NYM council to seek more information on annexation

By Chad Koenen

Publisher

The potential annexation of a group of properties located in “Newtonville” once again made its way to the New York Mills City Council.

During the public forum portion of its meeting on Tuesday night, the NY Mills City Council heard from a pair of Newton Township residents against potential annexation. Adam and Amy Tervola-Hultberg presented the city council with a document, which was signed by approximately 30 people, against annexation. 

Following last month’s public hearing about the potential annexation, Adam Tervola-Hultberg said a number of residents of Newtonville were left with additional questions. 

“Many of us left that informational meeting with some unanswered questions,” said Tervola-Hultberg. “The general impression is, we are still left with a lot of us wondering how does this benefit us?”

He said many of the questions that he received when visiting with residents was why the city was seeking to annex the properties, which sit just outside of the city limits. Tervola-Hultberg said some questioned whether the desire to annex had to do with cosmetics, or public safety. 

He said another concern was due to the increase in property taxes. Currently, Newtonville residents pay property taxes to Newton Township, but pay a 1 1/2 time price on city utilities. Even with a decrease in city utilities to the regular City of NY Mills rate, should the properties be annexed into the city, about half of the residents will see an increase in the net price paid for utilities and taxes. 

“I would say a majority is not in favor of the annexation, but that being said, there were a few people who were indifferent or not even aware of the issue,” said Tervola-Hultberg. 

Later in the meeting, the city council briefly discussed the issue of annexation. 

City councilman Jerry Nesland said the city council wanted to gain feedback from potential property owners when they hosted a public hearing last month. He said there were pros and cons on both sides in regards to potentially annexing Newtonville properties. 

For example, a negative for the city would be assuming the maintenance and future repairs for South Walker Ave., which is in need of quite a bit of work in the future, as well as all of the public utilities in the area. Currently, if there are repairs that are needed to the utilities or road, the township is responsible for the work.

On a positive, the city could receive approximately $5,000 more in revenue and residents would be able to receive additional assistance from the police department. The services provided to city residents would also be expanded to the area. 

NY Mills Mayor Marsha Maki asked for a comparison and breakdown about how different segments of Newtonville would be affected by a potential annexation for an upcoming city council meeting. The city council said it would like to see if there were certain portions of Newtonville that were adversely affected by a potential annexation more than others. 

In other news

• Heard the monthly report from the liquor store. The combined gross sales were down 3 percent from the prior year and the net revenues are down 6 percent as a percentage of sales from the prior year. 

• Heard that the NY Mills Fire Department responded to 21 calls for service during the month of March. A majority of the calls were for city or rural medical rescues. 

• Heard the NY Mills Police Department responded to 101 calls for service, while issuing 1 citation and making 2 arrests in March. The department has also completed a number of classes for training and updated its mandated and elected policy’s.

• Heard that the city hall boiler replacement project could be getting underway in the near future. JPK Engineering staff is finalizing the drawings and specifications and should be advertising for bids in the near future. 

• Heard that utility manager Kyle Mattson has been working with Verizon and their consultant KGI regarding a C-Band upgrade on their equipment on the water tower. The city has also hired KLM Engineering to perform a review of the plans and contract amendments on behalf of the city.