County residents say 'no' to being annexed into Selah city limits

County residents say 'no' to being annexed into Selah city limits »Play Video
SELAH, Wash. -- It was standing-room only Tuesday afternoon at Selah's city council meeting.

Dozens of neighbors showed up to voice their opinion about Selah's plans to annex an entire neighborhood of county properties into city limits.

Some said the plans were confusing, but most said they did not want their property become a part of Selah.

"It seems like everybody I've asked has had a different answer,” said one neighbor.

"I didn't respond simply because I wasn't interested in annexation,” said a county homeowner.

"I am opposed to annexation,” said another.

The city recently proposed a plan that included annexing roughly 70 properties near Goodlander and Nile Loop Roads.

However, that plan was cut nearly in half to about 35 properties after a lot of feedback Tuesday night.

Weeks ago, council sent out a survey to the original 70 homeowners regarding the plan. Less than half said they were in favor. Council decided to hold a public meeting to find out why.

At Tuesday's meeting, it became clear that most didn't like the plan because switching to Selah's water and septic was going to cost much more.

Richard Weller says the city's original survey was confusing and might have lead council to think there were a higher percentage of neighbors in favor.

“They were operating, in my opinion with faulty data to begin with,” Richard said.

Some of the homeowners in the Selah neighborhood say the only reason the city wanted to annex the properties was to make a little added tax revenue. But the city says that's not the case, some of the homeowners petitioned the city first.

Mayor John Gawlik says the annexation would bring in less than $30,000 a year.

However, he says money isn't the issue. He's happy that the council and citizens were able to reach an agreement.

"I think this evening is a good example that the council does listen,” Gawlik said.

Neighbors leaving the meeting, agree.

"I prefer living in the county and I think most of us do,” Richard said.

The remaining 35 properties will still have to vote whether they’re in favor of the annexation.

The city says they likely will be because they are not’t paying county water rates and would save money.