PC Council OKs annexation

The Phenix City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday to annex Rosemount subdivision, an annexation it turned down in 2004.

Mayor Jeff Hardin and At-large Councilman Ray Bush voted in favor of the annexation along with Councilman Arthur Sumbry, who has pushed for the annexation over the last couple of years.

Councilwoman Gail Brantley and Councilman John Storey voted against the annexation. Brantley said she could not in good conscience vote for the annexation knowing the city could not provide fire protection for the area, with Storey adding that he didn't believe the 44 property owners/residents who signed the petition had been adequately informed of the ramifications of annexation.

"They're going to get 19 mills of taxes, but not much else, at least in the short run," Storey said.

A group of Rosemount subdivision residents who attended the council meeting were left wondering what they've bought into. They were concerned after reading a Monday story in the Ledger-Enquirer about the possible delay of services for areas annexed into the city.

Deborah Williams of 46 Rosemount Circle, who has lived in the community "all my life," said, "We're being told different things. If we're going to be charged city taxes without getting city services, what's the point of being annexed."

After the annexation vote, Sumbry asked City Manager Bubba Roberts if he and Utilities Director Greg Glass would meet with Lisa Sandt of the Lee-Russell Council of Governments to seek out grants that could pay for improving water and fire protection in the annexed area and the Lonesome Pines Road area. Sumbry has said the U.S. Justice Department has said that such grants were available for communities lacking in that area.