CASPER, Wyo. — 317 acres of formerly county-owned land is now part of the Town of Evansville. The town council approved the third and final reading the ordinance annexing the lands Monday, November 22.
The annexed land includes areas that were interspersed along the town’s southern boundary, as well as small areas along the western boundary.
The 21 property owners affected were notified ahead of a public comment session on October 26. Bru Till, owner of Brutill Construction, was the only property owner who spoke at the hearing.
Till said his concerns were primarily the increase in property taxes and the extent to which he’d be able to carry on his business in the area.
Earlier this year, Evansville created and adopted Urban Agricultural (UA) and Urban Agricultural Residential Zones (UR) into town ordinance in anticipation of the annexation to preserve the character and use of the areas to be annexed.
“The intent was really not to change the way anyone is doing business out there in any way, shape or form,” Mayor Chad Edwards told Till at the hearing.
In his initial presentation to council in September, Town Planner Scott Radden said residents of the area would end up paying an additional 5 mills in property tax ($5 for every $1000 in assessed value), but he added they would also pay lower municipal rates (as opposed to “out-of-town” rates) for water, sewer, and garbage collection services.
Commercial rates for these services outside the town limits are about 150% of those within the municipality.
Edwards, Radden, and Police Chief Mike Thompson have all noted that creating a clean, continuous boundary for the town would also ease jurisdictional issues for the Evansville Police Department, which currently has to train officers “on what areas are county and which are Evansville,” Radden said.