Greenwood leaders were invited this week to the Planning Commission’s next meeting, which is expected to attract a “full house” over potential annexation of Shadow Lake and surrounding areas.
“The areas we’re studying are currently in the Planning Commission’s hands,” Annexation Committee member Steve Ratterree told the City Council this week.
Ratterree, who is also chairman of the Planning Commission, encouraged council members to attend the commission’s next meeting,. The commission was to meet Monday, but it was postponed until 6 p.m. Dec. 17, according to City Clerk Sharla Derry.
“We are anticipating a full house,” Ratterree said. “I encourage the council because this will be in your lap within the next four, five or six months. This house will be full when that happens.
“It’s a very emotional topic of discussion.”
The Planning Commission is expected to eventually make its own recommendation to the City Council. Ultimately, a vote of both Greenwood and Shadow Lake residents would be required.
“Let’s be clear when you say it will be in our laps,” Councilman Lee Johnson said. “It will be in our laps to decide whether to take it to the public for election.”
According to the city, it began providing water and sewer service to Shadow Lake residents in 1975. The meeting minutes from the time state the “property will be annexed into the city of Greenwood within the foreseeable future.”
Meeting minutes from 1994 and 1995 indicate that Shadow Lake’s property owners’ association approached the city about annexation, then gathered enough signatures for a petition following one failed attempt.
In March 1996, according to meeting minutes, the city was accused of “dragging their feet to keep Shadow Lake from coming into the city.” From there, the annexation plans fizzled.
The renewed interest is part of a larger plan to explore annexation on all sides of Greenwood, which has a population of about 9,000.
“There are a lot of questions being asked,” Ratterree said. “The same questions come up over and over at every single meeting we’ve had. The same answers have been given, but the same questions keep coming up.”
During previous meetings, the benefits of becoming part of Greenwood were laid out. Among those points were an improved fire insurance rating, primary fire and police protection and cheaper water service.
The millage rate for Shadow Lake residents, at 47.20 now, would increase to 52.20, according to city officials. The estimated the annual difference on property taxes for a $200,000 home is $200.