By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer
To annex, or not to annex?
Avelino Chairez and his neighbors on Lazy Lane said no, while Gloria Wicker suggested annexation for her neighbors on a separate matter at Thursday’s Clovis City Commission meeting.The City Commission approved annexation near Lazy Lane, while they decided against Wicker’s suggestion.
The commission heard the concerns of Chairez and others on the proposed annexation of a 60.72-acre tract, and a designation as a “Mixed Development” zone. The annexation of the tract, from Utah Street to Wilhite Road and Lazy Lane to North Prince, would allow a Holiday Inn Express being built there to benefit from city utilities.
Residents who showed up to the meeting told commissioners they didn’t feel they were adequately notified, while Chairez added that he felt the interests of business developers were drowning out those of him and his neighbors.
“We used to wake up to the noise of crickets,” Chairez said of his house on Lazy Lane, which is now behind an equipment supply company. “Now we’ve got (noise like) Grand Central Station.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Randy Crowder told another resident who was concerned about increases in trash that being part of the annexed property will be a benefit.
“You have more protections with this being annexed,” Crowder said.
Wicker echoed Crowder’s sentiments when she argued against a city ordinance terminating garbage collection accounts outside of the Clovis city limits. A previous ordinance had allowed for services within one mile, City Attorney David Richards said, but that was created when there were no private businesses offering the service. Now, Richards said, there are three companies offering service and they are protesting the city subsidizing services to people who don’t live in the city.
Wicker said she has lived on the edge of the city limits on Kimberly Street before out-of-city garbage collection was offered, and she said the Dumpsters were a “godsend” for cleaning up an area where winds tend to dominate.
Wicker said many of the residents would not want to pay higher service fees from private companies, and she fears more garbage will end up around the city and county instead of the landfill.
She said residents near her home should be annexed so they could receive city services. Commissioner Robert Sandoval said he would probably favor such a request, but it needed to come from those citizens.
“I don’t know if we can arbitrarily annex something if the people (don’t request it),” Sandoval said.
There are about 70 accounts outside of the city limits, Richards said, and each would receive at least one three-month billing cycle to make other arrangements before the ordinance goes into effect Dec. 1.