Fruitvale/Clifton annexation meeting tonight

The second of three meetings to discuss possible annexation of the eastern half of Fruitvale into the city of Grand Junction is from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at Clifton Elementary School, 3276 F Road.

For two years, Clifton and Fruitvale area residents have been the subject of efforts to bring about a change in governance.

Mesa County officials contend the area is disproportionately consuming resources, such as law enforcement, that are intended to be spread throughout the county.

The area of eastern Fruitvale and Clifton, roughly from 31 to 33 roads, north of the Colorado River and south of Interstate 70, is served by 0.9 deputies for every 1,000 residents.

The county contends “ideal staffing level for urban law enforcement” is 1.5 to 2 officers for every 1,000 residents.

To provide residents of the Clifton and Fruitvale area with more public services, the county has offered residents a choice among annexation, incorporation or doing nothing.

“The status quo is an option,” said Commissioner Steve Acquafresca.

“If enough people want that, enough people in the Clifton community, then the community’s wishes need to be respected and accommodated as best as possible.”

During the first meeting on the subject, last week, Commissioner Janet Rowland, who lives in the area of Fruitvale proposed to be annexed, said doing nothing is a choice for fewer services.

She also said that by choosing to be annexed, residents of the area can expect the city of Grand Junction to deliver better urban-level services than Mesa County ever could.

The cost of receiving those services from Grand Junction would be far less than forming a new city or creating special tax districts, according to county staff.

A property tax, assumed at 8 mills, with a sales tax of 2.75 percent, would mean a residential property owner would pay $63.68 for every $100,000 of actual property value.

A commercial property owner would pay $232 for every $100,000 of actual property value, according to Mesa County.

The county is looking to propose annexation into Grand Junction to residents in three phases.

The first phase is eastern Fruitvale.

It is bordered roughly by 31 Road on the west, Interstate 70 Business Loop on the east, Patterson Road on the south and I-70 on the north.

Only property owners may sign the petition for annexation.

If the area is annexed into Grand Junction, all of Fruitvale west of 31 Road and north of I-70 B would become an enclave and could be annexed into Grand Junction after five years.


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