Annexation of property in Belle Prairie Township in final step of 10-year plan

A process started 10 years ago, will finally be complete at the end of this year — the annexation of areas of Belle Prairie Township into the city of Little Falls.

In 2003, when the city first entered into an agreement with the township, Finance Officer Lori Kasella said several people annexed at that time to get city sewer and water. She said since then, others have chosen to annex as well.

The 2003 agreement between the township and city states the remainder of the properties not already annexed, could be annexed by Dec. 31, 2013.

The properties that will be annexed are located for the most part west of Highway 10 to the Mississippi River, from the north limits of the city, Kasella said.

Mostly everything up to 13th Avenue to the former Crestliner building and IWCO was within city limits, she said, but some properties behind Crestliner and IWCO, between them and the Highway 10 bypass, will also be annexed.

The annexation includes everything west of the railroad tracks up to the Belle Prairie Church, with the exception of the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-op and Cabin Fever, which are already annexed into the city.

“The agreement talks about everything west of the railroad tracks,” she said.

About 200 households on 360 acres and about 489 residents (based on census maps) will be added to the city, beginning in January 2014.

Kasella said based on payable 2013 figures, the estimated market value of the annexation area is about $32.026 million and the taxable market value $27.052 million.

The Little Falls City Council, with Mayor Cathy VanRisseghem absent, approved the final annexation, 7-1. VanRisseghem’s vote on a resolution in her absence is counted as a “no.”

The new residents will be voters in the city’s Ward 2.