Some Oppose Proposal to Annex Land Near Portageville

By: Christy Hendricks
PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. - The city of Portageville wants to annex land on all sides of the city, bringing in about 30 homes, 15 businesses, and some farmland. But opposition to the proposal has at least one city alderman rethinking the plan.
"This is our city limits now so we're going west out here about 1000 foot. We're going north, that's Brown Acres up there where the dark blue is that line across there. That's where we're going to across to the interstate," said Portageville Alderman Ervin Gremard as he described plans to annex to the west and north of town.
It's part of a proposal to annex property around all of the city, costing at least $900,000.  While that big investment is only slated to return about $16,000 in real estate and property taxes a year, Gremard says it's essential to the growth of the city.
"In the near future no it would not be an advantage, but in the distant future we're going to have to do something or the town could dry up," he said. 
But some businesses south of the city limits are worried about drying up if they are annexed in, like the University of Missouri Delta Center that experiments in farming research.
"Nowadays with the environment and everything, protecting every citizen's rights and everything that they would lose this 100 acres for research plus they could lose their greenhouses which they have on the books right now to build a new about $2 million greenhouse," said Denis McCrate, assistant farm foreman at the Delta Center.
That concern was brought up at a recent open forum.
"I was hoping some of them would be for it there were a few, but 90 percent I think are against it and that's strong enough to make you reconsider what we're going to do," said Gremard. 
So now Gremard just wants to annex the north and west parts of town.  He says that would cut the $900,000 price tag extensively.
"If they would like to see the city stay status quo or grow, they need to vote for it," Gremard said. 
"I'm not against annexation but you need to do it in an orderly fashion," said McCrate. 
Several residents just outside the city limits say that would be annexed in say they oppose the proposal because of the city regulations that come with living inside city limits.
The city council will meet Monday, January 5th at 6 p.m. to tweak the final proposal and vote on it.  The public is invited to attend.