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Chesapeake eyes annexation to the west

Apr. 23, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio -- The village of Chesapeake wants to annex several hundred homes in the West Chesapeake area, said Chesapeake Mayor Dick Gilpin.

Village council members earlier this month agreed to proceed with the annexation process from the village limits west about a mile and a half to the Union Township line near the Lawrence County Airpark, Gilpin said. "We've started the annexation process," he said.

A public meeting on the annexation proposal has been called for 7 p.m. Thursday at Chesapeake Middle School.

"We've been getting positive feedback so far," he said.

Dan Jeffries, a resident in the impacted area, said he wouldn't object to the annexation proposal.

"It's been talked about for many years," he said. "I see it as an opportunity to grow the village and improve services."

"It has to be done by petition," Gilpin said. Sixty percent of the property owners in the area proposed for annexation have to agree to it, he said. A list of the property owners is being drawn up by the Lawrence County Auditor's office. "We would have to go door to door to get the petitions signed."

The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners also would have to approve the annexation request if a sufficient number of signatures are collected.

"We would be able to offer police protection," Gilpin said. "These people would have a say in village government."

If the village had more residents, it would be able to receive more grant funds, Gilpin said.

"We were just able to get a $100,000 grant for sidewalk improvements," he said. "With more residents, we would be able to go for better grants."

"We're not trying to become a city; we would like to be a bigger village," he said.

"It seems like the logical thing to do," said county Commissioner Bill Pratt. All three of the schools in the Chesapeake school district currently aren't located in the village, but are in the area under consideration for annexation, he said.

If the annexation is approved, Union Township would have to be reimbursed for a portion of the taxes it would lose, Gilpin said.