Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 30, 2009

Grayson moves toward annexation

GRAYSON — Despite vocal opposition from the county judge executive, a county magistrate, paramedics and ambulance driver alike, Grayson city council members voted Monday evening to move ahead with plans to annex a tract of county property already surrounded by the city.

Council members voted consistently 5-to-1 to approve second readings for intent to annex a tract of land referred to as the Catholic Church Property, as well as an identical measure regarding two tracts totaling more than 10 acres known as the Community Presence land. City council member Pearl Crum voted against each reading, although she offered no reason for her opposition.

The small crowd of uniformed ambulance workers seated along the back of the city-hall meeting room grew highly attentive, however, as the city board members turned their discussion to a proposed second reading of intent to annex a 53.34 acre parcel “in the middle of the city” where the Carter County Detention Center, as well as the “ambulance barracks” are currently located.

Acknowledging a muffled comment by Carter County Judge Executive Charles Wallace while seated in the audience, City attorney Gary Conn made a point of reading every detail of the area proposed for annexation.

“The Carter County Fiscal Court protests this annexation,” Wallace said as Conn concluded, then continued to demand city council members tell him what the city will be able to do for people employed in that area that the county isn’t already providing.

“We acknowledge your protest judge. I’m not going to get into a verbal war with you,” responded Mayor George Steele.

From his seat in the audience, County Magistrate Lovell Carper advised Wallace, “We’ll just fight it in court!”

Repeatedly, the mayor argued the annexed areas will benefit from the city’s police, fire and emergency services, and attempted to convince opponents the property with the jail and ambulance facilities is a logical place to include in the city’s boundaries.

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