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What is forced annexation?
Under Indiana law, both municipalities and citizens may initiate annexation of areas contiguous to the city’s borders. However, municipalities that initiate annexation have the legal power to unilaterally force this annexation on property owners whether they want it or not; in our state, this is known as “involuntary annexation.” It is a legal way for a local jurisdiction to take control of your property without a single vote by citizens. There are only three states left that allow this: Indiana, Idaho, and Tennessee. Movements are currently underway to eliminate this law in Idaho and in our state. Senate Bill 330 of the 2015 Indiana General Assembly would remove the ability of municipalities to perform involuntary annexation. If the new law is passed, it would go into effect July 1 of this year.

Why does your group oppose this annexation?

There are many reasons we stand against this annexation, but they can be summarized under three main headings:

1) Property Owners’ Rights – Our group opposes any effort to FORCE people into living inside city limits. Many people live outside the city limits because they’ve made the conscious choice to do so. In fact, several home owners have stated that should the city decide to annex their area, they would move from their current residence. Also, the elected officials responsible for overseeing and approving this annexation were voted into office by the citizens inside the city, but the citizens of the annexation area had no vote in those elections; we have no elected official that can represent our interests in this matter. A lack of representation is an enormous problem, one that laid at the very core of why our nation was founded. The properties rights of owners and the freedom to choose where one lives should not be violated by anyone, especially by using an antiquated law that should have been removed long ago.

2) Taxes – You know what they say… follow the money. The ultimate reason the city council wishes to annex the proposed areas is the inherent increase in tax revenue it would bring to the city. People have been told that their taxes might go down. This is true – a FEW land owners would see a small savings. However, the vast majority of land owners will see an increase in their tax burden. According to the city’s own Tax Impact Analysis, the combined increase in revenue for all four proposed areas will equal $111,582. The increases for individual land owners range from $10 to $6,634. In a stagnant economy, every dollar counts; we’ve even had several business owners share with us that the annexation would force them to close due to the increase in taxes. We believe the city should strive to operate inside of its budget rather than simply confiscating tax money from other sources.

3) Services – Higher taxes would be understandable if the citizens were able to enjoy city services as a result. In the certified letter that was mailed to everyone affected by the annexation, the city claims that they will provide the annexation area with a range of services, but closer scrutiny reveals some glaring issues with these claims. The city says it will provide police service; what it doesn’t say is that police service is already provided. The city says it will provide fire coverage; what it doesn’t say is that the city fire department is not equipped to fight fires in areas without hydrants and that coverage would have to be provided by other departments through mutual aid. The city says it will provide trash pickup; what it doesn’t say is that this trash pickup is forced – you will be billed for it whether you want it or not. The city says it will provide street and road maintenance; does the city really have the necessary equipment, manpower, and finances to maintain (plow, patch, etc.) roads that are out in the country? The city says it will “extend” water and sewage services; what it also admits is that land owners wishing to connect with city water or sewage must do so at their own expense. So, to put it plainly, in return for an increase in taxes, the only concrete “benefit” for citizens of the annexation area is forced trash pickup. Taking without giving is not government by and for the people; it is government seeking only to protect its own interests.
Can citizens stop a municipality from annexing land?

The short answer is no. The city council has the legal right to approve the annexation ordinances, and there is nothing citizens can do to stop this from happening. However, once the annexation has been approved, under Indiana Code 36-4-3-11, we CAN appeal the decision by filing a written remonstrance with the superior court of Madison County. This remonstrance must be signed by a) 65% of the land owners, or b) owners of more than 75% in assessed valuation of the land in the annexation area. Land owners have 90 days following the publication of the annexation ordinance to file the remonstrance; if the court determines that the remonstrance is sufficient, it will fix a time within 60 days for a hearing on the remonstrance. Notice of the proceedings, in the form of a summons, will be served on the annexing municipality. The municipality is the defendant in the cause and shall appear and answer. If the land owners can prove that services are adequately provided and that annexation is not in their best interest, the court may order the annexation not to take place.

admin What actions are your group taking?

We are currently doing everything we can to inform people of the situation and encouraging them to share their concerns and/or opposition with the city council. We will be making contact with every land owner in the proposed annexation area in an effort to gain support for our cause; should the city council approve the annexation, we would conduct a petition drive to gather signatures for the remonstrance.

What can I do to help your cause?

We are asking citizens to support us in three ways:

1) Study up – Knowledge is power! Please keep an eye out for any information about the annexation in the newspaper, and make sure to follow our Facebook page for any related updates.

