Yorkville staff likely will start reaching out to about 18 property owners this week about annexing into the city, City Administrator Bart Olson said.
The two areas – one comprised of the lot south of Sunset Motel along Route 47 and the other land on both sides of Route 34 near McHugh Road – are surrounded by land that is already annexed into the city. Both areas ultimately could be forcibly annexed into Yorkville after public hearings and City Council votes.
Annexing those parcels would add about 38 acres to the city, generate about $13,445 more in property taxes and garner about $52,000 more in sales tax, Olson said. The new sales tax revenue would be split between the city’s general and sewer funds.
Certain services, such as police protection, would be more efficient if those two areas were included in the city, Olson said. If annexed, the properties also would be required to follow city building and property rules, including those for signs and tall grass.
Aldermen voted 6-2 on Sept. 13 to send notices to the property owners about the public hearings, with Ward 1 Alderman George Gilson Jr. and Ward 4 Alderman Rose Spears voting against it.
Mayor Gary Golinski said last week that he asked city staff to talk with property owners first.
Then, Ward 4 Alderman Diane Teeling, along with Gilson, pushed their colleagues to reconsider sending the formal hearing notices and starting the process of forced annexation. Their effort was voted down Tuesday, 6-2.
“After I got home and started thinking about this, I just didn’t feel comfortable with my vote. I just feel its wrong to force-annex any businesses,” Teeling said. “I don’t think the City of Yorkville has ever done anything like that, and I don’t want to be a part of anything so aggressive.”
But those who supported starting the process emphasized that holding a formal hearing would strongly encourage property owners to share their thoughts with the entire City Council at the public hearing. After the hearing, aldermen could consider whether they wanted to continue with the annexation process.
“A less formal process I don’t think will get you the information or the response you need,” City Attorney Kathleen Orr said. “… You’ll only hear by innuendo why a certain property owner doesn’t want to annex.”
Ward 1 Alderman Carlo Colosimo, Ward 4 Alderman Rose Spears and Ward 3 Alderman Marty Munns also argued that reconsidering votes set a poor precedent.
“I’m totally against that,” Spears said. “If we start that, we can do that every meeting.”
Ward 2 Alderman Larry Kot encouraged his fellow aldermen to follow the city staff’s advice on pursuing the formal hearing process, which Olson said was the cheapest, most efficient annexation process. Leaders could decide whether to continue the annexation process if not all property owners wanted to join the city.
“I think we make this decision when the time comes,” Kot said, of forced annexation.
Editor's note: A copy of Olson's memo to City Council members on the process is attached to this article as a PDF. Maps of the two areas can be found on the third and fourth pages.