Ten residents of the Allen County portion of the La Cabreah neighborhood north of Fort Wayne spoke out Tuesday against a planned voluntary annexation during a public hearing before the Fort Wayne City Council.
Several of those who raised objections to the plan said they originally signed a petition requesting the annexation, only to change their minds after finding out their votes were based on incorrect information.
City officials announced plans for the voluntary annexation in May after having received petition signatures from 51 percent of the property owners in the area in support of annexation.
The city limits run through part of La Cabreah, off Dupont Road. That means about one third of the homes are in the city and the rest are in unincorporated Allen County. Several homes were built directly on the dividing line.
Property owners who signed the petition but later regretted their vote said they were told that response times from emergency services would improve and property taxes would not increase as a result of the annexation.
Those homeowners told the council Tuesday they now believe emergency services would not improve and that taxes would increase.
But those involved in circulating the petition for annexation say they don't think anyone was intentionally misled. Jil Campodonico is one of those people.
“If people knocked on doors or called someone's home, it was only in the interest of trying to make sure everyone was contacted and had an opportunity to say yes or no. We do not have adequate phone numbers and email addresses for everyone in the association and that was really the intent of that,” Campodonico said. “Also, I feel that any misinformation that may have been given out initially was not intentional and was just due to lack of information that the homeowners' association had at that time.”
The council could consider whether to approve the annexation next month.