News Release: From: Mayors Office---Evansville Partial Knight Township Annexation to Begin (EVANSVILLE, IN)- The first step toward the annexation of a portion of Knight Township is underway with the filing today of a fiscal plan with the City Council. Annexation is the expansion of the City’s boundary into unincorporated areas. The City, in turn, provides municipal services to the area being annexed. “When they become part of the City, residents and businesses located in this area of Knight Township will receive the same superior level of service that is provided to other citizens of Evansville,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “This annexation simply allows the city’s boundaries to expand with the tremendous economic growth we are experiencing in Vanderburgh County.” The proposed area for annexation is bordered by Morgan Avenue to the north, the Lloyd Expressway to the South, the Vanderburgh/Warrick County line to the east, and the City boundary to the west (roughly Royal Avenue). It measures about 1514.4 acres, and contains 646 rental units and ten single family residences. The area shares approximately 43% of its border with the City, which is greater than the one-eighth (12.5%) required by State Statute for annexation. According to Statute, the fiscal plan must include: 1. Estimated costs of services to be provided by the City 2. Method or methods of financing those services 3. Plan for organization and extension of services 4. Non-capital services must be provided within one year after effective date of annexation 5. Capital improvement services must be provided within three years after effective date of annexation • Municipal services that will be provided to the annexed area include: police and fire protection, garbage collection, sanitary water and sewer service, storm drainage, road and street maintenance, street lights, and administrative services. The township tax rate should be lower as residents and businesses begin to pay property taxes levied by the City. They also will pay less for city water because rates are higher for non-city users. Residents likely already pay for sewer and refuse, and the cost for those City services should be comparable. When the annexation is complete, both the Evansville Police Department and the Evansville Fire Department will provide public safety services to Knight Township residents and businesses. This is especially important given the uncertainty about the township’s ability to continue to provide fire protection in that area. At least 60 days after the fiscal plan is adopted, a public hearing must be held on the proposed annexation. Written notice of that hearing must be provided to all real property owners in the area. Property owners have 90 days to challenge the fiscal plan, and 2/3 of those owners must remonstrate in order for that challenge to be successful. If there is no challenge, an ordinance will be adopted and annexation is expected to be complete by June 2nd. What is annexation? Annexation is the expansion of the City’s boundary into unincorporated areas. In turn, the City provides municipal services to the new area. The City considers annexing contiguous territories to provide services consistent with meeting the urban needs of an area, i.e. police and fire protection. Annexation promotes fairness by sharing the cost of operating the City among the people who benefit from working and living in close proximity to the City. Where is the current proposed area of annexation? The area shares 43% of its border with the corporate boundary of the northeast corner of the City. The area is bounded by the existing City limits to the south (State Route 66) and west (Royal Avenue), State Route 62 to the north, and the Vanderburgh/Warrick County line to the east. How can I comment? The Evansville Common Council will hold a public hearing where citizens can comment. A letter with the details will be mailed to those affected. Method of Annexation The existing statute (IC 36-4-3) provides cities with the ability to annex areas that are one-eighth contiguous (12.5%) to the municipality and meet the requirements required by statute. These requirements are summarized as follows: 1. Development and adoption of a written fiscal plan and establishment of a definite policy, by resolution of the legislative body, for the area. The fiscal plan must show the following: a. The estimated costs of planned services to be provided to the area by the City, itemized by each department or agency. b. The method or methods of financing the planned services. c. The plan for the organization and extension of services. d. Planned services of a non-capital nature will be provided within one year after the effective date of annexation. e. Services of a capital improvement nature will be provided to the area within three years after the effective date of the annexation. 2. Hold a public hearing concerning the proposed annexation at least 60 days after adoption of the fiscal plan. 3. Provide written notice of the hearing to each owner of real property located within the area. 4. Property owners have 90 days to challenge the fiscal plan. 2/3 of property owners must remonstrate in order for the challenge to be successful. 5. If there is no challenge, the annexation ordinance will be adopted. Annexation FAQ’s This overview is intended to answer questions and provide you with a summary of the services provided by the City and its various departments. Population estimate of area: 1,379 persons 1,514 acres 0.91 persons per acre Buildings Permits for 646 renter-occupied units 10 single family residences Other buildings are for commercial, industrial, and agricultural use Taxes The township tax rate should be lower as residents and businesses begin to pay property taxes levied by the City. City taxes are due May 10 and November 10. This tax money can help protect or enhance the City’s tax base. Police Coverage The City of Evansville Police Department (EPD) is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the Indiana Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. The EPD provides many valuable services to its citizens including: • Criminal investigations • Preventative patrol • Directed patrol functions • Fully equipped, 21 person SWAT team, mobile command center, armored SWAT vehicle • Hazardous devices unit, which includes three bomb technicians, an explosive detection K-9, and a remotely operated robot • Fully equipped clandestine lab vehicle • Special units such