MARTIN - A second reading of the city of Martin’s proposed annexation was voted on and passed Tuesday evening, but only after a heated discussion.
There was only one item on the agenda Tuesday night during Martin’s special called meeting, but the discussion surrounding the annexation of four roads out of Martin pushed the meeting to nearly three hours.
Mayor Sam Howell says that a lot of the contention was from people who actually wouldn’t be affected. “They’re talking about ‘you’re bringing us in,’, and I told them we’re not doing that right now.”
Howell admits that during the meeting there was a lot of opposition to the measure, but he says 90 percent of the dissenters weren’t even affected.
“It got stirred up that we were going to incorporate them, and take in this one and that one,” said Howell.
According to Howell, while this annexation did not bring anyone into the city, this is a step towards growth. “As far as right now, were not going out to get anything, this is just the first step,” said Howell. “People here the word annexation and they go crazy with it. Personally, if I want to begin taking in residences, I will go door to door to talk to people. We are not trying to force nobody in.”
But Howell adds, that he is going to continue to work to grow the city. “If its left up to me; I’ve got four years, and the city of Martin will grow. I’m gong to push it as hard as I can.” Howell says that with more revenue, the city will be able to offer better services.
Another point of contention with regard to the proposed annexation came from a neighboring city who claimed that their boundaries extended into the proposed annexation.
Howell said that he had spoken to Sharon Woods, mayor of Allen, about the boundaries of the city and that Woods showed him that the Allen city boundaries actually went further than the signs indicated. The issue was resolved says Howell.
“Everything was perfectly fine on that end. No one from down that way showed up to the meeting.”
In the end, the measure was passed by the city council, with only one vote, Councilman Bobby Dingus, voting against the measure.
The proposed annexation includes: a portion of Route 80 east and west, a portion of Route 1428, and a portion of Route 122 all going out from the Martin city limits.
Mayor Sam Howell told the council during last weeks meeting that the city had to start growing, and that significant reductions in their tax base caused by the Corp of Engineers redevelopment was choking the life out of the city.
“We have to start growing,” said Howell during last weeks regular meeting.
According to Howell, the Martin city fire district extends down Route 80 to Bullcreek and on Route 122 to Hunter Bridge. The city’s tax base has taken a significant hit over the last decade, as the stalled Army Corps of Engineers redevelopment project has left them with abandoned homes where tax-paying residents once lived. City officials say that projections that the corp may take up the redevelopment again in 10 years are extremely optimistic.