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Princeton looks at annexation of properties

PRINCETON — The Princeton City Council continues to work on annexing properties into the city limits to get the city map in better shape.

At Monday’s meeting, the council had a first reading on the annexation of three properties, with one property owner addressing the council with her concerns.

Dana Dickens said she doesn’t want to have her taxes raised by the forced annexation if she isn’t going to receive any benefits from the city. She has never received any city utilities at her rural Princeton property, located on 2100 East Street, and doesn’t see the benefits of being annexed into the city limits.

Dickens also wanted to know how the council decided which properties would receive tax abatement with their annexations.

As she understands it, a neighboring property was voluntarily annexed into the city limits several years ago but received a tax abatement, as did properties within the Bailey Subdivision when it was annexed into city limits.

She bought her property because it was rural, Dickins said. If the property had been within the city limits at that time, then that would be a different matter, she said.

Dickins asked the board to consider her concerns before making its decision.

Mayor Keith Cain said the council would take her concerns into consideration. The council had no questions of Dickens at that time.

Also included in the annexation ordinance was a property located on Backbone Road, between the former Lay’s Furniture Store and the Bailey Subdivision, as well as another proposed annexation involving properties on South Main Street.

There were no other objectors at Monday’s meeting to address the city council.

On Tuesday, Princeton Zoning Officer Pete Nelson said the Dickins property sits between Interstate 80 and the John Deere Road, north and in line with the new Princeton water tower. The proposed annexation property on Backbone Road includes a warehouse building. The South Main Street annexation includes about a half dozen properties which are wholly surrounded by properties already annexed into the city limits. The South Main properties include one home and the rest are fields.

Nelson said the city of Princeton has been working on annexations since about 2004, especially looking at properties which are wholly surrounded by properties already within the city limits. The properties currently under consideration for annexation will be the last properties needed to fill in the open spaces in the city’s map, he said.

As far as tax abatement benefits for property owners, each situation is unique, based upon how desirous it is for the city to have the property within the city limits, Nelson said.

The city council will consider the proposed annexations with a second reading at its next meeting. If approved by the council following the second reading, the annexations would go into effect immediately, affecting taxes based on the 2013 year and payable in 2014. The properties will be considered individually when it comes time to vote upon them.

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