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Annexation ruling was the right call

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By Staff

Last week’s ruling in favor of the City of Bardstown by the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirming Judge Larry Raikes and his decision concerning annexation of property in the Spencer Mattingly Lane area was the right call.

It may not, however, necessarily have much impact concerning the fight against annexation along the KY 245 corridor. Or, then again, perhaps it will.

Although annexation agreements in exchange for sewer service are cited by the city in both cases, the KY 245 annexation protests, filed by private property owners, notably Handy Food Mart and by Fiscal Court, also included arguments about the “non-contiguous” nature of the action. We find the latter a flat argument, but that is for the courts to decide.

Both suits were filed in 2005 and are still awaiting action in Nelson Circuit Court. Annexing property along a narrow corridor is nothing new for Bardstown and certainly has been practiced by cities throughout America. Back in the 1970s, the city limits were extended south along U.S. 31-E to take in the area around the old Holiday Inn.

In the case of the KY 245 annexation, only the right of way was annexed until the region around the new Flaget Hospital site was reached. Critics contend this amounts to “spot annexation,” a practice that is considered poor public policy and outside the scope of legal action that can be taken by a municipal government.

We trust the courts will decide against this argument. There is no word about when a ruling might be forthcoming concerning the KY 245 suits, but because one of the suits is basically one government suing another government, taxpayers are going to bear the cost no matter the outcome.

That is the result of poor judgment on the part of Fiscal Court to enter the fray to begin with.