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Contractor wants claimed verbal agreement honored

 

Wayne Snyder of Electric City looks over plans of his property as he continues to try to get the city to accept his request for a short plat on four lots of property he owns. He told the city council that former mayor Ray Halsey had told him that, if he annexed into the city, the city would put in sidewalks and streets. He has asked the city to honor that agreement. – Roger S. Lucas photo

An agreement a local contractor says he made with former mayor Ray Halsey got opposition from Electric City's mayor and council last Tuesday night.

Wayne Snyder addressed the council and said that then-mayor Halsey had made a deal that if he annexed his property into Electric City, the city would put in roads and sidewalks within two years.

Snyder told the council last Tuesday night that the city should honor its agreements.

Snyder wants to short plat four lots on property he owns and are now within the city. His home sits on one of the sites; two others are hardly build-able.

A "short plat" divides a parcel of land into no more than four, unless a city's growth management zone allows up to nine.

"I want to separate my residence from the other three sites so it stands clear of my other property for inheritance purposes," Snyder told the council. He wants to be able to sell one of the other lots to recoup some of the costs he has incurred as part of the annexation. Snyder has rebuilt a water line and put in a new sewer line. "Being able to recoup these expenses," Snyder stated to the council, is part of the reason for a short plat. Snyder spent $56,000 in putting in the sewer line, he added.

Snyder told the council that Halsey had made the verbal agreement with him, and accordingly, Snyder annexed some 75 acres into the city. Halsey died in 2009.

Mayor John Nordine II, told Snyder that the office of the mayor doesn't make those kinds of agreements; they lie with the city's planning department and the council.

Snyder reiterated that the city should honor its agreements.

Nordine countered that this "is the law," holding up a copy of the city ordinance, which states that the developer of a short plat must put in curbs and sidewalks. Snyder said if he develops the other lot, under the ordinance, it would cost him tens of thousands of dollars.

The ordinance was drawn up after the city's new planning commission had discussed short plats. The planning commission is made up of the city clerk, the deputy clerk, the mayor, public works director, the city's planner and engineer. The planning commission would have to propose to amend the ordinance and it would have to be approved by the council, Snyder was advised.

Snyder said that after his own residence came into the city, the crew plowed the road to his house. "Now they have stopped that," Snyder noted.

The city had improved the road leading from SR-155, up the hill to residences that came into the city on the annexation.

Ken Dexter, the city's public works director, said that the material used on that project had been left over from another project.

Snyder had asked City Clerk Jackie Perman if she remembered Halsey's agreement with him. She said she did not. Then he asked Dexter if he remembered it, and Dexter said he did not.

"Now I am going to have to research the city council minutes to see if the agreement is mentioned," Snyder stated.

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