“A boatload of issues.” That was the comment from City Attorney Donald Lannoye on Wednesday during the City’s Public Hearing for the proposed annexation of land in Dryden Township.
The City of Gaylord is proposing the annexation of four pieces of Dryden Township land, all of which border current City limits. It is doing so in an attempt to clean up City boundaries and to be prepared for a trail system being planned, according to Lannoye.
Properties proposed for annexation included the following:
• West edge of Tenth Street from High Avenue to North Avenue;
• Land from north of Mud Lake to Railroad Avenue;
• Land south of Gaylord’s Industrial Park;
• The east edge of 13th Street located on the east edge of Gaylord; and a triangular parcel between the railroad and Trunk Highway #19;
According to an orderly annexation agreement, established in 1977, these parcels are subject to annexation upon them becoming suburban in character and the City is capable of providing municipal services to the property. Some of these parcels already have municipal services, according to City Administrator Kevin McCann. And, the City is currently maintaining some of the roadways in the orderly annexation area.
McCann and Avery Grochow of Sibley Surveyors, Inc. met with Dryden Township officials last fall to discuss the proposed annexation. There appeared to be some discrepancy on what was agreed to at that meeting.
Dryden Township representatives were in attendance Wednesday. Ron Otto, chairman for Dryden Township, said his group agreed to 33-feet of land being annexed on Tenth Street, not 37-feet as the City is proposing. He explained that good farmland is being taken and, although it seems little, the four feet in question adds up tax revenue wise for Dryden Township over the years.
Otto also contests that the area along 13th Street East and the small triangular parcel between the railroad and T.H. 19 was never discussed at the City/Township meeting in the fall. He also felt it wasn’t necessary to annex land along 13th Street East right now because it “won’t develop for quite some time.”
Dryden Township property owners also had questions for the City. Their primary concern was that they would see a tax increase but wouldn’t see a benefit to property.
Attorney Michael Gavin is representing a Dryden Township property owner. He said the City would be taking some good farmland. Gavin believes it would make sense for the City to try to negotiate a price for the land. He added that eminent domain is an expensive process.
Otto was one of the last to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting. He believes the biggest contention for the Township is the difference between annexing 33’ and 37’ on Tenth Street and 13th Street East. He said the Township needs to know what it’s going to get paid, can it still be farmed, and who will control the land?
According to Lannoye, there are a boatload of issues before a decision is made on the annexation proposal. McCann reported Monday that he plans to meet with Lannoye and Grochow this week. There may be an update on the proposed annexation at the August 18th City Council meeting, he explained.