Proposed City Annexation Could Increase Business

October 8, 2013
Dwayne Page
Proposed City Annexation Map

A local land developer plans to look into the possibility of building a truck stop and restaurant if his land near the intersection of Highways 70 & 83 (New Home Road) is annexed into the City of Smithville

Ed Young is one of six county property owners just outside the west end of town who would like their land annexed into the City of Smithville.

Young made his request known during Monday night's meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen "I am an absentee owner. But if you incorporate that into the city and we get that sewer pipe in I will do the research on what it takes to put in a big truck stop with a restaurant. I did a deal like this years ago with Shell. I put up the property (elsewhere). They put up the building and I got a percentage. I don't know if it will fly now but I will know actually what it takes to build one. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You put it together and I'll find the two million dollars to build it," he said.

Young has other properties in town including the old shell station, discount tobacco, and donut shop buildings on Broad Street. He also owns the old Smithville Freight Lines property which he currently has under development and is trying to restore.

If approved, the properties of Young, Mike Foster, Dr. David Foutch, Pat Walls, John Kilgore, and Jim Beshearse would be annexed. The area includes almost seventeen acres on the south side of Highway 70 from the existing city limits to near the intersection of Highway 83 (New Home Road). It would take in the Kilgore's restaurant property, which belongs to Foster; Dr. Foutch's Eye Care office; and parcels of land belonging to Kilgore and Beshearse. Facing the Old Snow Hill Road, the residential properties of Beshearse, Walls, and Foster would be annexed. On the northside of Highway 70, another fourteen acres of undeveloped land belonging to Young would be annexed along with the old Beshearse grocery store building, which still belongs to the Beshearse family. Young's property is located across the highway from Kilgore's Restaurant.

John Kilgore, owner of Kilgore's Restaurant, told WJLE Monday that being in the city would be a great benefit to him as a tenant and to Foster, the property owner. "The reason we're wanting to get it annexed here is we can pick up the utilities like the sewer system to make it a better functional place because it's a restaurant and it should not be set up to run on septic lines. We're wanting to pay the (city) taxes in order to be able to get the sewer," he said.

Kilgore, who owns two and a half acres of undeveloped land between the properties of Dr. Foutch and Jim Beshearse on Highway 70 said his desire is to one day build a restaurant on that site.

Dr. Foutch told WJLE that while he has no strong feeling about annexation, he does not oppose it and would welcome the city services.

Although he would have to pay city taxes, Beshearse said the benefits of being in the city appeal to him with city police, fire, and sewer services along with garbage pickup. Beshearse added however that he has no complaints with the county fire department which he says does a good job too.

Due to a state moratorium on annexation, the city cannot take the initiative on its own without a request. The property owners have to petition the city for annexation. "We have not gone out and sought these people for annexation. They have come to the city and asked to be annexed in. These are all voluntary annexations," said Mayor Jimmy Poss.

State law halts in progress forced annexations of residential and farm property by Tennessee towns and cities prior to April 15 until May 15, 2014, unless a city can persuade county commissions to approve them.

New annexations of such property are banned during the same time frame unless property owners want to become part of a city.

That's intended to provide time for the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to study how a 1999 urban planning law, intended to bring order to annexations, has worked. TACIR serves as a forum on state and local issues.

Mayor Poss and the aldermen only brought the issue up for discussion Monday night. The Smithville Planning Commission will take it up during its next meeting, which has been rescheduled for Thursday, October 17 at city hall. If the planning commission gives a favorable recommendation for annexing these properties, the measure will go back to the aldermen for approval by ordinance.

State law also requires that all annexations include a Plan of Services (POS). The POS outlines those services, such as sewer, that will be made available to the land being annexed and the timeframe within which services and/or amenities will be provided.

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