At their work session on February 9, the Manhattan City Commission largely opposed annexation of the Green Valley area. In the study conducted by Bethesda, Maryland, consultants TischlerBise, Inc., the area was divided into four Financial Analysis Zones (FAZ). Projections indicated a possible net benefit to the city of over $23 million over a 20 year period. The Mercury and 1350 KMAN Radio each published stories about this. Here are a few key points:
- The area where most of the new homes are being constructed or have been recently built north of Highway 24 (FAZ 4) is a net loss for annexation.
- The best candidates for annexation appeared to be the strips along Highway 24 where commercial and industrial development will continue and produce the most potential property and sales tax revenues for the city (FAZ 1, 2, and 3).
- Annexation of FAZ 1 would not require construction of a new fire station or other significant city services but FAZ 2 and 3 likely would.
- The City of Manhattan would have to put significant infrastructure in place, especially water lines and sewer lines along the Highway 24 corridor
- The members of the commission would be more supportive of annexation where property owners specifically request city services (i.e. “Island Annexation”)
- Some property owners are already interested in this
It is worth pointing out that the City of Manhattan remains interested in annexation of the commercial/industrial portion of the Highway 24 corridor at least as far as Excel Road. It is also worth noting that the study confirmed other studies that project the Green Valley area to grow to a whopping 8,000-10,000 population. We will have to continue considering our governance options as we grow. In short, annexation is not a dead issue but it is on the back burner. We will want to be very involved in whatever decisions must be made if we don’t want others who don’t live here to make them for us.