Leader Blues

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TOP STORY > >Cabot puts off annexing area

Leader staff writer

A request for annexation of a proposed mini storage has led the Cabot City Council to consider annexing all the land surrounded by the city.

Plans to annex a 20-acre area surrounded by Cabot disintegrated Monday night after a resident told the city council that he would oppose the annexation unless the city tended to drainage problems there.

Instead on annexing just that “island,” the council decided instead to begin the process of annexing all the land surrounded by Cabot city limits, possibly as many as six islands.

The 7.5 acres on Campground Road at Linda Lane, owned by members of the Woosley family, who moved to Cabot in 1973, was included in the proposed annexation. But Jimmy Woosley told the council that the city would need to stop the flooding problems that have developed on his property as the city grew around him or he wouldoppose the annexation. Woosley also pointed out that his family’s property was not the only island in Cabot and that he felt that by trying to annex, the city was discriminating against him.

“Don’t start picking on me. Go get all of them,” Woosley said.

Alderman Ed Long suggested tabling the annexation for 30 days while city workers analyzed the problems and recommended a solution. But Alderman Ken Williams, a lawyer, told the council that he was not willing to consider fixing drainage problems on Woosley’s property to gain his support of the annexation when there were areas all over the city with drainage problems.

“I’d rather leave them out than do that,” he said.

However, Williams said he would consider annexing all the islands if that was something that needed to be done.

“If we need to take in the islands, then let’s take in the islands and be done with it,” he said.

Mayor Eddie Joe Williams suggested the possibility of only annexing the 10 acres where the mini storage is to be built because the owner wants to be in the city limits for the fire and police protection. Ron Craig, chairman of the planning commission, said he thought the city wanted the annexation and pointed out that half an island is still an island.

Mayor Williams said the city wasn’t pushing the annexation; he thought the push was from the planning commission. But regardless of who wanted the annexation, Woosley said it would be hard for him to oppose it if the city also took in all the other pockets of land surrounded by the city.

Long made a motion for staff with public works to identify the location of the islands and bring the information to the next public works committee meeting to begin the annexation process.

The motion was approved by all five council members present, Long, Williams, Eddie Cook, Virgil Teague and Becky Lemaster.

Teri Miessner, Lisa Brickell and Tom Armstrong were absent.