Monday, December 11, 2006

American Concrete gets tread on

I went to the Anderson City Council meeting on Monday night to show my support for constituents that own American Concrete. A few years ago, the company was pressured into signing an annexation agreement before getting their water turned on (The city owns the water company and this is the normal practice for water customers outside the city limits.) Not weighing the potential taxing burden the agreement was signed.

There are several disturbing issues with this utility annexation scheme going on:

1-The City Council is overlooking the fact that a tenant signed the agreement and the owner of the property did not.
2-The City charges water customers outside the city limits over twice the rate of those customers that live in the city. Taxation with out Representation; tea anyone?
3-The city doesn’t seem to be interested in annexing the nearby mill neighborhoods. These low income folks need the services much more than anyone else. Apparently, they will loop around to Camellia Drive and go after Loblolly Pines and Hunter’s Glen. I don’t have any proof of these plans, but my hunch does make sense. They want areas that need little services and generate lots of dollars. Can you imagine the revenue if they can get to Lake Hartwell?

The Council voted unanimously in favor of annexation on first reading. The resolution must get the necessary 2nd & 3rd readings. Let's hope they change their minds even though they are licking their chops over a possible $20,000 or more tax collections. If this hit doesn’t put American Concrete out of business, they will probably need to move. Who cares if your city limits are inching towards money! Keep the pace slow so only a few people get upset as each fingerling extends. Remember the frog won’t jump out of the pot if the water is slowly heated up.

Even if the agreement was legitimate, should a municipality be able to black-mail folks into annexation in order for them to get their water? Unfortunately this practice is legal and happens every day in several areas of the state, but I don’t think it is fair.

Your thoughts?