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Ordinance will ‘contract’ several areas from city

By Bill Short

City Hall Shot 4-14The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed an ordinance on final reading this week that will “contract” certain areas from the city limits.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Mike Caruthers and seconded by Alderman Bethany Huffman. The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Alderman Chris Ford absent.
The ordinance was passed on first reading at the board’s April 5 special called meeting.
In accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated Section 6-51-201, the board desires to contract the city limits and redefine the boundary lines to exclude certain real property.
The following four areas are legally described by metes and bounds and depicted on a map attached to the ordinance:
(1) Southeast corner of the intersection of Epperson Mill and Shelby roads that includes the Lighthouse Fellowship Assembly of God Church;
(2) East of the intersection of Walker and Wilkinsville roads;
(3) South of Orgill Park between Bethuel Road on the west and Center College Road on the east;
(4) South of state Route 385 and Pleasant Ridge Road down to the Loosahatchie River;
In accordance with T.C.A. Section 6-51-201(b)(3), residents of the affected areas will have 75 days to object to the contraction by producing a petition signed by 10 percent of the registered voters living there.
If the petition is presented, a referendum will be conducted in the Nov. 8 city elections to ascertain the will of the voters living in the affected areas.
The ordinance states that Millington may continue to levy and collect taxes in the excluded territory to pay its proportion of any debt contracted prior to the exclusion.
During discussion shortly before the vote, City Finance Director John Trusty said notice was mailed to the owner of every parcel designated for contraction. Advertisement of a public hearing was published in The Millington Star and on the city’s Web site, along with the map and legal description of the affected areas.
He said the contraction will allow Millington to provide services within an area where the population and density of residential and commercial buildings are located, and where the city can afford the employees, infrastructure and equipment necessary to provide those services.
“Some of the farmers have questioned why they have to pay Millington taxes when they get very few if any services,” he noted. “And that’s what led to this process. That caused us to review our entire city limits.”
Trusty said the review was based on consideration of:
(1) parcels of land where city water and sewer services are not provided;
(2) areas not expected to have residential or commercial development within the next 10 years;
(3) areas that generally do not include any residential property;
He said the review identified 77 properties with only 46 property owners.
The land covers 11.05 square miles or 7,070 acres. It includes 12 homes, one church and approximately 22 miles of roads.
Trusty said the area pays only $41,465 a year in property taxes.
He noted that the contraction will reduce the area to be served and maintained by the city departments, including police, fire, sanitation, grass-cutting on road rights of way, maintenance of storm water drainage ditches and road paving.
“This action is part of a process to serve our residents at the most economical cost,” he noted. “We are continuing to review the services we provide and the manner in which we provide them, so that the residents get the best for their money.”
Trusty said the plan will still allow for future development that can occur where the city already offers utility services within its “new footprint.”
In response to a question by Alderman Hank Hawkins, City Attorney Charles Perkins said the land will “technically” revert back to Millington’s Reserve Annexation Area after it is contracted.
“Of course, it will be in the county for purposes of services that the county provides,” he acknowledged. “Actually, the likelihood of roads being maintained will be increased in the county because of rural road funds.”

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