Highway right-of-way 
annexation requested in Purdy

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

By Murray Bishoff Cassville Democrat

City seeks to secure road rights from ends of business loop

In an effort to provide new ways to expand the city, the Purdy City Council has proposed annexing the state right-of-ways to both Highway 37 and Business Highway 37. The city is now waiting for paperwork from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) before adopting the land into the city limits by ordinance.

"The state does this as a courtesy," said Mayor Steve Roden. "We've sent certified letters to all the property owners on the highway."

The city requested the annexation in November. Legal descriptions of the property arrived by mid-December. MoDOT directed city officials to send notification to landowners and open a comment period.

The proposal would not impact adjacent property owners by making them subject to city ordinances. Locating city land next to their properties, however, would make them eligible to annex into the city if interested.

The roads would extend the city limits signs both north and south. On the north end of the city, annexing the Business 37 loop from the exit off Highway 37 to the city limits would add approximately a quarter-mile of road. The city's south city limits ends south of the Ramey Supermarket. Taking in 1.5 miles of Farm Road 1080 from the city limits south would extend the city's boundaries to where the highway intersects with Highway 37. On Highway 37 itself, the city limits to the north begins south of the Business 37 turnoff and ends at a driveway south of RM Industries. The addition of all the right-of-ways would give a football-shaped outline to the city east of the railroad tracks.

Roden said MoDOT does not want to intimidate property owners by having them surrounded by annexed roads when the property between the roads is not inside the city limits. At the south end of the configuration, Mike Bennett and his business, Eagle Logistics, owns property on both sides of the road. Bennett has already expressed his interest in annexing into the city.

Having had conversations with several adjacent property owners, Roden said only Gary Rickman has opposed to the plan, but has not raised a significant enough objection reason to overturn the proceedings.

"There may be a concern that 15 years down the road, a council may want to impact people," Roden said. "Forced annexation is a drawn-out process. You've got to have a real good reason. That's not our goal at all. We're trying to do something better for the town. It gives the town a place to grow."

Bennett said his business located outside the city limits in the first place because it has equipment and materials outside the building and did not want to have problems with city ordinances on property maintenance.

"There are others inside the city that are in terrible disarray," Roden said. "I won't treat you any different than anyone here in town. If you make your property into a salvage yard, we will come and talk to you. I've had this conversation with a number of people. Just because you're poor, we can't tell you how to live."

The annexation of roads opens the door for widened police activity, another point that Roden discounted.

"We don't want to be like other cities and have a speed trap," Roden said. "I don't think that will ever be a problem. That's not what we're doing this for. We just want to open up as much land as we can for people who might want to annex in."

Roden added he has also heard objections from Bill Roller and Jerry White, and he is holding the comment period open to receive letters from them. All the comments will be sent to MoDOT, which has the authority to approve or veto the proposal.

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