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WL scales back annexation plans

Mike Loizzo
WBAA Radio

Most Wabash Township residents who were facing annexation into West Lafayette are no longer part of the plan. (NEW MAP)

The city scaled back the area to include Purdue and land adjacent to the new U.S. 231 bypass. It also includes the Menard’s on U.S. 52 and what will be the new Meijer store next to it.

The Sugar Hill subdivision along McCormick Road is still part of the proposed annexation. Officials say that’s because all the land surrounding the subdivision is part of the annexation proposal.

Mayor John Dennis says the property to be annexed now consists mostly of land that can be developed along the new U.S. 231 bypass.

“Now we’re looking at something that’s going to be practical. It’s going to be leaner. It’s going to be more directed towards economic development,” he says.

Many residents of Wabash Township were against being annexed. Township Trustee Julia Byers says the changes make sense to her and her constituents.

“The mayor is willing to listen to people and take their suggestions and concerns to heart,” she says. “He had said this was a time he was going to listen, and it was not his intent to do any harm.”

Byers says she was proud to hear how the residents of Wabash Township really value their volunteer fire department. Part of the discussion of annexation centered on West Lafayette Fire Department serving those properties coming into the city.

Dennis says with the main focus of the annexation now solely being economic development, he thinks township residents will still benefit.

“We can be the good neighbor and we can make their quality of life higher,” he says. “We will be able to provide services to them that will make them want to be part of the City of West Lafayette.”

The revisions will go to the city council next month as an amendment to the proposed ordinance they already approved on first reading.

Councilor Vicki Burch says she agrees with the changes.

“I’m so pleased the mayor has listened to the residents and I’m glad they spoke up and expressed how they felt.

The city council meeting is July 1 at 6:30 p.m. If approved, a public hearing will be set for property owners still affected by the move.

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