by Pepper Hardy
REMEMBER THE ALAMO!! REMEMBER THE KY RIVER LOCKS AND DAMS! Remember how we as united citizens, regardless of our politics, fought the issues of raising the locks and dams along the Ky river? We won that one. Looks like we need to unite together again to fight ANNEXATION issues. Only this time it involves those who live or own property close to the city of IRVINE. If it is true that the annexing city government can decide who will be annexed, and that we have no say so, then we better UNITE our rights that allow us to live in a free country where freedom includes us having a say in our local, state and federal government. “EXCEPT” when it comes to deciding where we want to live and/or own a business. Is that right being taken away from us by a group of citizens who have the authority to force home and land owners to do something without a vote? Seems like there may be some legality issues that us citizens need to be digging into. I have talked to Irvine landowners who are yet to see the benefits of going across the bridge or bridges.
If those restaurants, grocery stores, varity stores and Drug stores get what they want, to sell beer or alcohol, then why would anyone want to go into the downtown Irvine to buy alcohol? Statewide, Rite Aid is known to sell more liquor in Ky than most liquor stores. That would sure hurt the new liquor stores in Irvine. So how will annexation help those already in Irvine? Also if annexed why would anyone want to open a business in downtown where parking may be an issue? All the Estill county people who voted and worked for a “dry county” may have lost their vote by being forced into annexation without representation.
Remember the phrase” TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION”? As an Irvine landowner everyone will pay at least TWO or more TAXES that I’m aware of in addition to the property taxes that you are already paying. Utility taxes such as water and sewage may be good. I need a new sewage system and would be glad to pay Irvine for that. Oh yes, the garbage will be picked up by the city and I won’t need to pay for the dumpster that our renters use. They will pay for their own garbage and sewage.Also Irvine would be responsible to keep it picked up for me. The one tax that I am against paying for sure is the Insurance tax,which is 10% of your premium. Get out your insurance policies and see what extra money you will pay if annexed. Because my business is a “Hazarous Material or Product”, my insurance runs much more than other liabilities. If I’m forced into being in the City of Irvine,what is that liability insurance going to do to the City’s liability issues for Hazardous Material? Probably cost the tax payers more! I would just pass that cost on to my customers which would make their propane a little higher. I wouldn’t like that nor would they. I’m sure gasoline retailers will do the same and raise their fuel prices.
People are being told that many people and businesses are for annexation. I understand the TARGET store would not move to Richmond because of their sewage issues. Do we expect them to come here to Estill county if Richmond couldn’t satisfy them. I have not found anyone yet, on this side if the river, who want their taxes increased.Many people who own land along Hwy 52 and West Irvine area have agreed with my feelings on annexation and are willing to stand behind me. I just cannot see the two auto parts stores, medical and other rental buildings in West Irvine volunteering to have their taxes increased but you can never talk with the corporate owners. Oh yes, South Irvine, Sandhill, Stacy lane, Winston, Cedar Grove, Wisemantown and all other voting landowners, you will be next so do not think you are exempt. I have not talked to all the county officials yet to see if and how much money the county will lose or what changes would be made if annexed. I do not believe they are in favor of such.
I want to say that greed is a reason FOR annexation but my own greed is also a reason to be AGAINST it. I only wish to bring questions to the reader’s attention because “We the people” may have a say some day, not just the city government. My 91year old mother just could not believe that we live in a country where we have no vote in our future. Whether or not we need to get up a petition or some other opposition, please do not let this issue of annexation go through without questions and answers.
If the city wants to annex without upsetting the community, try dropping the insurance tax and make your taxes equal to folks who live other parts of the county. It could be that city and insurance taxes are the reasons why businesses have left downtown Irvine. Just maybe we are satisfied with our fire protection, police protection and utility systems. I’m sure we all would like a better place to live but not at the expenses of a select few. Maybe an Urban County or metropolitan form of government would be an answer.
THE MAIN THING IS, THAT All OF US IN THE COUNTY GET A VOTE ON ANNEXATION!