Letters and comments for October 11, 2011

By Observer Upload October 12, 2011 02:57 pm
Letters and comments for October 11, 2011

On annexation

To the Editor:

The ballots asking approval for annexation of La Grande North Side Urban Growth Area are being sent out this week. We live in the North Side Urban Growth Area and are in support of annexation, and this is how annexation will affect us.

1. Property taxes will increase approximately $7/$1,000 assessed value (+$714)

2. Street user and storm utility fees are $11/month (+$132)

3. Income taxes: property taxes can be deducted, saving money (-$66)

The increased water and sewer rate we’re paying for being outside city, double city rate, is not tax-deductible.

4. Sewer and water basic rates will reduce from $97.23 to $49.60 month (-$572)

5. Our water use beyond basic rate, average $300/year, saving money (-$150)

6. Insurance fire rating will change from class 5 to class 4 lowering cost (-$35)

This is 8 percent reduction in fire insurance cost, also we go from a volunteer fire department to a full-time fire department that is 2.5 miles closer, resulting in better response time.

7. We use the city Veterans Memorial Pool, the fees will reduce by 8 percent (-$24)

8. Street repair: La Grande state road funds are population-driven. We see every summer street repair up to the urban growth boundary and stop, hopefully we would see the possibility of getting some repairs. The county does the best they can but major county roads have priority.

9. City government: We will be able to voice our opinions on issues, process, fees and ordinances. We could also run for city offices and committees.

10. Honor and self-worth: Approximately 1996, the city proposed extending city water and sewer line, and paving some gravel/dirt streets at no cost to land owners if they agreed to annexation. After meetings, attendees signed annexation agreements.

The city completed their construction part of the agreement and annexed the North Side Area. After two years a person/persons, decided they did not want to live up to their agreement. We still want to honor our agreement to the city and show that our name and signature mean something.

11. Our cost after annexation will be a savings of (really no cost change) $1.

Gary and Nancy Bruch

La Grande