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Annexation requests could double town's size

November 07, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

BOONSBORO - With more than 800 acres of annexation requests before them, Boonsboro Town Council members voted to begin a process that could double the town's size.

The approvals of the annexations would depend on whether local officials and developers can work out issues like school capacity, roads and water allocations, before the end of the year. On Jan. 1, state regulations dealing with annexation change, Town Manager Debra Smith said.

The council voted unanimously to approve introducing six resolutions dealing with annexations during its regular monthly meeting Monday. Though about 15 people sat in the audience, no one spoke during a time set aside for public comment.

In all, the properties cover more than 811 acres.

"Not all of these things are going to be worked out, there's no way all them can be worked out," Smith said after the meeting.

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To annex a property, the council must introduce, and then approve, a resolution for annexation. In between, the town must convene a public hearing, Smith said. The hearing on the six annexations is 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Eugene C. Smith Community Center.

The deliberations on two other annexations, which cover about 120 acres according to figures provided by Council member Kevin Chambers and the town, have moved past the public hearing stage, Smith said.

Before the votes on the annexation introductions, Mayor Charles "Skip" F. Kauffman Jr. said state law changes that go in effect next year will limit towns' control over annexations, giving more power in the process to the counties.

Chambers said the town needs to proceed on a couple big-budget projects, including paying for a proposed wastewater-treatment plant and building a road to relieve congestion downtown. School capacity also is a concern, he said.

By working with developers, Chambers said the town can address its infrastructure needs.

"With all that being said, the annexation process is the only way for the town to control growth ..." Chambers said.

The possible annexations include parcels of more than 388 acres and more than 213 acres.

"It's going to double the size of the town," Smith said of the package of possible annexations.

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