2) Speak up – Please help us get the word out about what this annexation means and about our efforts to stop it. Share what you know with family, friends, and neighbors, and make sure to like/share our Facebook page. Also, we are offering yard signs for purchase.

3) Show up – Over the next two months, there will be several meetings, forums, etc. concerning the annexation. We will do our best to keep everyone up to speed on these events; we are asking citizens to attend as many as they can. There is safety in numbers, and showing the city council that we are unified in our opposition as a community will speak volumes.

Is your group against the success of Elwood?

Absolutely not! We might not live inside city limits, but we love this community and we live here because we choose to. We all have relatives and friends that live in the city. We worship in Elwood churches. We buy food and fuel from Elwood stores. We cheer for Elwood sports teams. We want Elwood to be a thriving, financially stable municipality. We understand that annexation would bring tax revenue that the city could use, but annexation creates more problems than it solves and generates more questions than it answers. Spreading Elwood’s financial struggles to people that did not cause them in the first place is wrong, and while it might provide temporary relief, it will not solve the city’s bad fiscal habits. As stated, we feel that the city government should focus on improving that for which it is already responsible; there are plenty of projects inside Elwood that need to be tackled before knocking on doors outside the border.

I have a question about the annexation – who do I contact?

Any questions, thoughts, or suggestions related to the annexation can be sent to us by private message on Facebook. We will get back with you promptly with an answer. Also, please feel free to comment on any of our posts.
last month
watchingu2 Who is on the Council pushing this ? Is the men running for mayor for this? I think we should know who is and who is not for this. I think there is more of an agenda than just money. If it was for money or serious growth of Elwood why not go south on 13 south on 37 ? Why all the farm ground to the north east. It only becomes industrial if a farmer sales it. These clowns running this city have been saying how broke we are. I would like to know how much has been spent on this and if tax payers have to pay for a lawyer how much.
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farmboy » Elwood Classifieds

2 months ago

I am looking to purchase any memorabilia from the former McKnight's International Harvester farm store in Elwood. I would be interested in most anything relating to McKnight's. If you have any or know of anyone that does have any that would be interested in selling, please contact me. I am local and will pick up. Thank you. call or text: 765-four three seven-4702


2 months ago

mtd 8hp rear engine rider 30 inch deck needs battery . both back tires have been tubed and has brand new flat free tires on the front as when i got it , it had 1 kids wagon wheel on one side and regular tire and rim on other . i have 50$ atleast in front tires and rims , rims even have bearings in centers . 190$ pickup just north of elwood or possible delivery for extra bu only once rider is paid for . contact me by phone calls only 10am-10pm 765 551 4448 NO TEXTS


2 months ago

yardmachine tiller works and runs like new has no issues . its dirty right now as i had jsut got it out from storage and havent had time to wipe it off . ive had it couple years and have only used it couple times and i didnt even use it last year . i loaned it to a friend to do their small garden and its sat since . 375$ pickup is just north of elwood no holds listed on other sites . CALLS ONLY 10am-10pm 765 5514448 PLZ NO TEXTS CALLS ARE ONLY THING ACCEPTED BY THIS NUMBER AND ONLY DURING TIME LISTED .


2 months ago

cree led off road lights size is 4 inch 6 led per light output is 1800 lumen photo is stock but lights are identical to photo . i have either spot or flood light pattern . 40$ per set . no holds currently have 2 spot and 1 set flood . these are first come basis only . MUST CONTACT ME BY PHONE CALLS ONLY NO TRADES CALLS 10am-10pm ONLY NO TEXT 765 551 4448 ELWOOD PICKUP ONLY ill post actual photo of what these look like shortly as im having issues getting the photo i took to load . spot and flood light patterns look identical other then the reflector around the leds , other then that they are the same light .I can get other sizes and styles but these are the only ones i have on hand right now , all others i can order but only if willing to pay upfront and i will give you a reciept . i cant just order other lights with out payment as i done this last year on something else and the guy backed out after i contacted him when the item came in so i was stuck with it for a while .


2 months ago

montgomery ward 2 stage snowthrower made by gilson 5hp briggs and stratton engine self propelled single speed forward and reverse . runs good , its in good shape for its age . used few times back in febuary to clear drives with in that 7inches of snow and it cleared it no problem throwing snow 30-40 ft at times . asking 250$ pickup is just north of elwood . plz contact me by phone calls only and only 10am-10pm 765 551 4448 NO TEXT

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2 months ago

2008 chevy Colorado great truck just don't want the payments owe 10500.30 as of April 1 no not an April fools joke call 765 425 7076 will sell for balance on loan

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