Acworth votes to annex Cobb property
by Rachel Miller
May 03, 2013 12:00 AM | 2526 views | 5 5 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Mayor Tommy Allegood and the Board of Alderman approved annexing portions of unincorporated Cobb County into the Acworth city limits Thursday night.

Several county residents spoke in opposition to the move, but the board approved the annexation that will bring “islands of land” into the city that confuse emergency responders and road maintenance crews over jurisdiction.

The lone vote against the annexation came from Alderman Butch Price, who said, “It is hard to justify.”

Before approval, City Manager Brian Bulthuis added stipulations that owners or renters who are currently living on the designated properties will receive free trash removal for 10 years, which is a savings of $235 a year.

Bulthuis also recommended to the board that they honor current county business licenses paid through 2013 for the six-month gap before Acworth’s next business licensing in June 2014. He said businesses that are part of the annexation will be licensed at half price for the next five years.

Alderman Tim Richardson asked that mailings with this updated information be sent to the property owners this month, which was the only comment from a board member before the vote.

A representative from Cobb County attended to show support from the county, which is the only other party that needed to consent to the city takeover of the land. The county has an agreement to cooperate with Acworth on any actions deemed necessary to end duplication of services.

The annexation will take effect June 1.

From an audience of more than 50 people, seven individuals spoke during a 25-minute public comment period. Each landowner spoke against another level of government being placed on them.

Commercial property owner Steve McNeel began the quiet rally, saying he admitted the city had the power and was not asking for his vote.

Al Fortney, CEO of Fortney Sales Company Inc., purchased 5.5 acres in December to move his business from Kennesaw, but said that he never received notification from the city about its intention to annex his parcel.

Bulthuis said the certified letters were addressed based on tax filings.

“You might have well thrown it out the window,” Fortney said to the board.

Fortney accused the board of having a vested interest in the land grab because of the increase in tax revenue.

“I can tell you roads aren’t cheap,” Bulthuis responded about using part of city property taxes on road maintenance.

Most people who addressed the board said they felt victimized by the mandate, which made them fearful of future property demands by the city, such as adding power lines or fines for nonworking vehicles parked on the properties now part of the city.

Landowner Ben Turner pointed to previously annexed land, which now houses the Lake Park subdivision and which he said caused erosion and flooding to his family’s adjacent property.

A couple of speakers pointed out that the regular scheduled meeting began in the typical fashion, with everyone in the room standing to recite The Pledge of Allegiance, but that there was no “liberty and justice for all” regarding the annexation.

Although Allegood advised the public comment period was not a time for questions, Turner, who has owned 7 acres on Lot 50 since 1955, asked, “Will I be a good citizen if I am forced to be one?”

 

Comments
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May 21, 2013
Please remember to vote the next election in Acworth. I will
Fed Up
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May 03, 2013
Yes, they will receive FREE garbage service, valued at $235 per year for 10 years....but for some the TAX will increase by $2100 per year. SHAME ON COBB FOR ALLOWING "ISLANDS" TO BE FORMED....JUST A GRAB FOR MORE MONEY!!! Might as well get rid of the "COUNTY", and turn everything into "CITY OF ACWORTH"....This IS STILL AMERICA...AND Tommy Allegood AIN'T GOD!! NEITHER ARE OUR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS! Butch Price for PRESIDENT!!
Bob45
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May 03, 2013
What does this mean to the residents of Kennesaw?
reply
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May 03, 2013
The only time our gov listens is when the want a vote.
Fed Up
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May 04, 2013
They don't listen even then!!
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