With the possibility looming that Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and surrounding areas could be annexed into the city, some residents of the Pierpont area bordering the park are getting worried that they will be next.
The park has asked the city to run sewer lines from Rock Bridge Elementary School to the park. In turn, the city asked the park to sign a “pre-annexation agreement,” which would annex the park when the city limits reach its boundaries.
The park hasn’t reached an agreement with the city, but when Pierpont area residents Justin John and Bud Frew realized that Pierpont could be involuntarily annexed if it becomes contiguous to the city, they took action.
John said Pierpont residents fear annexation because “the city will start charging us taxes for nothing that we need. We will be subject to ordinances and restrictions that Columbia now has, and that’s not anything we need or want.”
If the Pierpont area becomes a separate village, it could not be annexed involuntarily.
John and Frew collected 46 signatures from people who are open to meeting with Boone County officials and discussing the possibilities of incorporating the Pierpont area into a village.
“We are meeting to discuss what things we can do to prevent being annexed by the city,” Pierpont resident Steven Sapp said.
Sapp said he isn’t sure about the pros and cons of incorporation at this time. He does know he would “rather not be annexed.”
According to George Montgomery, former chief engineer of the Public Works Department, the possibility of involuntary annexation is highly unlikely.
“There hasn’t been an involuntary annexation in Columbia since 1969,” he said.
Pierpont area residents remain undecided as to whether they are for or against incorporation. If they decide to go that route, John said, they would do whatever the county commission instructs.
“This is strictly in the hands of the Boone County Commission right now,” John said.