Editorial: Annexation history lesson: proceed ahead with caution

The survey results are in. Now, the Cottonwood City Council will have to decide if it wants to go forward with a proposed expansion of city limits in the Bridgeport area.

Council members need to pay close attention to Cottonwood's history of annexation attempts both in Verde Village and Bridgeport. Survey results are one thing. Full-scale annexation attempts are another.

If we have learned anything from past attempts at bringing these areas into the city, it's that you don't want to bite off more than you can chew. Especially when it involves existing residential development, the city's track record with large-scale annexation is lousy.

On a related issue, the city also needs to carefully consider any pre-annexation agreements as they relate to what is currently allowed in the city limits. That seems to be especially true for the "tent city" retail center in the lot adjacent to the Verde Hay Market. Under consideration is a deal that would allow this commercial use to continue as is if the property is to be included in the annexation.

What council members must consider is if a similar operation would be allowed anywhere else in the city. Further, if allowed, it needs to be spelled out if these operations will require a city business license and be required to collect and pay sales tax to the city and state.

If not, we are certain existing business owners in the city will want to know if they can get the same deal.

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