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Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times

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City powerpoint presentation
lays out annexation proposal

By Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times
Mayor Sam Jones' powerpoint pitch on the city's annexation proposal -- Annexation: Moving to the Future -- begins with a shot of the city skyline.

It then moves to an overhead view of Mobile County's municipalities, clearly showing the city's potential to expand to the west and to the  south, but blocked to the north by smaller municipalities and to the east by Mobile Bay. Next comes an overhead view of Jefferson County where Birmingham is surrounded and hemmed in by as many as 20 smaller municipalities.

The fourth slide depicts average police response times within the city. Response times are excellent in the downtown area and good in midtown and north Mobile. West of I-65 response times get progressively worse with average response to incidents in northwest and southwest Mobile approaching 20 minutes.

A sixth slide highlights the Freeman, Tapia, Edwards and Cypress Shores fire stations stretching from north to south in west Mobile. The department has a goal of responding to calls within four minutes 90 percent of the time. The success rates for the stations in question were: Freeman, 39 percent; Tapia, 38 percent; Edwards, 32 percent; and Tapia, 25 percent.

The city had three goals in crafting its annexation plan --

The next slide portrays the four "original study areas," all existing between Cody and Schillinger Roads --

The 13th slide shows the four voting areas and demonstrates the city's strategy in partnering the Mobile Terrace residential area with the commercial activities along Schillinger Road and Airport Blvd.

The 23rd slide estimates sales tax revenues in the proposed annexed areas at $10,145,140 based on collections there during 2006. Business license revenues are projected at $100,000.

The city would bear initial capital expenses of almost $16 million as follows: police, $2.55 million; public works, almost $6 million; fire, $2.35 million; and police/fire building and fuel depot, $5 million. New recurring yearly expenses would total almost $7.5 million as follows: police, nearly $3.1 million (70 new employees); public works, $1.75 million; and fire, $2.77 million (51 new employees).

The city would collect no property taxes in the annexed areas for five years. After that, an annual 7-mill property tax would apply, meaning the owner of a $30,000 home would pay $21; the owner of a $50,000 home would pay $35; $100,000 home, $70 and so on.

A 26th slide outlines the annual cost of private garbage service -- Waste Management, $264; Allied Waste, $297; McClure, $240; and Disposall, $252. The slide also notes that there is no private residential trash pick-up.

The next slide details municipal benefits:

If all areas approved annexation, the city would add 4,029 new residents and 1,891 new voters.

Slide 29 ends as the presentation began with the city's skyline and a call for "Questions."

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