Answering questions of annexation anxiety

A group of Clifton-area residents has posed some very pertinent questions to the city of Grand Junction regarding the potential annexation of Clifton and Fruitvale to the city.

Here’s hoping city officials respond quickly and thoroughly to those queries, to which we would add one more. The city’s answers may go a long way toward easing the anxiety many Clifton-Fruitvale area residents have regarding potential annexation.

We continue to believe annexation is a good solution to the increasing demand for urban-type services in the densely populated Clifton-Fruitvale area. That’s especially true in light of the report last year that showed annexation would be far less costly to taxpayers in the area than incorporating as a separate municipality.

And doing nothing — remaining an unincorporated part of Mesa County — will mean there is a continual struggle to provide the sort of services many people in the area have said they desire. That’s why county officials have encouraged people in the Clifton-Fruitvale region to examine other alternatives.

The questions posed to Grand Junction officials include:

• How would annexation occur if approved by the city?

• Would annexation be incremental or in a single effort, and how much time would it take?

• Who will provide service in intermediate areas?

• Will service in Clifton be the same as throughout the city?

• What will Mesa County’s commitment be to continue providing services in this area?

The other question we think ought to be asked is how representation on the Grand Junction City Council may be revamped to reflect what would become the largest annexation in the city’s history in terms of population. City Council districts will have to be reconfigured after the 2010 census anyway. If Clifton-Fruitvale area is annexed, people living there should have a reasonable expectation they will have council members from their region.

Along with these questions, of course, city staff and Grand Junction City Council must determine if it makes sense for the city to annex the Clifton-Fruitvale area. Will it be an undue burden on city finances and services compared to revenue received?

Still, it’s welcome news that the group in Clifton and Fruitvale is continuing to pursue the annexation possibility and seeking answers to important questions about it.


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