MORGANTOWN W.Va. – On Thursday evening, the City of Morgantown hosted an open house at North Elementary school to explain the draft annexation plan for the city.
The City of Morgantown is preparing an application for the annexation of 3.8 square miles in the Suncrest, Mileground and First Ward areas by a boundary adjustment.
City Manager Paul Brake said the annexation is to close the gap that divides the city.
“Police cars and fire trucks, they leave the city only to come back in. So, we have these areas that divide the city, and it’s a matter of closing that gap, and we can provide uniform services to all areas of the city.”
The city said the annexation will enhance emergency services. Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said the issue boils down to being able to respond efficiently to the city’s needs.
“Whether it’s dealing with what we currently have inside the city limits, or if we have to modify what we have,” Preston said. “Change our zone assignments, change our personnel assignments, based upon different geographies, and different personnel and types of calls for service.”
The open house allowed the City of Morgantown to gather input from the public. Many people are concerned about not having the ability to vote on the annexation process and think it will hurt business in the community. One group called F.A.I.R., or Forced Annexation Isn’t Right, is opposed to the annexation plan.
“B&O taxes are going to go up. Prices will go up. Rents will go up, and it’s going to make it really hard to do business,” said Michele Krucoff, property manager of the Suncrest Towne Centre.
The proposed annexation area includes 12,830 residents and 367 businesses. Brake said the upcoming chain of meetings will help the city to make renovations and changes to the plan.
“So, we can refine that and be responsive and sensitive to the needs of the public,” said Brake.