A plan for Martinsville to more than double its size is not sitting well with homeowners.
Opponents packed a public meeting Monday night to fight annexation. It was the seventh public meeting on the topic, even though city leaders say they were only legally obligated to have one.
Mark McDaniel lives just outside of Martinsville, as his family has for generations. He is one of several homeowners in Washington Township who wants no part of his land being added to the city, despite city leaders‘ offer to hook up to the sewer and water lines.
“It‘s the best water in the world here in this valley, so we don‘t have a water issue,” he says.
City Council President Eric Bowlen says he understands the concerns over property tax increases .
“You‘re talking about people‘s property, you‘re talking about people‘s tax base, you‘re talking about their lives and we‘re all in this together, but it‘s very tough when you hear it come for everybody,” he says.
Opponents to the annexation say the city engineer, whose private civil engineering company stands to profit from the project, cannot be objective.
“Everybody assumes that because you‘re taking in a few thousand dollars that it all goes to you,” City engineer Ross Holloway says. “Well, I have news for the country, that when you‘re operating a small business, very little of it goes to the owner, and very few owners get rich.”
If the annexation passes, Martinsville will take in 7.8 square miles, more than doubling its size. Hundreds of property owners have an issue with the property tax increase the annexation would cost them, and they waved signs at Monday‘s meeting to make their stance known.