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Freeport moves ahead with annexation offer

Jan 10th, 2014 | 0

By BEN GRAFTON
Before a sparse crowd on the coldest night of the winter, the Freeport City Council met in a special session to deal with a handful of issues all of which were presented by City Planner Latilda Hughes.
The opening item on the agenda was the first reading of an ordinance to adopt the military sustainability plan as a major revision to the Comprehensive Plan. One of the provisions of this plan would place a non-voting Air Force representative on the city’s Planning Board to provide a communication link between the city and Eglin Air Force Base. The Council approved the first reading.
In the next matter of business, Hughes presented an application for a development order calling for a 2,000+ square foot addition to the existing Christ the King Church on Business Highway 331. Engineer Darrell Barnhill was present to speak for the applicant. There is a wetland on the property. The application asked approval for an intrusion into the buffer zone of the property  in return for which the buffer at another other location on the property would be enlarged. The application also asked for waiver of a sidewalk in return for which the applicant would provide the city with $500 to be used for sidewalk construction at another site. The Planning Board recommended approval of the application. The Council approved the application.
Hughes then presented the second reading of the annexation ordinance for the Cuchen property. The Council approved the ordinance.
In the last matter of business it was reported that more than 275 responses have been received from property owners who are on the city’s water service list concerning the offer to annex properties adjacent to the city limits with a waiver of the usual annexation fee. Mayor Russ Barley noted that the vast majority of these responses were in favor of accepting the offer. In view of the response, the city will go forward with the program. The offer will be extended to  owners of adjacent properties who are not on the city water users list.

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