The Crestone Eagle, December 2008:

Annexation task force publishes report
Public Q & A meeting Dec. 16

by Lisa Cyriacks

The Annexation Task Force will present information from the report on the feasibility of annexation at a public meeting on December 16 at 6pm at the Community Building in Crestone. Geoff Withers of Policy Research Associates LLC will be available to also present data and to answer questions. The Town will provide the final report via e-mail to those who request it, and hard copies can be purchased at Town Hall for $5. Anyone wanting the report should contact Akia Tanara at the Town Hall, 256-4313 or crestoneclerk@fairpoint.net.

The report was commissioned to study the feasibility of annexation, evaluating annexation as a course of action in terms of advantages and disadvantages, but was also limited to primarily studying the impacts on the Town of Crestone and not necessarily impacts on the residents of the Baca Grande subdivision. The reason the report was commissioned was the recognition of Baca Grande residents that they frequent and relate to the Town of Crestone; and that incorporating a new, separate municipality using subdivision boundaries may not be in the best interests of the community as a whole. Annexing to the Town may be a less expensive process for the Baca, and provide the citizens of the area with a more effective government structure than would otherwise exist.

Both the Town of Crestone and the POA have recently conducted surveys that form a basis of citizens’ attitudes for the Annexation Feasibility Report. Values and attitudes of the respondents appear to be strikingly similar:

  • Environmental quality and sustainability,
  • Appearance of neighboring properties,
  • Neighborhood planning,
  • Enforcement of community rules and requirements,
  • Reliable basic public services (roads, drainage, fire protection, emergency and medical services, water and sewer).

Another area of agreement was the need for developing a diverse economy.

Annexation of the Baca Grande, or portions of it, raises a number of issues and also options for providing services for the Crestone/Baca community. The questions of whether or not annexation is a net positive outcome still needs to be evaluated by the residents. A factor complicating this evaluation is the entire area has been receiving services from the various public entities already.

Cost is a big factor in the decision, in taxes, roads, and cost for the annexation and ongoing costs for services. But the question of cost can also be very subjective. For both the Town and the Baca Grande subdivision residents, there are certain revenues and expenditures that can be used to calculate the economics of annexation, but there are other less tangible costs that must still be evaluated to complete this complex study.

Annexation generally requires the consent of the property owners and residents of the area to be annexed, initiated with an annexation petition signed by the owners of land to be annexed, and thus it is driven by the desire of landowners outside of the municipality to be included within the town’s boundaries. Based on the results of the petition, the Town of Crestone may put the question to a vote of the Town’s residents.

What this study assessed was primarily the impacts to the Town of Crestone and not the comprehensive impacts to residents of the Baca Grande subdivision and Property Owners Association. Even with the completion of this phase, the Annexation Task Force will have more work to determine the extent of interest in continuing the process and identifying the factors and costs that still need to be quantified and included in an evaluation. If you are interested in the process and would like more information, please contact Kathryn Van Note at kvnnow@gmail.com or 256-4149 or attend the public discussion meeting on December 16 at 6 pma the Crestone Community Building.

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