CRESTVIEW — The City Council has adopted an ordinance that allows residents and businesses to annex into the city at no cost to the property owner.
The ordinance is a six-month waiver for annexing property under 10 acres that currently exists outside of the city limits and uses Okaloosa County utilities.
“Whenever a property annexes into the city, there is a process to get it changed, so they can get things like services or permits,” said city manager Tim Bolduc. “It costs a lot of money for owners to do that. What this ordinance says is, if you want to annex into the city, we won’t charge you to do that. We will do it at the city’s expense.”
The expense to the city won’t last forever, according to Bolduc.
“Those costs will eventually be recovered through things such as utility payments made by those who annex in,” said Bolduc.
Bolduc said the ordinance is important to the efficiency of how things are done.
“I want to try to create consistency within the city limit lines,” said Bolduc. “It removes a hurdle that tries to keep people from coming into the city. Right now we could have a piece of property that sits adjacent to the city but is not in it.”
Bolduc said having the waiver for only six months allows the city to test its effect on the budget.
“We were charging people to be a part of city and I don’t think that makes sense,” said Bolduc. “I said in the beginning that if a fee doesn’t make sense, then we’re going to get rid of it, so we're going to see if this makes sense.”