HISID board denies annexation request

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- After no one seconded a motion to approve annexation of a five-acre parcel on Holiday Island's northeastern boundary, the Board of Commissioners, in a split 3-2 vote Monday, approved a motion to deny the request.

Commissioners voting to deny were Linda Griswold, Ken Brown and Ken Ames; those voting not to deny were Linda Graves and Bruce Larson.

At the board's June 18 work session, real estate agent Georgia Holland and attorney Robert Ballinger requested the district annex a five-acre property that abuts Summit Drive, for property owner Jacques Laguerre, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who wants to increase the sale value of the property by having it be part of the SID. Ballinger said the property owner understand he would have to bear the cost of hooking up water and sewer.

But it is not a simple matter of hooking into the district's water and sewer lines, said Roads Superintendent Kenny DeHart.

"There is no sewer line in front of the property," he said Monday. "It would have to go down the road. In the future, if the new owners decided they wanted sewer and water, we'd have to do an extension and a sewer tap. I don't see how you can ask new owners to pay for this if you annex them in."

He said it would take a "substantial amount of money" for the district to extend the lines.

Neither Holland nor Ballinger were present at Monday's meeting.

"I don't feel we've done enough research," Graves said, to which Griswold replied, "There has been precedent set by other requests."

"I think they're different situations," Graves responded. "All we know is what we've been told, and it's hearsay."

Answers to questions about why past boards had refused annexation requests were not available.

"If we reject it, it doesn't preclude development of that property and access to our streets," said Larson. "At least if we annex them, we get an assessment and water bill."

The board continued its discussion of lot quit-claims and foreclosures and whether the district owes taxes to the county. Griswold reported she had sent a list of 62 properties to Carroll County Assessor JoAnn Harris for exemption from taxes, and she had agreed to exempt them.

"I'm hoping we can resolve the issue of exempt lots," Griswold said, referring to hundreds of other lots the district has in its possession. She asked staff member Regina Reynolds to clarify what has been done in the past about lots quit-claimed to the district that were current in assessments but had unpaid taxes on them.

"In the past, we've always brought them up to date, and the next year they were supposed to be exempt," Reynolds replied.

"But that doesn't always happen," Griswold said.

The board approved a motion for the staff, with assistance from commissioners, to prepare an analysis of the quit-claimed lots in district possession and to recommend which should have back taxes paid on them. The board will work on a marketing plan to sell them.

In other business, the board:

* Approved a bid for $268,052.32 from Heavy Constructors to do the 2012 road paving program.

* Approved a change order request from the fire department for an additional expenditure of $1,358.50 on the new Fire Station #1 roof, for a total expense of $32,847.36. Insurance paid $18,615; and the remainder was split by the Ladies' Auxiliary and state Act 833 money, leaving no cost to the district for the project.

* Agreed for an ad hoc committee to generate a list of requirements for accounting software to be used in drafting a Request for Qualification, Request for Proposal or bid specifications.

* Heard property owner Kathy Bischoff request a formal reply to questions about waiving assessments and penalties on delinquent lots and for her questions to become part of the official record.

* Heard property owner Dave Bischoff say he had never received a reply to a list of questions submitted Nov. 21, 2011, about the recent Assessment of Benefits. Griswold said she thought the matter had been answered and would look into it.

* Heard District Manager John Kennedy's report: golf income is up year-to-date over budget: $133,258 so far, compared to $119,000 budgeted, but added, "We did not have a good weekend because of the heat. We'll see what it does in July and August." Nine-hole golf course usage is also up. The district has taken in $663,894.03 in assessments year-to-date. The large pool filtration at the Recreation Center has been having problems and is in need of work in the near future.

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