Gallagher Despairs of ‘Appeasing’ the Fairview 29

Two e-mails were forwarded to me today. The first is an appeal from one of the Fairview homeowners to be excluded from forced annexation. The second is 4th Ward Alderman Brendon Gallagher’s response.

To: [City of DeKalb Council Members]
Subject: Involuntary annexation

11 June 2010

Mr. Gallagher, Council and Mayor;

I am writing to inform you of our opposition to the city’s intent to involuntarily annex the property at 1912 S. Fourth St. I am asking that you consider this property excluded from the annexation. The Lothsons purchased this lot in 1951 and built this home. They still own and live there today.

In 1993 when homes where built on Lucerne there was a meeting between then Mayor Sparrow, Mr. Monas, Mr. Naylor ( Public Works) Mr. Zima from the Sanitary District, my mother Mrs. Lothson, and myself. It was determined at that time that in order for this property to be connected to city water and sewer that a lift station needed to be installed and maintained by us.The connection to the sewer from Lucerne is a distance of over 135’. The water was to be connected from Fairview Dr. a distance of over 160’. The sewer line would run under the now existing drainage/swale created for detention on the corner of Lucerne and S. Fourth St. In addition it was also stated that in doing this there would be no guarantee that there would not be an issue of freezing.

The cost of this project in 1993 was estimated at between $18,000.00 and $20,000.00 not including any additional fees for construction, connection and annexation. I am sure that today’s figures on this are much higher. The UDO states in 10.02.02 that “At such time as the sanitary sewer system becomes available within 100 feet of a property” I will assume by this provision that the city would share in the costs of providing these services to this property as the length is over 100 feet. That is a cost that needs to be determined before you force annexation.

Alderman Gallagher you stated that one reason you were in favor of this annexation was because it was a “fairness issue”. How is it fair to force one property owner to pay out well over $20,000.00 while others will pay less than a quarter of that cost to connect?

The cost to us will far, far, out weigh any benefits received. I have researched some of the neighboring city properties and do not find that they are paying twice as much in taxes as this property. We paid for our septic system and well and the costs of maintenance. Taxes for sheriff, fire, road & bridge, forest preserve, township, schools, courthouse, landfill and park district are all on the bill. We are not receiving any benefits that are not paid for through our property taxes. Again, because of the enormous burden to us as homeowners I am asking that this property be excluded from annexation.

Sincerely,
Larry Lothson, 815-XXX-XXXX
Arlene Lothson

And now, for Mr. Gallagher’s response.

From: Gallagher, Brendon
To: [Lothsons’ & City Council members]
Sent: Sun, Jun 13, 2010 12:05 pm
Subject: RE: involuntary annexation

Larry: Thanks for your email.

I know there is nothing I can say to appease you.

I look forward to the public hearing on June 14 at the regular City Council meeting.

Brendon

This is not the first time he’s made the “appeasement” statement. Apparently anybody who objects or asks questions about the forced annexation gets the identical message.