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City and township could sign annexation agreement next month


Greenvale Township meeting on 12/16 from Bonnie Obremski on Vimeo

Brian O’Connell, Northfield community development director, and Joel Walinski, interim city administrator, discussed the remaining details of a proposed annexation agreement with Greenvale Township‘s three supervisors for more than an hour on Tuesday night.

In the accompanying video, O’Connell and Walinski are on the left side of the table. Township supervisors Robert Winter, Bernard Budin and Chairman Richard Moore are on the right (Moore is the furthest in the background). The woman at the end of the table is Edith Nelson, the township’s secretary.

The annexation agreement, among other things, indicates how much Northfield would reimburse Greenvale for the property taxes the township will lose when 530 acres of undeveloped farmland goes onto the city’s tax rolls. Northfield is annexing the land to attract industrial developers.

The discussion led to two clarifications in the draft of the agreement. Walinski said he will release a copy of the final draft of the annexation agreement in his memo on Friday. The first clarification, which is shown in the video, addresses Greenvale’s request to prohibit Northfield from annexing any more of the township’s land for a period of five years following the current annexation deal.

O’Connell and Walinski said, in order to keep with the goals of Northfield’s comprehensive plan, they would not prohibit annexation across the next five years, but agreed to a restriction that Greenvale landowners who petition the city for annexation within that period must get written consent from the owners of every neighboring property.

The next clarification had to do with how Northfield will calculate its tax reimbursement payment to Greenvale. The proposed payment plan would reimburse Greenvale in the amount of about $3,854 a year for five years. That figure is the amount of money Greenvale currently collects in taxes on the property. According to the agreement, the reimbursement amount would change year-to-year as the property tax rate changes. In the sixth year, Northfield would pay a “balloon payment” that would equal 20 more years of annual payments. In all, Northfield would pay Greenvale about $96,362, using today’s property tax rate figure.

At Tuesday’s meeting, O’Connell and Walinski said the city would calculate the balloon payment by using a tax rate figure equal to the average of tax rates in the previous five years.

At the end of the meeting, the Northfield and Greenvale representatives agreed to allow their respective lawyers to look at the final draft of the agreement before signing the document. Three Greenvale residents attending the meeting said they were not completely satisfied with the way their supervisors negotiated the annexation agreement. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19 in the Township Hall on Guam Avenue.