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Second time the charm for Park Hills

Park Hills was successful in its second attempt to annex land along U.S. 67.

Voters in the city on Tuesday passed a proposal to annex 112 acres of land along both sides of the highway near the Fairgrounds interchange, which was a smaller version of the city’s initial annexation attempt last August. Passage required a majority vote inside the city limits as well as a majority vote inside the annexation area.

Park Hills voters passed the annexation proposal with a 397 to 162 vote. No one voted in the annexation area.

City Administrator John Kennedy believes that means the annexation will move forward.

“The next step requires it to go before the circuit court for a declaratory judgment to determine if it is ‘reasonable and necessary’ for the growth of the city of Park Hills,” Kennedy said. “If that is favorable, 45 days later annexation would be final.”

The new interchange, which should be completed by the end of the year, is expected to attract new businesses along the corridor and foster increased residential development.

City officials believe the annexation will allow Park Hills to incorporate new areas for commercial and residential development. Benefits to the city would include new sales tax revenues from existing business once the area is annexed into Park Hills.

Once the city receives court approval of the annexation, it would immediately begin providing services such as police and fire protection. Residents in the annexed area would no longer have to pay for a fire tag in order to have firefighting service, Kennedy said.

The city also would begin looking at street lighting and would enforce housing codes such as violations of nuisance ordinances, he added.

Water and sewer service would be installed within three years of the annexation becoming final. Most of the annexation area already has water and sewer extensions and the city has set aside funding for improvement to those systems.

Future extensions of the systems primarily would be the responsibility of the developers or would be funded from revenues in the annexed properties.

“Residents of the annexed area would have a choice about water service if they have a well,” Kennedy explained. “But by city ordinance, if there is a sewer main within 100 feet of your property, you are required to link up.”

Charges to homeowners in that area who link to the sewer system would include a $50 fee to tap in, as well as cost of the sewer lines.

“I’m very happy for the city of Park Hills,” Kennedy said. “I believe this is the next step in providing areas for both residential and commercial development that are very important for the city. We believe the area around the Fairground interchange will develop quickly and we see great opportunities for the city to enhance its sales tax and population base.”

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