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Annexation moves forward

Detroit Lakes is moving forward on annexation of the Richwood Road and Tower Road areas.

With no objections from the Detroit Township board or audience members Tuesday evening at a special Detroit Lakes City Council meeting, the city is proceeding with the orderly annexation of approximately 226 acres of land along Richwood Road.

Included in the project will be a sewer and water extension to the north side of Tower Road, although residents along the north side will not be annexed into the city and therefore not hooked up to city sewer and water.

The process began in 2002, when KDLM radio station asked to be annexed into the city for sewer and water service.

"We got the ball rolling," said general manager Jeff Leighton. He added that the station has to have its septic system pumped every month, and drinking water hauled in for employees.

"We're absolutely in favor of it. I think it'll be a great thing for Detroit Lakes," he said.

At the time though, not enough people were interested in annexation.

In 2006, the city sent a letter to the Detroit Township board, stating the notice of intent to annex. By then, there was a majority of property owners petitioning for annexation. The residential population of the area is 12 people.

To bring sewer and water to the Richwood Road area, it will cost about $733,000, of which the city will pay for $400,000-plus.

To do the Tower Road portion, the bill will be $1.4 million, and the city will pay $512,000.

Mayor Larry Buboltz said the city is picking up a large portion of the tab because, since lots are so large in that area, it's not affordable to assess each property owner per foot like it's usually done.

Those properties on the north side of Tower Road that will not be annexed into the city at this time will have assessments deferred until such time as they are annexed into the city.

Also at the special city council meeting, the aldermen voted unanimously to hire Brimeyer as the search firm to find a replacement for City Administrator Rich Grabow, who is retiring Sept. 30.

"Apparently everyone is enthusiastic about them and would hire them again," Buboltz said after calling around to other mayors who have used the firm.

Funds from the surplus general fund and the Public Utilities Commission will split the $22,000 fee evenly.