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Home owners fight back against annexation

Home owners are fighting back against annexation into the city of Idaho Falls.

“It’s going to be a huge financial burden for us,” said Douglas and Colleen Hammon, who could get annexed.

People living in Bonneville County west of Idaho Falls say they do not want to be living in city limits. They say the rise in taxes and costs for connecting to city power, sewer, and curb and gutter are too high for landowners.

“You can tell we’re senior citizens and we can’t recover from it,” said the Hammon’s, who are retired. “Neither one of us wants to go back to work full time, but you know we’ll have to see how we end up on this annexation to see what our lives are going to be like.”

Others being annexed are concerned they will lose the freedoms and way of life they chose by living in the county rather than the city.

“The option to just go out and burn them (tumbleweeds) in my backyard is a good thing for us,” said Mariann Hilton. “And once you’re in the city, those things are taken away from you. So it really feels like they want our money and yet we’re losing everything, right? We’re not gaining anything by being annexed into the city.”

The city held a neighborhood meeting Thursday night to give more information about the annexation.

“This is part of the city’s ongoing efforts to clean up boundaries and annex properties that already have city services,” said Brad Cramer, director of Idaho Falls Community Development Services. “This area is surrounded by the city, and for all intents and purposes really is part of the city already because of the infrastructure and services already provided there. This is just the process we go through to formalize that.”

The Hammon’s say those services are not provided for them. They say that the thousands of dollars it would cost to get those services could cause them to have to move.

“We’ve loved it,” Colleen Hammon said. “We’ve enjoyed it. We have tried to beautify it. And we just, it’s just really hard to think of leaving there and we know that if we were to leave there we couldn’t replace the land, the house and the shop and it’s hard to give up.”

The city is legally allowed to annex the properties without the owner’s approval. A public hearing for the annexation is Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Idaho Falls city council chambers.

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