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The Journal Gazette

No fanfare sounded for Huntertown annexation

Council quietly OKs adding 530 acres, boosting revenue

– Quick and with little fanfare or fireworks.

That’s essentially how Huntertown Town Council passed an ordinance approving the annexation of 530 acres Friday.

There will be a 90-day remonstrance period, but after that the annexation – much of which includes the Twin Eagles subdivision – will be complete.

“We’ve had time to think about it and talk to the people who’ve come to us,” council President Patricia Freck said.

The public meeting lasted less than 10 minutes and came on the heels of one in May.

Among those with concerns over the annexation were Northwest Allen County Schools – which would lose revenue – as well as developers who are ready to build housing additions nearby and have signed deals with Fort Wayne City Utilities for water and sewer services.

Property owners whose taxes are already at the maximum allowed by statewide tax caps would not see an increase in property taxes.

NACS – the largest taxing unit – would receive about $60,000 less in tax revenue next year if the annexation occurs, school officials said in May.

The annexation would add about 1,500 people to Huntertown’s population – currently 4,810 – and the town would get about $192,000 a year in additional revenue, mostly from county economic development and local option income taxes, along with state funding for local roads and streets based on road mileage and population.

During the meeting in May, attorneys for a law firm representing developers Mike and Jeff Thomas and Roger Delagrange argued that if annexation occurred, Huntertown could not provide sanitary sewer service to their clients’ projects.

The council also approved an amended fiscal plan. The plan showed a recalculation of Huntertown’s population density, which initially was below the required three people per acre for annexation.

Officials said the town’s population density is indeed over that, and there were plats of land they did not account for when drafting the initial plan.

Only a smattering of people attended Friday’s hearing, in which the council unanimously voted in favor of annexation as well as the new fiscal plan.