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City's 674-acre annexation plan moves forward

The city’s planned annexation area is highlighted on this map. The site of the POET Biofuels ethanol refinery, on County Road 300 North, is the lighter green area. For reference, Interstate 74 cuts diagonally across the upper half of the map; the horse track at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino isthe oval in the upper left. The POET site and most of the rest of the area is zoned now for agricultural use. The city’s proposedrezoning for thearea to the left of the POET site; the two tracts to the lower right; and the one rectangular area immediately to the north of POET isGeneral Industrial use.

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

Shelbyville will be significantly larger if a proposed annexation gets the final OK.

Members of the Shelby-ville Common Council have approved unanimously on first reading a plan to annex nearly 674 acres northwest of the city.

Approval followed a mandatory public hearing by the council on the annexation proposal; no one spoke against it. The Shelbyville Plan Commission previously approved the annexation plan.

The area is made up of 22 individual parcels held by nine property owners, according to the ordinance ratified by the council Monday evening in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St.

“We’ve been negotiating with them for a couple of years on this now,” said Mayor Tom DeBaun, during the City Council’s premeeting, which is for discussion only, just before the council’s regular meeting where the vote was taken.

POET Biofuels LLC is one of the land owners. POET is currently building an ethanol refinery on its property located on County Road 300 North. 

Some of the land proposed for annexation surrounds Tom Hession Drive which extends from County Road 400 North, also known as Fairland Road, south to CR 300 North.

Most of the land is south of Interstate 74, except for a portion that includes the National Guard Armory on Michigan Road to the north of I-74.

The armory site needed to be included because state law requires that an annexed area adjoin a city’s existing boundaries; there’s now a corridor of land along the north side of I-74 that makes Indiana Grand Racing & Casino a part of the city.

A second and final reading on the annexation proposal is expected to take place at the City Council’s meeting on Nov. 26.

In other matters, the Shel-byville Common Council:

n Approved additional appropriations from the Public Safety Local Option Income Tax, known as LOIT, totaling $184,000 to purchase new handheld radios for the police department ($74,000) and the fire department ($110,000);

n Approved transfers of funds for the fire department of $2,500 from the new clothing fund to the fund for buying tires, and $10,000 from the telephone fund to the Public Employee Retirement Fund, known as PERF.