April 29, 2014 10:56:27 AM
I have deep concerns regarding the recent article published in the April 27, 2014, edition of The Dispatch titled, "Columbus annexation trial set for September" written by Mr. Nathan Gregory.
While I can understand Lowndes County Tax Assessor, Greg Andrews' motivation to annex the end of Woodland Heights Drive and Glen Haven Drive, (labeled as Area 1 of the Land Use Map Proposed Annexation Areas Columbus, Ms) seeing as how both are extensions of roads and neighborhoods which are already part of the city, I find it very concerning what appears to be a very unfair and borderline discriminatory decision to not intend to annex the neighborhood of Bent Tree in north Columbus.
It seems very suspect when Andrews expresses his plan to annex the Highway 45 North corridor all the way to and include the new Columbus Middle School (Area 4), which is located north of the Bent Tree neighborhood, but yet not intend to annex the Bent Tree neighborhood which would clearly result in an abnormal gap in the city limits should the middle school be annexed as proposed. It appears Mr. Andrews has gone out of his way to create exception for the residents of the prestigious Bent Tree neighborhood, yet has not afforded those same considerations to the residents in the annexation plan of the neighborhood proposed under (Area 1).
I would be interested to hear the tax assessor's reasoning. As he pointed out in the article published Sunday, "a resident who has a parcel worth $100,000 in the county who is not covered by homestead exemption would pay $2,225 a year if brought into the city instead of the $1,276 paid now." This seems to be one of the driving factors for proposing the annex of the suggested 638 homes as listed in The Dispatch Article. Then why not annexation the Bent Tree neighborhood?
The article published last Sunday, does not include any answers to that question from Mr. Andrews. Perhaps he should be given additional opportunity to provide those statements as well.
Editor's note: The proposed annexation plan was created by the city of Columbus, including councilmen and Mayor Robert Smith, not by tax assessor Greg Andrews.