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Kingsport BMA gives final OK to annexations

August 22nd, 2012 3:21 am by Matthew Lane

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave final approval Tuesday night to two major annexations in the Colonial Heights community, adding more than 220 acres and approximately 375 residents to the city's ranks.


The annexations, dubbed Colonial Heights Area 7, Parts A and B, include property in the western quadrant of the Fort Henry Drive/Interstate 81 intersection. The property will officially come into the city in 30 days.


Part A consists of 109 acres, 235 residents in 102 homes, and 1.6 miles of roads including portions of Woodmere Drive, Green Hills Drive and Brightwood Lane. The area includes Colonial Heights Middle School, which would remain a county-operated school.


Part B is located adjacent to Part A, on the west side of Lebanon Road between Meadow Lane and I-81. The annexation is of 110 acres and nearly 4,000 feet or roads including portions of Claymore Drive, Red Oak Plantation Drive and Harding Road. Approximately 140 residents in 61 houses are included in the annexation.


Both annexations affect approximately 53 students -- 25 elementary, 14 middle and 14 high school. Which system they choose to go to would be up to their parents or guardians.


The average property owner in Part A will see $597 in city property taxes, while those in Part B will see a $1,093 tax bill from the Model City. As for savings on water and sewer rates and by not having a separate garbage collection fee, residents in Parts A and B could see a yearly savings of $471 and $576, respectively.


One-time costs associated with the two annexations come to more than $4.6 million, with $4.4 million dealing with sewer line upgrades for the properties. Reoccurring costs associated with the annexation come to $63,000, mostly streets and sanitation expenses.


Kingsport will receive around $135,000 in taxes each year from the properties, while one-time revenues (sewer tap fees) amount to $333,450. Excluding sewer tap fees, it will take more than 31 years for the current property taxes collected to equal the amount of money Kingsport plans to spend on the annexation.


Kingsport is planning to annex three more nearby areas by the end of the year. The estimated cost to sewer all five areas is $6.23 million.


Initially, city planners had recommended the plan of services be extended from five years to eight years since the funds to finance the sewer work would not be available within the historical five-year time frame. In the interest of fairness, the BMA earlier this month chose to stick with the five-year time frame, which will result in some type of sewer rate increase for all customers to fund the sewer work.


In other business Tuesday night, the BMA approved an amendment to the city's code of ordinances allowing bicycles to be ridden on most city sidewalks. According to the change, bicycles are now allowed on city sidewalks except for Broad Street and sidewalks where signs are posted prohibiting bicycles.


This change comes in light of Kingsport's recent efforts to become a more bicycle-friendly city, with the crafting of a bicycle and pedestrian plan that calls for improvements to a number of city streets through road striping, adding bike lanes and building mobility paths.

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