cities to annex areas over 40 acres, a vote among the residents in the annexed areas is required.
The commission also addressed actions in regards to lingering concerns over the drainage options in the Silverback Housing Addition planned in Pittsburg near the hospital. County Commissioner Jeff Murphy said he had contacted the City of Pittsburg and they had offered to meet with him. Commissioner Tom Moody and Woods encouraged him to attend the meeting, but said they would like a county study of the potential impact of stormwater runoff in the proposed addition, as several homes and a new business could be impacted.
“For the sake of our peace of mind, and the peace of mind of our constitutes we need to go ahead and look at this,” Moody said.
The commission reviewed the bids from engineering firms contacted by Emerson for the review of runoff on county areas, and voted unanimously to go forward. Murphy spoke highly of the chosen bid company, Agricultural Engineering Associates, saying he had experience with them and found them to be very thorough.
Woods, who has been a strong proponent of insuring runoff will not cause damage to county areas, said the money was well worth the expense.
“I’m a tight person, but this $2,500 isn’t going to make or break us, and at least we’ll know where we really stand,” Woods said.