The city of Huntington could grow by nearly fifty percent over the next few years.
The City Council recently unveiled its five-piece annexation plan- but many in the city are fighting it.
The city held a public meeting tonight for people to voice their opinions about the annexation plan.
And they showed up- filling the council chambers, the hallway, and even down the stairs, to speak against the plan.
"Be very careful as you proceed, because one of the problems here is people are going to be hurt."
That was just one of the comments speaking against Huntington's proposed five-piece annexation plan.
The city wants to take these five rural sections and add them to the city over the next eight years.
Tonight's public meeting was for this first area north of the city- a mostly farm-covered area.
"It's an area that recently we extended utilities out across the bypass at Stultz Road. It's anticipated that the area north of the bypass will develop residentially and commercially and the city wants to be in a position to be ready for that,” Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters says.
"Sixty percent of the individuals living in that area are either connected to city utilities, or have access to city utilities, when you drive through area one, you get the feel that you are in Huntington, you don't know you're not in Huntington,” Fetters says.
Just about all of these people we talked to before, during and after the meeting, are there to tell the city to scrap the plan.
"I'm a co-owner of H&H Disposal. In the first annexation area, we will lose twenty five to thirty customers. In all five annexation areas, we would probably lose between one hundred twenty five to one hundred fifty customers."
"We've already lost people because of jobs being closed down in the city of Huntington, and you very well may be losing more people moving out of this place."
"This seems to be an act of desperation."
"My friend lives right across the bypass. So once this thing started up, I saw a for sale sign up in his yard. I stopped by and talked to him, and asked him, and he said, I'm moving, I’m not doing this."
The city council took no action tonight- it was just a public hearing.
They'll return on July 8h for a preliminary vote, and a final vote on July 29th.
If it passes, the first part of the annexation would take effect ninety days from then.