LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) - Logansport city hall entertained a packed house for dozens of residents with questions Monday night. City leaders say they will have answers, but not immediately.
Resident after resident who spoke at the public hearing received the same reaction of applause from the crowd. More than a dozen spoke up questioning a proposed annexation on the south side of the city. The annexation includes 3,200 acres, 500 parcels and 100 homes.
"I expected to hear some results for what the reason is for the annexation," says Larry Stienbarger who lives inside the area proposed for annexation.
But at the outset, Mayor Ted Franklin (R) said officials would not answer questions at the public hearing. It was an announcement which didn't please most of the 80 people in attendance and led to some heated moments.
Residents asked questions on a wide variety of topics like sewer and storm water hookups, taxes, police and fire protection.
Franklin says directly responding Monday was not the best format. He says answers will be posted online and mailed out in a week's time.
"It's their way of life. That's not our goal. We don't want to impact that. I can't stress that enough. But we have to be ready," says Franklin.
Ready, because with the upcoming completion of the Hoosier Heartland Highway, he says development is coming and coming fast. He says more than a couple people have knocked on his door already.
"Absolutely," Franklin says.
But beyond that, he's not elaborating.
Franklin adds he's working to change some city codes to accommodate a country lifestyle, for example, adjusting the burn ordinance to allow for campfires or for farmers to burn fence rows.
Still, more than 50 residents who live in the annexation area are working with attorney Lindsay Ruby to fight the proposal. She doesn't think the residents who spoke up at the hearing will change anything for the city council members.
"I'd like to think that it would, that they would take it into consideration some of the things we've said tonight. But I don't really have any hope for it to change their mind," Ruby says.
But Franklin says the matter isn't over.
"I don't think it's a done deal. We're still gathering information. We still want to accommodate as much as we can every need," he adds.
But as for the need from residents for immediate answers, that's for another day.
"We want to do it the right way, not the fast way," says Franklin.
"It belittles you. It actually belittles," says Stienbarger.
A final city council vote is set for June 24.
Ruby says if it passes, residents will file a petition to keep the annexation from happening.
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