There’s an ongoing dispute about whether a possible merger between White River Township and the City of Greenwood is in the public’s best interest. Greenwood Mayor Charles Henderson says the merger will create more city services for White River Township.
“Some of the main ones is the police department would service them instead of the sheriff,” Henderson said. “We have a planning and zoning department and they would be involved in planning and zoning their own future, where now everything has to go through the county. They would get leaf and limp pickup and trash pickup that is under contract and would be about a third of the cost that they are paying now,” said Henderson.
Greenwood would nearly double in population if it merged with White River Township. Henderson said that would give the area more influence statewide. Meanwhile, White River Township trustee Jay Marks said a reorganization committee charged with looking into the merger is not making equal comparisons on the advantages.
“They don’t compare apples to apples,” he said. “They don’t put the facts, the true facts on the table, the committee has not. They have mislead or manipulated the facts so they could sell it to the public that this is a good plan.”
The public will have a chance to ask questions and participate in a discussion on the annexation Tuesday. The Summit is scheduled at 7:00 PM at the Statehouse. State Senator Brent Waltz urges people to attend.
“Any citizens, that they choose to, can listen to all of the discussions, all the debate going on back and forth, I think that will help ease some of the tension and eliminate some of the hard feelings of not knowing what their government is attempting to do,” Waltz said.
Ultimately Greenwood’s mayor says residents will have the final say in whether the city and the township merge.