Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 20, 2012

Neighbors, city reach agreement

Kokomo annexes Cotswold Hills subdivision.

By Ken de la Bastide

— The city of Kokomo has reached an agreement with the property owners in the Cotswold Hills subdivision that allows the 51 acres to be annexed into the city.

The agreement delays the effective date of the annexation from March 13, 2013, to Jan. 1, 2015. The Kokomo Common Council Monday approved the annexation by unanimous vote.

Residents will begin receiving city services in 2015 and will not pay city taxes until 2016. The area will become part of the Common Council’s 5th District in the future.

“I am glad the residents of the Cotswold Hills subdivision were willing to sit down with us to reach a conclusion to the proposed annexation,” Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said in a press release. “They came to us, expressed their concerns, and I believe we were able to address many of the issues.”

Lawrence McCormack, Kokomo city attorney, said the expansion of city sewers to the subdivision will take place as planned in 2013.

The estimated cost of the sewer expansion is $1 million. Those connecting to the sanitary sewer system will pay up to $6,000 in hook-in fees, as well as city sewer rates.

The annexation will generate around $40,000 in net revenue for the city. According to the city’s fiscal plan, the tax rate for the subdivision will go from $1.87 per $100 of assessed valuation to $3.33 per $100 with the change.

McCormack said residents will not be required to connect to the sewer system or be charged a fee if they decide not to tap into the sewer lines.

“We’ve reached a conclusion that everyone is happy with,” he said.

Councilman Mike Wyant said this is a plus to the area.

He said some septic systems in the subdivision are failing and more will fail in the future.

Wyant said the expansion of the sewer system to Cotswold Hills will raise property values.

Jack Rayl, a co-owner of the subdivision, said he appreciates the action the city has taken in terms of the delay in annexation.

“This is cheap insurance,” Rayl said. “People have invested in their property. This is a back-up system if the septic system fails.”

He said septic wastewater is coming into Cotswold Hills from adjacent properties.

The half-finished subdivision, which currently has 28 homes, sits just to the south of the newly annexed Timber Valley subdivision, near the intersection of Ind. 26 and 200 West.