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February 6, 2013

Burnside nixes annexation plan & houseboat tax

Burnside —  

Citizens packed the Burnside Fire Department truck bay for the February meeting of the Burnside City Council — and most of them weren’t even from Burnside.
A crowd of nearly 100 forced the council to move from their usual chambers to the much larger space next door, on hand to voice displeasure about a couple of key issues weighing on local minds: a proposed annexation and a rumored houseboat tax. 
Fortunately for the council, they were able to please those present by giving them what they wanted: plenty of “nays” all around.
The council voted not to annex an area north of Pitman Creek, east of Lake Cumberland and west of U.S. 27, essentially located behind the Stonebrook Pavilion-area businesses. The area is home to about 150 homes and businesses that would help pad the Burnside tax base had the city successfully brought it into the fold.
Had it tried, though, Burnside might have found itself with a legal battle on its hands. Lee Weddle was one of several individuals from the proposed annexation area who was specifically designated to speak to the council against the plan. 
“We as a neighborhood have no interest in being annexed,” Weddle told the council, which was only the second for November electees Susi Lawson and Bill Leslie. 
“If you do vote ‘yes’,” added Weddle during the meeting, “we are prepared to fight you tooth and toenail on this.”
Additional city taxes that those residents don’t currently pay, being in the county, were one of the primary points of contention.
“If you do a cost-benefit analysis on this, it looks like we’re bearing all the cost and no benefit,” said Weddle. “We have the services that are provided by the county right now, and you’re asking us to pay a few hundred dollars more for the same services at best. We’re having a hard time with the logic behind that.”

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