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Published on Friday, January 23, 2015

New notice and review provisions for annexations proposed

Companion bills initiated by the state's Office of Financial Management (OFM), HB 1250 and SB 5138 are designed to save both the state and cities time and expense. As drafted, the intent is to have cities file proposed annexation area legal descriptions earlier than now required so that if OFM finds potential errors they can be fixed before the annexation ordinance is adopted. It is OFM’s job to “certify” and track annexations for the state to make sure revenue distributions and other state actions reflect new boundaries created by annexations or other city boundary adjustments.

The bill was previewed with AWC prior to being introduced and with the help of legal experts, we provided input. The Senate version was considered on January 20 before the Government Operations and State Security Committee and the companion version in the House is scheduled for hearing on January 27.

Concerns have arisen that bill language implies that OFM is granted new authorities to approve or deny annexations. That was not the intent and amendatory language is being prepared to clarify that. The bill does require earlier submittal of the legal descriptions and is intended to give OFM authority to pause the process if the boundary legal description is not correct or conflicts with the accompanying map.

Cities are encouraged to look at the bill and get back to AWC's Dave Catterson if there are concerns other than clarifying OFM authorities.