Anderson annexation project may be put on hold, amid legal discrepancies

Aug 8, 2014 8:36 PM

The City of Anderson is one step away from acquiring an additional 384 acres of land for new city development -- but there's one problem.
The Anderson Fire Protection District will serve about 345 of those acres, and says it was left out of the negotiation process for compensation of their services.

The district currently receives a little over 12% of the city's revenue each year -- if the annexation is finalized, they'll get nothing.

"Anderson's general plan states if the city expands, the fire district also has to expand with it."

Walter McNeill, the attorney representing the Anderson Fire Protection District says according to the City of Anderson's general plan -- the respective fire agency must receive additional funding for the services it will provide to the annexed area.

Instead, Anderson and Shasta County plan to split the property tax revenue made from the annexation in half -- leaving nothing for the fire protection district.

"The city wants to keep all the money for itself...they have done nothing to work with the district to look for a source of revenue."

McNeill says the city and county haven't made any effort to negotiate with the fire protection district, leaving them no choice but to take the issue to court.

"We're going to take this to court and put the annexation on hold...we'll have to ask the court to essentially invalidate the annexation."

I tried reaching out to representatives of the Shasta Local Agency Formation Commission, and was told none were available.

But I was able to speak to LAFCO's Executive Officer Jan Lopez, who says she's aware the fire protection district was excluded from negotiations -- she just wasn't aware of the violation made by the city and county until Attorney McNeill came into the picture.
Lopez says she's not the one calling the shots -- it's the commission.

"The commission made their decision yesterday, and we will process the application and finalize the project."

That project, however, will be stopped if and when attorney McNeill files court papers.


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