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Posted: November 16, 2017 3:38 p.m.
Updated: November 17, 2017 1:00 a.m.

A situation recently came to our attention regarding annexation issues. 

As a condition of providing water service outside the city limits, the city of Camden requires customers to sign an agreement stating they will annex into the city if their property becomes contiguous to the city limits. A citizen recently questioned this; a subsequent review of state law and multiple court cases clearly proves this is not an illegal practice. In fact, it is pretty much a standard practice of municipalities all over the state, if not the country.

We do understand a municipality’s desire to grow – we even encourage and applaud such growth, for the most part. And in some situations, if a carrot is not effective, a spur may be necessary for the greater good, such as in the case of “donut hole” properties.

Nonetheless, legal or not, standard practice or not, logical or not, we do still find it a little troublesome to apply such a condition to a basic need such as water service. True, out-of-town customers pay more and far more often than not it is demonstrably for the greater good that people living contiguously to a city should eventually come into that city. It does, in fact, make sense.

Nonetheless, greater good aside, placing such either/or conditions on something as basic as water service still seems a bit overbearing to us.   

Or to quote the late, great Spanky McFarland, “I’ll eat it, but I won’t like it.”


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