A petition to incorporate the City of Green Valley in southwestern Pottawatomie County has been deemed invalid by County Clerk Dawn Henry.
She with the legal advice of County Counselor John Watt listed several reasons, including maps shown to petitioners the boundaries not matching, as well as failing to list he quantity of land embraced, platted and unplatted.
Several residents, including Timber Creek homeowner Darla Thomas, voiced opposition to the petition.
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Developer Dave Nelson says most in the area are happy with the status quo.
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Resident Jenny Benson says the small number of petitions are not representative of the growing neighborhoods.
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Resident Dustin Kirk also spoke against, noting any petition should be more thoroughly vetted.
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Green Valley, Kansas Foundation executive director Rob Busby spoke neither for or against incorporation, but says growth is bringing tough challenges to an area in need of future infrastructure improvements.
According to Henry, 76 valid signatures were turned in. At least 50 are required to petition the local government. A complete breakdown of the reason for the petition failing are listed below in a letter from the County Counselor to the County Clerk. Many concerns were raised about the sheer cost involved with incorporation versus annexing, which are all still very premature. Some in the audience at Monday’s meeting suggested more studies be done into the Green Valley Governance Plan.
Commissioners spoke afterward about their appreciation to all those who participated in the process of petitioning and speaking during public comment.
“It’s going to be a learning process whatever happens down there for the next 3 or 4 years. It’s not going to be fixed automatically. We’re doing the best we can as far as funding it and keeping it going, just like the extension of Excel Road,” said Vice Chair and District 2 commissioner Pat Weixelman.
Commissioner Dee McKee, who lives in the area, says incorporation, annexation and leaving things the way they are all have pros and cons. Currently she says those residents pay 7 mills of rural road money to help fund bridges and road infrastructure, which likely wouldn’t be an obligation to residents if they incorporated.
“If you didn’t pay the 7 mills to the county, you’d have 7 mills yet continuing that you could use in a city, These things are really good questions that some people are trying to figure that out. It’s not a perfect thing any way you go,” she said.
The issue spawned a lot of conversation at Monday’s meeting, prompting Commission Chair Greg Riat at one point to suggest the issue was one that should potentially be hashed out during a town hall meeting in the future.
The Blue Township area is home to some 4,000 residents in Pottawatomie County. It’s the fastest growing area in the county.