KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved two small annexations during its regular meeting Tuesday night — two houses that could cost the city as much as $45,000 for sewer line extensions.
The BMA unanimously voted Tuesday night to approve the annexation of two Sullivan County homes at the request of the owners — one on Emory Church Road (the home of a Wellmont Health System executive) and the other on Grandview Court. The annexations will require a second vote by the BMA, most likely on June 5, and then will officially come into the city 30 days after.
The Emory Church annexation involves three residents including one middle-school-age student currently enrolled in Sullivan County Schools.
The Grandview annexation includes two school-age children (elementary and middle) currently under tuition to Kingsport City Schools.
Both annexations will require a sewer line extension with an estimated cost of $30,000 for the Emory Church property and $15,000 for the Grandview one. The total one-time cost for the Emory Church annexation is estimated to be $32,740; for Grandview the figure is $17,740.
Property owners will have to pay a $1,950 sewer tap fee and yearly property taxes of $1,190 and $1,117, respectively.
Kingsport will also receive approximately $728 in state-shared taxes for the properties. However, since water rates are cheaper inside the city, Kingsport will be losing approximately $830 a year in water revenue from the two properties once officially annexed.
Though these two properties abut the city limits, city planners say there are no plans to annex other properties in the vicinity of these two.
Next in the annexation queue is the John B. Dennis annexation — an 18-acre strip of commercial properties and one house along the John B. Dennis Highway, essentially across the street from Pal’s Sudden Service and south of Brookside Elementary School. The annexation includes a bar, gas station, grocery store and car wash.
According to the city’s planning department, this city-initiated annexation includes five residents in one house and one trailer and no school-age children.
The one-time cost associated with this annexation includes $20,000 for sewer line work and $5,000 for two fire hydrants. Kingsport is projecting $23,700 in annual property taxes from the annexation. The average city taxes for property in this annexation area is just under $1,400.
Later this year, Kingsport is planning to continue annexing in the Colonial Heights community (dubbed Area 7) — basically everything north of Interstate 81 and the current city limits on the west side of Fort Henry Drive.
In other business Tuesday night, the BMA voted to repeal a city ordinance banning the sale and possession of synthetic drugs. The BMA approved the ordinance in December 2011 and since then has been sued by five local smoke shops in federal court challenging the ban.
Given that the Tennessee General Assembly recently approved two bills making the sale and possession of synthetic drugs a criminal offense, City Manager John Campbell said Kingsport’s attorneys defending the federal lawsuit advised the city to repeal the ordinance and let state law override.
Joe May, former city attorney for Kingsport, said since state law overrides the city ordinance, the city would no longer have the authority to enforce its ordinance.