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- The agreements represent an exchange of a valuable right (water or sewer service in exchange for annexation) and they are valid and enforceable contracts.
- They are recorded as a covenant with the property and thus are binding on future owners.
- The City has the legal right to use the petition method of annexation (where the annexation is approved based on 60% of the property value in an area), so no citizen has been deprived any right to vote.
However, when asked as recently as 2013, the voters of Pasco overwhelmingly (nearly 70%) stated that the recently annexed areas should remain part of the City, and even a clear majority of the voters (59.4%) within those areas chose to stay in Pasco.
2. Lower priced water service - City residents pay 47% less for potable water service (irrigation water is not affected by annexation).
3. Emergency response from City Fire/Police Departments - More first responders serving a smaller area usually provide faster service, and lower ambulance transport charges, as non-residents pay 50% more.
4. Fire Protection - The City will cause additional fire hydrants to be installed over time, improving the ability to suppress structure fires in the area.
5. Lower cost for City recreation programs - City residents are charged about 20% less for recreation facilities and programs and have priority for registration, particularly for swim classes.
6. Code Enforcement - The City uses a five member, citizen Code Enforcement Board to hear and decide issues related to dangerous or unsightly property conditions: for example, weed control, blowing dust and property nuisances.
7. Lower Homeowner Insurance Costs - Upon annexation, fire insurance ratings (determined by insurance industry) will improve from class 7 to class 5, which will produce as much as 15% savings on annual homeowner insurance. You should check with your provider to see what cost savings there may be for your specific property.
8. Elections - City residents retain the right to vote for County Commissioners. New City residents will be able to vote on important City ballot issues such as Council members and any future bond/taxing issues. The City Council makes the final decision on such issues as utility rates, proposed zoning changes and recreation fees, amongst others.