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Mabton Council OK's annexation

MABTON - Mabton City boundaries will soon be a little larger and its treasury will be a little fuller following action taken by the Mabton City Council Tuesday night. The Council voted to accept two annexation requests during Tuesday night's public hearing.

Last night's vote clears the way for Mabton officials to forward annexation petitions from Northwest Horticulture and the owners of the old Mabton High School property to the Yakima County Boundary Review Board for final review, said Mabton City Administrator Ildia Jackson.

Jackson said Tuesday's night's vote ends nearly three years of waiting to annex the industrial nursery into the city boundaries and to the city's property tax base.

If approval comes back during the next 45 days from the county boundary review board, the annexation process could be completed in December, allowing more than 60 acres to become a part of the city's tax rolls in 2005.

The council's approval given during the continuation of a public hearing opened on Oct. 6, attracted no public participation last night, but that didn't keep the Council from celebrating.

"We've waited a long time for this," Councilwoman Velva Herrera said.

"I'm very excited about the annexation process moving forward," she said.

The annexation includes the old high school property at the east end of B Street, the Northwest Horticulture greenhouse property on Allison Road and the plat of land known as the Clark Addition, located along side State Route 22. The combined annexation proposals will more than double the city's property tax revenues once completed, said Jackson.

The annexation in the Allison Road area includes the Northwest Horticulture greenhouse and about 20 houses, which are currently on city water lines.

While Jackson said the residents in the proposed annexation can expect to see lower water rates once the area becomes part of the city limits, the city will see an estimated $100,000 flow into the city treasury.

Jackson said a public hearing will be scheduled in the near future to approve a zone change in the Allison Road area.

"We will be looking at changing the zoning to meet with our urban growth plan," Jackson explained.

She said the city plans to allow residents in the newly annexed area to continue to raise animals on their property under a rural residential zone designation.

"There are a number of people in the are who raise a few cows or goats and in a rural residential zone, they will be able to maintain that lifestyle," she explained.

A date for the zoning change public hearing was not set during Tuesday's meeting.

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