Ottawa County: Annexation decision expected next week

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By Larry Limpf

After hearing from residents and public officials, the Ottawa County commissioners will decide an annexation request next week involving property in Harris Township.
The commissioners will make their decision June 13 at 10:30 a.m. on whether 7.13 acres should be annexed from the township into the Village of Elmore. The parcels are located along West Portage River South Road.
A hearing to accept public comment on the proposed annexation was held May 23 at the township hall. About 20 persons attended the hearing.
A notice from the village to township residents along the road indicates some were reluctant to have their property annexed. It states the residents didn’t comply with an agreement to annex and the village was prepared to stop providing sewer service to the properties unless the owners complied with the agreement.
The village would have allowed them 60 days to disconnect from the municipal sewer system and connect to an alternative wastewater treatment system.
“We deeply regret that the situation has deteriorated to this extent; however, other properties have annexed under similar situations, and some of your neighbors have agreed to annex. Therefore, we cannot, in good faith, hold them to their commitments while allowing you to ignore yours,” the letter says.
Mayor Matt Damschroder said recently that the affected residents signed agreements when they tapped into the village’s sanitary sewer system that they would not contest annexation. He said the issue has been going on for 12 years.
The property owners being annexed are paying a 50 percent surcharge above what village residents pay for the sewer service but that will be dropped when the annexation is completed, according to the village utilities office.

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