Tue, Feb

Officials say no plans to annex Verde Village

Chatter of Verde Village annexation into the city of Cottonwood has popped up again in conversation and social media, but this time, it doesn’t look like to be anything more than town gossip, according to some city and county officials.
In the hope of putting these annexation rumors to bed, District 3 County Supervisor Randy Garrison will meet with Verde Village residents, Cottonwood city leaders and Verde Valley Fire District Chief Nazih Hazime in February.
“We hope to answer questions of tax impacts if this were to actually happen,” Garrison said. “This gives public a chance to weigh in.”
The request for a meeting came from the Verde Village Property Owners Association, Garrison said. Rose Sperry of the VVPOA said residents would be allowed to ask questions.
Annexation between the unincorporated Verde Villages and the city of Cottonwood is something that has come up over the last 30 years but has never happened.
Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski said the issue of annexation will pop up every 10 years but the city itself does not generally push for it.
“I don’t see the city changing its policy on that,” he said.
Garrison said he hopes the meeting will also inform people about what annexation would actually look like.
“This will let people know there are a lot of steps in the process,” Garrison said. “It’s not something that can be sneaked through.”
Garrison said rumors of a “city takeover” of the Villages started in December when the city discussed the possible annexation of 13 properties perched on the city/boundary border in Verde Village Unit 8.
Some of the parcels are in the county while some are in the city.
The city eventually backed off from annexation because the properties did not meet statutory requirements for annexation. This did not squelch concerns, however, that the city was planning to annex the whole of the Verde Villages.
“The rumor train got going,” Garrison said. “It’s becoming this big huge thing that it really isn’t.”
The meeting will take place Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Verde Village Clubhouse at 4855 E. Broken Saddle Drive. Garrison, Elinkski, Hazime and Cottonwood Finance Director Rudy Rodriguez will all be in attendance to weigh in.
Kelcie Grega can be reached at 634-8551, or email kgrega@larsonnewspapers.com

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