Letter: Township resident feels annexation is being forced
To the Editor:
Through information obtained from a recent Twin Lakes Township meeting, the city of Carlton has not given up and has even intensified its efforts toward a forceful annexation of portions of Twin Lakes Township. We, the citizens of said township, have made it very clear that we have no desire to be residents of the city of Carlton. The city, however, in an attempt to bias the state of Minnesota, have made some statements in a letter to the state that I find not only to be false, but outright fabrications.
The first statement I would like to address: “Whereas, it has been determined that annexation of the above land to the City of Carlton would be in the best interest of the proposed annexation area and the City of Carlton.” What would the residents of the township receive? Higher property taxes! That does not sound like my and other homeowners’ best interests are at heart. On the other hand, the city of Carlton would receive a HUGE increase in funds due to an increased tax base. Businesses along the Highway 210 corridor including areas around the casino, businesses and homes in the Olsonville area, and homes in the Nordquist Addition all would pay property taxes to the city of Carlton should the annexation go through. The “benefits” sound quite one-sided to me, and not on the side of the citizens.
The second statement made in the letter from the city of Carlton that I take issue with says, “Whereas, city government in the area proposed for annexation is required to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.” Annexation is not required. There is neither law nor statute that requires residents of Minnesota to live within city limits to receive public safety services. In fact, Twin Lakes Township pays 58 percent of the annual funding for the Carlton Fire Department for services. Is the city of Carlton going to reduce the percentage of funding from the township in exchange for the annexed areas? Highly unlikely. Also, being part of the city of Carlton would not change one iota the services received in the areas they propose to annex.
As for health and welfare, there is no way the financially strapped city of Carlton could ever meet state statutes for utilities to the areas they propose to annex. There is a statute on the books that any area annexed by an incorporated city or town must receive the same services/utilities already received by the current residents. Running water and sewer lines out to the casino, hooking up every building along the way, to Olsonville, and to Nordquist is far, far beyond the means of the city. Are they going to start a project and leave it unfinished for years as the funding slowly becomes available? That is not looking out for the health and welfare of the residents in the proposed annex area. These residents already have state approved wells and septic systems that serve the families’ needs.
When looking at the overall picture, all of the benefits of annexation go to the city of Carlton and all of the detriments to lifestyle and economic status fall to residents in the proposed annexation areas. Perhaps instead of pushing their burden on others, it is time for the council members of the city of Carlton to rethink their budgeting. It is definitely time for them to drop the idea of annexation and leave the residents of Twin Lakes Township out of their financial woes.
Twin Lakes Township