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Annexation foes seek signatures on petition

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Organizers need support from 65 percent of landowners

By KEVIN KOELLING
Managing Editor

TELL CITY – People mounting a remonstrance to annexation of property just outside Tell City boundaries announced on their Facebook page Tuesday they have prepared a petition and were ready to “start wearing out shoe leather going door to door” for signatures.

“We’ve got a lot of petitions printed and headed to property owners,” Keith Huck, one of the organizers, said Wednesday. He added they’re trying to schedule a second meeting within the next couple of weeks.

As the News reported April 24, 50 people met April 17 to discuss options in response to an annexation ordinance the city’s common council adopted. Its publication April 10 launched a 90-day period after which the ordinance will go into effect if the remonstrance isn’t successful. Those opposed to the move must secure the signatures of 65 percent of property owners in the annexation area or those representing 75 percent of the assessed value of the land.

Landowner Randy Cole led the meeting and stressed several points for those seeking or affixing signatures on the petition. Only property owners in the annexation area should sign the petition and they can sign once for each property on which they receive a tax notice. Multiple owners of a parcel can submit only one signature. Names should be signed as they appear on property deeds.

The Facebook page, Citizens Against Annexation, was set up as a way for people interested in the issue to remain abreast of the group’s actions. Also established was an email account at citizensagainstannexation2014@gmail.com. Anyone who can’t use either of those methods can call Keith Huck at (812) 719-1784 or 547-3159. A search for the Facebook page will result in a “community” and two “open groups” by the same name. Select the open group that does not have an exclamation mark in its name.

Also established under the name, Citizens Against Annexation, is an account at Fifth Third Bank. It’s purpose is to receive donations toward expected legal costs, which could reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. People at the April 17 meeting emphasized that donors should retain receipts in case money can be refunded.

Huck said Wednesday he has heard from people who don’t object to the annexation itself but don’t want it to occur because the city will incur costs in providing services to the added areas that won’t be covered by revenues. People can make anonymous donations, Huck also said.

He urged that anyone who works odd shifts, for example, and can’t be available when petition carriers visit should call him at one of the above numbers and leave a message if necessary.

People who live elsewhere but have property in the annexation area should call or send email to get a petition sent to them, he added.

“We will do everything we can to make contact with them, Huck said.