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Spearfish plans to annex upper and lower valley

Evan Bruce

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The Spearfish City Council has declared intent to annex the areas known as upper and lower valley. This will mean an increase in taxes as well as the increased access to public services from the city. This is all happening despite of a large crowd of displeased citizens the showed up for the public hearing on Aug. 19. The date for the public to vote has yet to be announced.

The city wants to annex the area to improve public services like sidewalks and police patrols. In exchange for an increase in taxes for the residents, some of the improvements will be:

  • City Water
  • Garbage Pickup
  • Road improvements
  • Fire Hydrants (Fire Safety)
  • Storm Water Management

The increased revenue for the city from the annexation is estimated at almost $300,000. This will bring the annual revenue from about $154,000 and to a total of over $450,000.

Citizens at the public hearing were concerned about the tax increase and the community interests. Some feared the increase taxes will be too much for some of the residents in that area. There are also other expenses they were worried about, like the cost of connecting to the city water. Others feared that it will hurt the rural small town community that exists in the valley. They feared the small farms and produce stands will disappear in response to the increase in property tax—as the current owners would have to sell the land and the future owners would divide the lots for houses in the interest of making money.

The annexation will affect more than 1,600 residents and cover approximately 658 acres.

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