Come Jan. 3, Nashville will be 231 acres bigger.
Land intended to become Hard Truth Hills, a new tourist attraction owned by the Big Woods family of companies, was annexed into town limits at the Nashville Town Council’s Sept. 21 meeting. The effective date of that status change from out-of-town to in-town is Jan. 3, 2018.
This was a “supervoluntary annexation,” meaning that 100 percent of the land’s owners requested to be annexed, said Town Manager/Economic Development Director Scott Rudd.
The town council had the option to say “no” after reviewing a required fiscal plan showing how this annexation would affect the rest of town. The vote was unanimously in favor of annexation.
Because this land is assessed as agricultural, the town’s net assessed value won’t increase, the report said.
The report, done by certified public accountant agency Umbaugh, said that no increased costs are expected to come to law enforcement, the volunteer fire department or emergency medical services by adding this area to town.
Umbaugh predicted few additional costs for street maintenance.
Other costs, including any new sidewalks, stormwater and drainage changes because of new construction, and adding a possible new stop sign at the intersection of Old State Road 46 and Snyder Road, are to be paid by the developer, the document says.
Because of the property being tax-exempt through its agricultural status, Umbaugh predicted no impact to tax rates or levies on other units of government because of this annexation.
The land’s net assessed value was $31,700 in 2016, the report said.
Some questions came up during the meeting about possible future costs to the town.
Council member David Rudd said he wasn’t in favor of the idea of putting a four-way stop at the entrance to Hard Truth Hills, which is at the bottom of the hill on Old State Road 46 at Snyder Road. He predicted accidents will happen in winter when people can’t stop.
Town Utility Manager Sean Cassiday said an engineer recommended a four-way stop.
After annexation, that stretch of Old 46 will become the town’s road, as the properties on the other side of these woods are already in town limits, he said.
The annexation doesn’t take effect until Jan. 3; but Hard Truth Hills’ owners plan to have at least part of their attraction open by then.
“I don’t see how we can resolve it when it’s the county’s highway (right now),” David Rudd said.
David Rudd said that the county’s rules on driveway permits require a greater sight difference than the town’s do. He was concerned that if the town OKs the entrance being placed at this intersection — which is in a curve at the bottom of the hill — the town would be liable, especially if it’s requiring a lower standard on sight difference than is commonly used in other communities.
“We certainly would be involved in a suit,” said Town Attorney James T. Roberts. “Whether that would result in liability, there’s a factual question there, but there is a risk of liability.”
Scott Rudd said that if the intersection is approved, it will be on the developer’s dime, not the town’s. The fiscal report which the council approved at the same meeting says that a four-way stop “may” be developed “on the border of the annexation area, and it is anticipated that the developer will be responsible for any associated costs.” It had said that a four-way stop “is expected to be developed.”
“It’s in there so it protects the town from bearing that expense if it were to happen,” Scott Rudd said about the stop sign language.
No decision was made about whether or not a four-way stop will be put there.
The land was placed in town council district 2 for voting purposes. Most of the 231 acres are now zoned residential, except for 26 acres which the county rezoned for general business earlier this fall. Under town zoning laws, the closest classification to general business is B3, Roberts said.