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Electric City resident feels shorted on short plat


Electric City resident Wayne Snyder argues that details of a deal he made with the city to annex a neighborhood he developed aren’t being honored.

Snyder owns the land on “Snyder Hill,” located in the northern part of the city limits, which includes half a dozen houses and about 17 acres of land.

“(Then-mayor) Ray Halsey said that if we would annex to the city, they would accept the road as-is, and chip seal the roads within two years, and take care of weeds and snowplowing,” Snyder said of a 2008-2009 annexation agreement made about Snyder Hill, which is home to several residents, including Snyder.

The city plows up to a cul-de-sac, but not beyond that, arguing that the rest of the road counts as private driveways.

Snyder reasons that it is odd to consider past that point as a private driveway, being that the road includes a turn to another private home and was there before his house was built.

The chip sealing promised to Snyder has not happened either.

“I talked to residents on the hill, and they agreed if the city would chip seal and maintain the roads they would agree to annex to the city,” Snyder said, adding that he chose to annex to the city to make his life, and the lives of the residents on the hill, easier.

“The new mayor [John Nordine II] said they’re not going to honor a good-old-boy handshake from Mayor Roy Halsey,” Snyder said.

Halsey is no longer alive.

But there was more to the agreement than a good-old-boy handshake.

Minutes from an Aug. 26, 2008 “Public Workshop” meeting state that “upon annexation road maintenance would commence immediately, beginning at turnoff from highway and including west ‘y’ to the Snyder home and loop heading west behind the Butler home continuing east up to the Bainard home. Road maintenance would consist of surface leveling, spraying and snowplowing,” and that chip sealing “would be completed within two years of annexation and would be done with any road improvement being the burden of the City.”

The minutes, which were approved in the following month’s meeting, also said “the addition of sidewalks and curbing would be excluded.”

“Now doesn’t that seem like a good-ol’-boy handshake?” Snyder asked.

Although, according to the minutes, the details of the annexation were discussed at the meeting to general agreement from the council, no motions were made to adopt these details as official components of the annexation.

Still, Snyder feels that he was led to believe he was agreeing to certain circumstances from which the city then backed out.

Snyder said that when former clerk Jackie Perman was asked at a later council meeting if she remembered the agreement that was made in meetings when Halsey was alive, she said she did not.

“But if you look at all the minutes of all the meetings, you will see she wrote all the minutes,” Snyder said. “So she did [remember].”

Snyder is frustrated that the city has balked on the agreement to have the full area plowed and maintained, and also that the city is now asking him to build a sidewalk and curb in the area that wouldn’t connect to any other curbs or sidewalks.

City Clerk Russ Powers says Snyder has options to defer building the sidewalk under certain circumstances, and to apply to allow the city easement further up the road so that the city could maintain those roads.

Snyder says he will look into those options, but is skeptical of making more deals with the city.

Snyder has already spent around $70,000 connecting the area to the city’s sewer lines, something he wasn’t supposed to need to do either according to the original agreement, as he understood it.

“Whenever you have anything to do with council, you’d better have it in writing to you, because the minutes don’t mean anything,” Snyder said.

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