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Electric City considers turning back annexed lands

 

A bicyclist approaches the Electric City limits on SR-155. - Jacob Wagner photo

Electric City will consider reversing an annexation decision it made back in 2009.

The city council has asked City Clerk Russell Powers to find out how to reverse its annexation decision that brought a large block of land south of the Osborn Bay into the city. Powers said Monday that he has asked the city's attorney what the process would be so he can report back to the council at one of its future meetings.

"If the city eventually wants to turn back annexed land, it would take a vote of the people," Powers stated.

At the March 13 city council meeting, Councilmember Lonna Bussert made the motion, which was seconded by Councilmember Birdie Hensley to "find out what it would take to turn land back to the county."

The instigating issue focused on wildlife and how to limit the number of deer and turkey that are increasingly making their home within the city center.

Hensley has raised the issue of turkeys, and has maintained that when the city annexed land south of the causeway, it took away hunting which had kept wildlife numbers down.

Land annexed included small private parcels, Department of Natural Resource land, Bureau of Reclamation land and state land.

The council seems bent on returning the land to the county so that the state Fish & Wildlife Dept. could manage the properties and hunting on the public lands could return.

The rush to annex the land was tied to a housing development plan several years ago that didn't materialize because the group could not get financing. They had proposed a large-scale project that would have involved several hundred homes.

Bussert said Monday that the council was not including Sunbanks Lake Resort in the de-annexation study, although it had been included in the area annexed years ago.

If the city eventually follows through with turning these annexed lands back to the county, it would seal any attempt to later extend the city southward - unless it went through another annexation.

Hensley had invited representatives of Fish & Wildlife to a council meeting several weeks ago to see if they had any ideas on how to curtail the number of turkeys in town. Their simple response was that turkeys will pretty much do what they want to do.

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