as domestic violence, sex crimes, financial crimes, auto theft, certified handwriting and document examiner, two polygraph examiners, and officers assigned to the FBI and ATF • Crime scene unit with seven full time sworn technicians with equipment; automated fingerprint ID system, an alternate light source which sees fluids and fingerprints that were previously undetectable • Trained and certified bicycle patrol officers • Special Operations Unit that handles large community events • Community police officers assigned to neighborhoods throughout the City • Three sector offices The EPD has a sector office at 4900 Shamrock Court and estimates response time of less than four minutes for emergency runs to the area. The EPD currently has 265 sworn officers dedicated to operations. The EPD will add three officers in order to provide service to the area. Police services will begin within one year of the date of annexation. Fire Protection and Emergency Response The City of Evansville Fire Department (EFD) is fully staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by professional firefighters who respond to emergencies immediately at the time of an alarm. As you are aware, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the Township’s ability to continue to provide fire protection in the area. The EFD has three special services teams: • Hazardous Materials Response • Dive Rescue • Confined Space/Rope Rescue Teams EFD does not anticipate the need to hire additional personnel. The primary fire stations servicing the area will be Stations 6 and 9. Station 6 will cover the south end of the area, and Station 9 will cover the north. Extra extrication equipment will be purchased for either Station 6 or 9. Studies verify this will be sufficient coverage for these areas. The response time goal for the first EFD unit is to arrive 90% of the time within four minutes of units being enroute. One year after the effective date of annexation, full fire protection on a first call basis will be provided to the area. American Medical Response (AMR) provides paramedic Emergency Medical Services. Calls in the annexation area are already handled by AMR, but with a less stringent standard than under the Vanderburgh County contract. Reduced water rates Water rates are lower for residents in the City, than for customers in unincorporated areas. Customers only pay for the water they use. People with well water or septic systems do not need to connect to City water. The tap-in fee for water is $700, in addition to front footage at $20 per linear foot. The sewer tap-in fee is $1,200. If a well needs to be re-drilled, the cost is $3,000. Cost of garbage collection is billed separately on the sewer bill. Street Sweeping The City’s Water & Sewer Utility Department has a scheduled street sweeping program. It will begin within one year of the effective date of annexation. Metropolitan Evansville Transit System (METS) Service METS and METS Mobility are currently providing service to the area being annexed. School Districts and Busing This will not change for the annexed area. Street Maintenance Major functions include maintaining public roads, snow removal, minor street resurfacing, mowing public right of ways, grading and re-rocking alleys and shoulders, flushing and vacuuming City storm inlets, and pothole maintenance. One full time truck driver will be added in order to provide street maintenance services to the area. A new snowplow and mower will also be added. Inlets, concrete swales, and ditches are scheduled to be cleaned once every three years, which is in accordance with current City standards. Snow plowing, pothole patching, inlet, swale, culvert, and ditch cleaning will begin effective the date of annexation. Traffic Engineering This department handles changing or adding street signs, and the addition of snow route signs. Change out of signage will be complete within 3 months after the effective date of annexation. Engineering The City Engineering Department prepares plans and specifications, and contracts out the construction of infrastructure capital improvements. This includes streets, sidewalks, drainage systems and street lights. Street paving is contracted out of the office (routine maintenance is performed by the Street Maintenance Department). Street lighting service is provided by Vectren through an agreement with the City. These services will begin within three years after the effective date of annexation. Urban Forestry The Urban Forestry Program manages and preserves the trees located in City parks and public areas of the City. The program enhances the appearance and provides important environmental benefits for citizens of the City. In the annexed area, Urban Forestry will maintain trees and brush. Animal Control This is a shared service with Vanderburgh County, so there will be no change or additional cost involved. Neighborhood Programs The City’s Department of Metropolitan Development works to improve neighborhoods by administering the Community Development Block Grant Program and other dedicated sources that aid in neighborhood development. Neighborhood Inspection Services Upgrades existing housing by enforcing the City’s Property Maintenance Code, or in the case of unsafe structures, assists in the elimination of the structures through demolition; provides enforcement through the Code Enforcement Hearing Officer and Vanderburgh County Court System. Weed Control A seasonal office that enforces the City’s weed ordinance, which requires property owners to keep grass and other vegetation less than nine inches in height. Voice in Government Annexation provides residents with a voice in government. They will be able to vote in City elections, run for City office or be appointed to City boards and commissions. Right to Vote Established the day after annexation is complete. City Council District Annexed residents will be in District 3. Political Influence Annexation increases the size and population of the City. This may raise our political influence, prestige and ability to attract new business and industry to the area. Logical boundaries The expansion of the City will provide for more orderly boundaries, eliminating the confusion regarding whether a parcel is inside or outside the City limits. This is especially important for public safety response. Access to Various City Grant Programs The City offers grants to assist various not-for-profit organizations which promote education, tourism and cultural development.